Right now Church and State aren't looking so separate in the US. Both the Catholic Church's opposition to birth control as well as the Bush Administration's similar attempt to limit access to contraception by defining it as abortion, have been openly criticized this week by contraception advocates.
An open letter, written by over 50 international Catholic dissent groups, asks the Pope to lift the Church's ban on birth control. Taking out an ad in an Italian newspaper, the groups point to the important role contraception plays in the fight against AIDS, especially in poor countries. But the plea fell on deaf ears, as the Vatican quickly denounced the ad as propaganda, adding that condom policies have failed to fight AIDS.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton wrote an open letter to her supporters, hoping to raise awareness about Bush's plan to put "ideology before science and women's health." Clinton explains that the Department of Health and Human Services wants to make it harder for women to access common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception, and IUDs by labeling them "abortion." Proposed regulations would allow healthcare providers to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it, disproportionately impacting uninsured and low-income Americans.