Paul Ryan, being the dick he is, calls birth control the “nitty-gritty details” of healthcare
In case you needed just one more example of blinding privilege and its devastating effects on the politics of affluent straight white men in positions of power, then voila: House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks birth control is just a “nitty gritty” detail of Obamacare not worth elaborating on in a CNN interview, let alone coming up with a plan for. To anyone with a uterus, it’s pretty obvious access to birth control isn’t an irrelevant detail, but to a dick as big as Ryan, that simple concept is unclear.
The fact that we’re likely to see Planned Parenthood lose funding in the coming years doesn’t make the situation any less worrisome. (Remember to keep those donations in Mike Pence’s name coming, folks.) We obviously need more ladies in Congress, because if one more asshole lacking a uterus tells me birth control isn’t important and proceeds to make legislative decisions affecting my body, I’m literally going to lose it.
In Ryan’s interview with Jake Tapper this weekend, Tapper, bless his soul, immediately pushed back against Ryan’s dismissal of birth control coverage. Tapper noted how access to reproductive choice, especially at a time of extreme legislative pushback against abortion rights, is no “nitty gritty” detail to millions of women of reproductive age who have enjoyed free birth control coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“With all due respect, I don’t know that the average woman of childbearing years out there who relies upon contraception provided by health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act — I don’t know that she would think that that’s just a nitty-gritty detail,” Tapper said. In turn, Ryan responded just as dismissively as he had the first time around, refusing “to get into hypotheticals about legislation that hasn’t even been drafted yet.”
Look, we already knew Ryan was the scum of the Earth. I mean, he thinks fetuses deserve personhood rights (at the expense of women’s rights, obviously) and has long pushed for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. It’s clear watching the interview that Ryan was thrown off guard and unprepared for the question, and frankly, I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that women’s access to reproductive health care probably didn’t even cross his privileged mind prior, or the knowledge that someone as fiercely anti-choice as Ryan will likely come out with a detailed plan to destroy the lives of women across the nation soon enough, now that reproductive healthcare finally has crossed his mind.
Given Ryan’s receptiveness to Trump and his willingness to work with known anti-Muslim, misogynistic white supremacist Steve Bannon it’s a shock to me that some people could still regard the House speaker as a moderate. (As a white Christian male, surprise, surprise, Ryan’s not at all “worried” about Bannon.)
For his own part, Trump has been relatively quiet about what will happen to women getting free birth control from Obamacare, although vice president-elect Pence’s actions in his state of Indiana — from defunding Planned Parenthood and causing an HIV outbreak, to transferring funding for poor families to anti-choice organizations (priorities!) — is hardly reassuring for women.
The Republican Party is in a position of unprecedented power, and its disdain for birth control access is all part of its grand scheme to affirm traditional “family values.” Because apparently nominating and electing a man who has five children from three wives, has countless sexual assault allegations against him, and, oh yeah, said the words “grab them by the pussy,” was a real family-oriented move.