It has been a long and aggravating day of the government trying to restrict our access to birth control. A panel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ensured the worst PR ever when it convened a bunch of men — men with penises! I repeat, no one with an actual uterus — to discuss the birth control mandate in Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Their party line is that they were just discussing “religious freedom,” meaning, I guess, the freedom for a small minority of religious employers to impose their beliefs on everyone else in the country? I don’t know, I’m still not clear on their point other than “Wah, wah.”
Not surprisingly, silliness is in the water and it has proven a bang-up day for dumb comments about birth control all around. Of the following three comments about birth control, two are actual real things that people said, and one was made up by me. See if you can the difference. Birth control …
A) … causes prostrate cancer!
B) … isn’t necessary because women should put aspirin between our knees (or, debatably, inside our vaginas) instead!
C) … increases greenhouse gases!
After the jump, find out just how “Ugh, really?!” our elected officials are:
Keep reading »
Here’s a picture of the witness table at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is discussing access to contraception and comprehensive healthcare. Let’s play a quick game of “Count the uteruses,” shall we? Oh, right, there are none. At least there’s a second panel coming up, which will include … wait for it … four more men. Said Rep. Carolyn Maloney before walking out of the hearing in protest: “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
That’s a really excellent question. [Think Progress; Huffington Post; Maddow Blog]
Sean Hannity from Fox News had a whole bunch of dudes — white dudes, black dudes, all dudes — stop by for a big ol’ sausage-fest discussion of the birth control debate. Comparisons between health care reform to getting taken over by the Nazis? Oh, yeah, somebody went there.
Jon Stewart’s response is on point, as usual: “You’ve confused the ‘war on your religion’ with not getting everything you want.” (Geez, this is almost painful to watch.) [The Daily Show]
Every woman will have access to birth control under the Obama administration’s latest decision regarding health care reform, which was meant to appease Catholic bishops who balked at a previous iteration of the rule. White House officials stated on Friday that insurers must create a policy that doesn’t offer coverage of contraceptives that can be used by religiously-affiliated employers that object. But insurers also have to offer a plan that covers contraceptives without co-pays or deductibles and they are required to reach out and offer it to women. Explicitly religious employers, such as houses of worship, are still exempt from covering contraception in their prescription plans. Keep reading »
Who’s been called in as “experts” on cable news to discuss the current debate over birth control? More men than women, that’s who. Across all the networks, 91 men appeared to talk about the birth control debate, while only 55 women appeared on-air. The greatest disparity was at the Fox stations, but the “liberal”-leaning network of MSNBC didn’t do much better. When the debate primarily affects women’s lives — in this case, their very bodies — more female voices need to be heard. Shame on these networks for allowing guys, whatever their opinion, a greater voice in the debate. [Think Progress]