Catholic Contraception Delusion

By Juliana Jiménez

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.
Rep. Congressman Darrell Issa. Credit: Wikipedia.

The Obama administration announced  on Jan. 20 that all FDA-approved forms of contraception must be covered by most insurers without a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible paid by the patient, starting Aug. 1, 2012. The original ruling provided an exemption for churches, synagogues, and some primary and secondary religious schools. That was not enough for the  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, nor for Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, Fox News, and the entire far-Right political demagogue apparatus, including top Republican Congressmen, who immediately vowed to overturn the decision.

Since when did contraception become so controversial and revolutionary? Since when did prevention become the fanatic agenda of hysterical feminazis? Apparently, since the leading contenders in the Republican primary circus have thrown caution and reason to the wind in exchange for ultra-conservative Christian middle-aged white votes. Even though a lot of Republicans used to support health insurers covering contraception only a few years ago, today, it is the sign of the upcoming apocalypse, lead by the Muslim Kenyan Anti-Christ Obama.

Does this supposed “war on religion” even have a foundation on reality? First of all, let’s begin with the fact that an overwhelming majority of Catholic women use or have used contraception, as a Guttmacher Institute study showed, which was quoted by the Obama administration in their decision. Not that what women actually do or think even matters in this. Don’t mind us. Never mind that Viagra was covered by insurance before contraception was. I mean, come on, girls, what’s the big deal, just put an aspirin between your knees and problem solved, as Santorum’s guardian millionaire angel and 1950s time traveler wisely advised. Some family planning advice for the ladies. You’re welcome.

Never mind that (R-CA) Rep. Darrell Issa‘s Congressional panel discussing this had zero women on it, according to Slate,

“with the implication that women’s voices are not necessary when discussing “religious freedom.” (The religious freedom of female workers to make their own contraception decisions is not included in the conservative definition of “religious freedom.”)

All-male panel about women's healthcare
Nancy Pelosi shared this photo of all-male panel about women's healthcare on her Facebook.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Eleanor Holmes Norton walked out in protest. And when people noticed this, what did the discussion looked like? That’s right, you guessed it.

Screenshot of nothing but men talking about the lack of women in the discussions on contraception.
Screenshot of nothing but men talking about the lack of women in the discussions on contraception.

Hilarious! Although at least we should be thankful that they covered it all, and ignored they did not. NPR reported on the dearth of female voices in this debate, Gail Collins from the NYT wrote an editorial on this, Rachel Maddow has been all over it, doing several segments and appearing on other shows to talk about it, saying that “this is more of a women’s issue than a religious issue.” They even played clips of her talking at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, when Cal Thomas, conservative pundit, columnist and Fox News regular said that the best argument for contraception was Rachel Maddow herself.

Where does the lunacy stop, you wonder? We’re not even close. On the same day, February 16, 2012,

modern women being told by Republicans that they’re not qualified to talk about their own sexual health, are dressed like “whores” and probably need birth control because they’re so slutty. And this is just in one day.

Less and less female voices are being heard, in the media and in politics. Not what you’d expect in 2012. ThinkProgress, a project of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, recently released a report where it analyzed coverage on cable and broadcast news of the administration’s contraception mandate. Of the 146 guests brought on cable news shows to weigh in on the free insurance, for example, 55 were women and 99 were men.

None of this bodes well for Republicans when November elections come and they’ll have to face that women are going to come out to vote in overwhelming numbers (right, ladies?).

And in the meantime looks like

“The president is committed to making sure that all women have access to these important preventive services,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.”

Did Obama just punk the GOP on contraception? He issued his decision, then backtracked enough to make it clear that the issue was not about religion, giving the exemption to Catholic churches and universities, so he comes out clean, and leaves religious institutions and the GOP looking like assholes.

The President is suddenly looking very attractive.

Biden, Obama and Pelosi.
Biden, Obama and Pelosi. Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

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