Monday, March 5, 2012
Don't Take the Bait
There's no debate about access to contraception. - Newt
Newt's right. And too many conservatives are getting sidetracked, as the administration drags red herrings across the campaign trail, hoping to get conservatives off message.
This past week we were all treated to THIS STORY - Sandra Fluke, described as a "young law student" testifying at a hearing on Women's Health held by Nancy Pelosi, followed by a scathing on-air rebuttal from Rush Limbaugh wherein he described Ms. Fluke as a slut. It's the story that won't die, following on the heels of several weeks of media and debate questions attempting to paint socially conservative presidential hopeful Rick Santorum as a right-wing nutjob. The leftist blogosphere has been having a field day with this, tag-teaming with the mainstream media to create the general feeling that social conservatives are nuts. And they hate women. And they go to church and listen to the pastor or minister and stuff. And they are creepy. I mean, who goes to church anymore?
Breitbart Conservatives know that this is not about access to birth control, or religious zealots trying to force everyone to adhere to their religious beliefs. It's not about poor women denied health care or how the GOP hates women or college students being labelled "sluts."
It's about the First Amendment, and religious freedom.
The backstory that the media is running from concerns (wouldn't you know it) Obamacare. Apparently the "Affordable Care Act" contains a Contraceptive Coverage Regulation, which is supposed to make those crusty religious organizations like Catholic universities and hospitals and charities (who exist, of course, solely to oppress women) offer, against the teachings of their faith, birth control coverage in their comprehensive medical coverage plans.
Let's go over that again.
Institutions like Catholic hospitals, which carry out their missions in accordance with certain tenets, are going to be forced to pay for coverage that will violate those tenets. The administration's "compromise" of making insurers pay instead of these institutions is a false compromise - a university would still be paying the insurer for the coverage through increased rates for everyone, because no insurance company is going to just offer these services free.
No matter how you look at that, it's a violation of the institutions' right to freedom of religion. End of story.
As an aside, it's hugely comic that the left attacks people of religion for *not* following the teachings of their faith as hypocrites, and then attacks them when they *do* follow the teachings of their faith as "women-haters."
Follow the logic of Ms. Fluke and those who support her viewpoint: I'm attending a prestigious university costing me huge fees and tuition rates, and I can't afford (or can't find) cheap contraceptives. Perish the thought of cutting back on other discretionary expenses (like most of the rest of the country) in order to afford contraceptives. This isn't, and has never been, about "access" - I have "access" to a lot of things that I may not be able to afford right now. It's about a cynical attempt to get young voters and women back on the Obama plantation and stop looking at the miserable unemployment numbers, the horrible foreign relations issues, the rising energy prices.
This "get your rosaries off my ovaries" thing would make much more sense if the people working in or attending these institutions did not end up there voluntarily, freely associating with an organization run by a faith tradition. And they are certainly free to un-associate. But no, they want to force *their* morality on Catholics, and guarantee that those bad old Catholics won't be allowed to make them feel "judged" by limiting their medical coverage to procedures and medications that actually follow the church teaching.
Perhaps Congressman Issa should have let Ms. Fluke testify after all, and while vetting her, subpoenaed her Visa debit card receipts for the past few months. For the cost of a Starbucks a day, you can get some pretty decent birth control. It isn't the church's problem if you want to have your Starbucks and your birth control pills too.