“I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked. One is Dec. 7; that’s Pearl Harbor Day. The other is Sept. 11, and that’s the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember Aug. 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
“Today is the day religious freedom died in America.”
in which he and several conservative Republicans
delivered tirades against a health care reform provision
taking effect today that requires insurers to cover
birth control for women, without co-pay or other charges.
All that because insurance coverage for birth control at no additional charge becomes available today to students and employees at some religion-affiliated institutions that disapprove of birth control. Mind you, this Affordable Care Act reform doesn’t require those institutions to offer or pay for the insurance; it’s available directly to those who need or want it.
The reform isn’t just about contraception. The news story on this explains what else is included.
In addition to the contraception mandate, health insurance plans must now cover additional screenings and services for women without passing on any of the cost to the patient.
“These include services that are essential to helping women stay healthy — such as domestic violence screening, FDA-approved contraception, breastfeeding support and supplies, gestational diabetes screening, HPV testing, sexually transmitted infection counseling, and HIV screening,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a USA Today op-ed published Tuesday.
Not that it will matter to Kelly and his fellow religious conservatives, but birth control isn’t just about freeing the wanton and wicked to misbehave in the way their fellow Republicans, Sens. David Vitter and John Ensign, and Gov. Mark Sanford, did, free of stork-drawn consequences.
Some women are told by their doctor they mustn’t become pregnant. Some learn that if they do become pregnant it could come down to a choice of having an abortion or losing their own life and maybe the baby’s as well.
It’s also true that birth control pills are prescribed for valid medical reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.
But even in situations where women want birth control so they can engage in activities that could result in an unwanted pregnancy, Kelly and his ilk should pull up their big-boy breeches and let it be, thinking of birth control as abortion prevention.
We say that because House Republicans have wasted the past year and a half doing little legislatively besides two perverse things. One was holding various segments of the population hostage to ensure the richest Americans keep their Bush tax cuts. The other was passing some 35 bills intended to make abortion virtually impossible to obtain, even in cases of rape, incest and to save the woman’s life — all those bills guaranteed to go nowhere in the Senate.
Presumably, Kelly et al are even more vehemently opposed to abortion than they are to all women having access to affordable birth control. Presumably, there is some limit to their ignorance and sense of entitlement to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.