tmccarthy0's picture

    Distorting Reproductive Health: The Anti-Woman Beltway Media

    There has been a frenzy of media discussion about a recent Health and Human Services decision regarding birth control. Let's go over some facts:

    The regulation:

    Requires employer who offer health insurance with prescription drug coverage that contraception would be required coverage. If and only if the insurance offered already covers prescription drugs. What they were saying is that contraception is one of those drugs that must be covered. This had nothing to do with a co-pay or any other media driven distortion of the issue. This is a fact.

    The other fact that has been ignored by the majority male beltway media is this:

    In December of 2000, the US EEOC made it clear that an employer’s failure to provide coverage of contraception, when it covers other prescription drugs and preventive care, is a violation of protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; those protections for employees’ benefits include no exemption for religious employers.

    Beltway pundits continue to present this issue as an argument about co-pays and that all religious organizations will have to buy insurance that covers birth control and that is all a lie, a huge god damned lie that those beltway pundits have deliberately twisted this issue, even though the issues is about prescription drub coverage. When we make the analogy that those plans cover Viagra but not contraception it is the truth, no matter how much yelling those men do, no matter how much they twist the issue, this is about prescription drug coverage, why the hell does no program on cable present this issue correctly?  It angers me. We also know this, cable tv shock jock shows are deliberately leaving women out of this conversation.

    What happened? Why did the media grab this story and distort it until they controlled every aspect of it. They were fresh off the highs of the Komen Story, lots of people paid attention to that story and they realized how important and divisive is the issue of Reproductive Health, and how it is so damn good for ratings. This is a better issue than abortion which is like arguing religion, can' kinds of media frenzies most often give the Republicans an advantage. They are always able to ragify their crowds. The president has a quieter group, far more enraged than those Republicans and this issue is going to bury Republicans in the fall. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) Mo is expected to offer an amendment that would permit any employer or insurance plan to exclude any health service, no matter how essential, from coverage if they morally object to it. This Think Progress report has the language of the bill. Suffice it to say it is Roy's attempt to get some publicity for himself, knowing full well that this amendment is DOA.

    We womyn can see exactly what is going on here. Another Think Progress report after analyzing guests on this issue on the cable shock-jock shows they prefer not to have women on their shows. The Think Progress report Of the 146 guests who have come on cable news shows to discuss the decision between Monday and Thursday, 91 were men. Congressmen, and I mean men went nuts, all over the beltway. Joe Scarborough and Mika couldn't even be bothered to have a woman on their show to  balance the views, no, they took the dive into all the anti-woman rhetoric they could, they began the lie that this was about convents having to carry insurance coverage for birth control, whey convents are explicitly exempt. I expect Faux Gnus to distort and lie about the issue, but MSNBC let those men carry on the, allowed those men to distort the issue. It is disgusting what they did, they are supposed to report issues fairly, they are not supposed to control the trajectory of legislation or regulation over the American people, in particular over womyn. I never see them protesting the coverage of Viagra, Cialis, but women get the short-shrift because everyone seems to believe our bodies are not our own, but our bodies can be controlled by society at large.

    To than attitude I say F' You very much Beltway Media and the rest of you anti-woman asshats, you've been pwned by the President. Here is the message you should take from our anger, we will not let this happen again. You will not create a political football with our bodies again without us (womyn) banding together fiercely fighting back against the misinformation you willingly and happily spread.

    Check out my video of David Boies, Constitutional Attorney vs. Chris Matthews a guy who  thinks he is a Constitutional Attorney.



    Crossposted @ TheAngriestLiberal


    tmac,  the factual data you provide within your post is so important for all to be aware of and utilize in our outcry.

    Because this topic has some parallels with those cited in Jolly's post, I'm going to just repeat/paraphrase parts of my response there in my comment here: 

    First, let us restate the obvious:

    Without the coming together of both male and female, there would be no need for contraception and/or abortion.  

    Since I'm unaware of any women who have used alternate methods to conceive, other than participatory male partners, who seek abortions to terminate or to need contraception; and since historically it has been males whose first choices are usually for the females to assume the responsibility for birth control  and usually abortion in wanting the by product of their actions to 'go away', it's interesting that men aren't as passionate, vocal and proactive about securing these rights to secure these options as they are when participating in the initial act.

    Labeling this as a female gender issue, which the vast majority do, is part of the problem and akin to enabling abdication of the male's acknowledgment of their responsibility in creating the base need for these healthcare options. These healthcare issues, unlike ovarian and/or prostate cancer, when it truly is both gender's bodies, choices and actions that create the end result. Thus, men too have the responsibility to stand up and speak out in support acknowledging without their participation, this wouldn't be an 'issue' only for women to take on as a just and needed cause. 

    And yes, I acknowledge that women need to do more to ensure men are included in their speaking out and standing up with them when championing this cause.

    Thanks Auntie! Excellent comment.

    Let's make all the anti-birth control folks sign an affidavit that says they will willingly and without fail pay child support for any child they create. Then just sit back and watch for a couple of years.

    I spit coffee out of my nose reading that Erica.. .. hahaha nice one.

    There is no greater honour. Thank you, tmac.

    (I even went with the commonwealth spelling just for the formality.)

    Really, I do think it's time for women to tell the fellas it is high time to be choosin' up sides on these issues. I mean, birth control? Come on!


    Tmac, this is a very good tack on the subject. And that's just a great piece of video editing. Well done. There was certainly an odd reaction from Matthews, as well as O'Donnell and other men. At first I thought Matthews was just annoyed that O let this controversy happen, but then I realized it was more than that, definitely a lack of sympathy for the womyn affected. Very telling, I thought. As far as O'Donnell was concerned, he was quickly turned around by Bois---who is a communicator par excellence. I don't think we've heard the last of it, but Obama looks like a professional and the carpers look like jerks.  

    That frickin Barnacle was just as bad on Morning Joe.

    Always kissing Scarborough's ass anyway; what does Barnacle care about his old union/dem ties anyway since he has a steady paycheck and can act as some post partisan! The prick.

    But I was watching the new MSNBC weekend morning show and one panelist really had a point that pointed positive. She says something like: WOW, does the Prez smell good on this one.

    Her point was that the repubs have now taken the lowest road possible by slinging their excrement against birth control.

    Except for St. Santorum how many repubs have 16 kids and watch Cheaper By the Dozen every GD weekend? Remember the scene where the Planned Parenthood visited Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb (the Gay patriarch?) and the couple snickered as the children descended the staircase?

    If the CPAC wishes to go back to the 50's, they just might find the repubs fetching 30% of the female vote in this country; if they are lucky!

    These people are nuts!


    I don't like them either Dick... not at all. :D

    Watching "Cheaper by the Dozen" every weekend... hahahahahaha.

    Richard, that scene from Cheaper by the Dozen is a fav of mine. It really does a good job of getting across a  historical societal picture. Where family planning was really a WASP thing,  the way to distinguish oneself as not one of those Catholic immigrant breeder hordes threatening to take over the country with teeming poor. Where family planning is Enlightenment science and morality vs the papist evil. And where women are put on a pedestal and not treated like breeding rabbits and you only have enough children that you can support in a classy manner and raise to be upright disciplined contributing members of society. (Like the British upper class, and not running around on the street juvvies like all those immigrant kids born of vile uncontrolled sexuality!) Mr. & Mrs.Gilbreth were being traitors to their class, showing that the stereotype was not necessarily true.

    Another good "control of sex" theme in the movie is the one with the older girls not being allowed to wear modern bathing suits or bob their hair, that they should stop being desirous of being popular and accepted by the hordes at school, but wait for a man that respects them for their modesty.

    Hi Oxy, yes O'Donnell listened, and that was the difference, he listened to someone other than the Bishops of the Beltway who seemed to be ordering those who they see in the pews each weekend to yell and scream about the First Amendment.

    Boies is backed up by none other than one Antonin Scalia in the 1990 Employment Division V Smith case decided in 1990. And unlike Matthews who made the claim that Boies would lose this if it went to the supreme court, making him seem like a clown, Constitutional Lawyers seem to side with Boies over Matthews.

    “One thing I think is crystal clear — there is no First Amendment violation by this law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “The Supreme Court was very clear in a case called Employment Division v. Smith, written by none other than Antonin Scalia, that religious believers and institutions are not entitled to an exemption from generally applicable laws.”

    I don't think we've heard the last of this either, but I think this has worked out well for the President, who stood with womyn, unlike those folks on the boobtoob, who stood against womyn.

    By the way, I watched the movie the Trip, that was great! I laughed hard.

    I'm glad you liked it. I loved the part where they were competing to see who had a three octave singing range  The ending was stark, but the contrast was good artistically. 

    The election of Obama has created a frenzy in the GOP. They are pining for the good old days. Women and minorities have too much control. They realize that the troops are slowly coming home. The auto bailout that was supposed to lead to a government takeover has resulted in GM rising to the top of the heap of worldwide automakers. They have all become like poor Herman Cain who could only say that he would not have done what Obama did in Libya. Like Cain, the Republicans can only say that they would have done things differently. We are asked to trust that things would be better now under GOP rule. They know that only Republicans should be in charge so that women and minorities can be controlled to the benefit of a select group of white males.

    They are against birth control! How is that even possible in the 21st century? Santorum wants to take the country back to 13th century Catholicism, when the Catholic Church wanted to form the world into it's vision of how people should behave. Santorum wants to roll back the clock over 800 years and he is now a viable Presidential candidate.

    Bill Mahrer had a British reporter from the Economist, not a bastion of support for gpvernment takeovers. Even the Economist realizes the good that resulted from the auto bailout. She was also amazed that Santorum's religious beliefs were accepted.


    I watched Bill Maher last night, it was a good one rmrd, that woman was great, she said something like Rick Santorum was a great philosopher if he'd lived in the 15th century! That was an LOL moment for sure.

    It was weird watching everything play out last week, the media so often just plain had the facts wrong, completely wrong, making the claim that this was only about some co-pay and not access to prescription drug coverage.  So much misinformation, that was the worst part I think just to see how the media participated in the spread of so much misinformation.

    There was a documentary about Gloria Steinem, "In Her Own words" on one of the satellite networks. A segment featured Harry Reasoner, a respective newsman ridiculing the idea of "Ms" magazine. Reasoner thought he was being objective in his critique that here weren't enough issues related to women to support an entire magazine. When the magazine did gain success, Reasoner had to later admit that he was in error.

    The Reasoner mindset still exists. Many male pundits can't put themselves in the position of women who want access to birth control just as men want access to Viagra.

    What we really need is for somebody to invent a Viagra condom.

    You are kind of on a roll tonight Erica, I am glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that! LOLz!

    That is interesting about Harry Reasoner, I kind of do remember that though and remember subscribing to Ms. Magazine because of him! 

    The Reasoner mindset does still exist you are correct, and it sure was apparent last week when the beltway punditry went completely nuts and a fair number of them were less than accurate in their reporting. All in all that was pretty disappointing.


    55 out of 146 guests were women, almost 38%?

    Do you realize the norm 2 years ago was 20 out of 148, roughly 13%?

    So they almost tripled the norm for female representation for this story.

    And as Bob Somerby notes, the mainstream press can't get even the basics on this story right, as exemplified by the discussion of the 28 exempt states.

    So basically you didn't bother to read my blog at all, which is about the distortions, lies and misrepresentation of the issue by the media. I lay out the law, the EEOC ruling of December 2000, none of it, you read exactly none of it. I wrote about the actual issue, contraceptive coverage,  not a co-pay as the media so happily presented to the  masses, nope you read exactly none of it.

    Well done PP. Thanks so much for stopping by and not reading one word of my blog.

    Tmac, catch the article by Andrew Sullivan on the Daily Beast. Seems the knee jerk pundits fell right in line with Obama's entrapment plan for the Far Right. 

    Thanks for the heads up Oxy, that was a great read. I agree with it, I think the President has successfully found an issue that clearly separates Republicans from Democrats, but who knew it would be something like contraception! Wow! And now the R's have actually jumped the shark are all in on banning prescription drug coverage for women as they continue on in the quest more and more people will find out it won't be just contraception coverage that will be affected by the Republican bill, but any drug coverage can be not covered by employer insurance policies, like Diabetic meds, heart meds, although I am sure they will put a rider in to cover Viagra and Cialis.  I think this is going to hurt the R's big time in the fall.  Hahahah what absolute lunatics.  Yeah Sarah Palin probably loves that, but very few women, Democratic, Independent or even regular Republican women will feel like that is a good move for Republicans.

    The President of course, knowing we are the majority, has openly sided with us and our basic RH needs. So naturally Republicans oppose this, the oppose the Pres on everything. This could serve as the Republican downfall, it may also affective their numbers in the House and the Senate. Democrats are going to use this as the biggest wedge issue ever to hit an election year.

    Howard Kurtz has a segment asking why it took so long for media to respond to recognize Catholic sensitivity about abortion. Kurtz praised Liberal pundits like Chris Mathews and E.J. Dionne (both Catholics) for criticizing the contraception plan.

    Towards the end, the male guest did point out the disconnect between the Catholic hierarchy and the congregation. 98% of Catholic women use contraception. 58% of Catholics support coverage for contraception.

    Frank Sesno was the male guest who seemed to take a less apologetic view about media ignoring Catholic concerns than the female guest, Lauren Ashburn. As noted above, Sesno focused on the disconnect between the Catholic public and the Bishops, Cardinals and Pope.

    It may have been a good cop-bad cop set up agreed to prior to the broadcast so that CNN couldn't be accused of Liberal bias in the segment.

    As noted above, Sesno focused on the disconnect between the Catholic public and the Bishops, Cardinals and Pope.
     I ran across these lines from "The Name of the Rose" at another place and decided to throw them in here.
    If a shepherd errs, he must be isolated from other shepherds, but woe unto us if the sheep begin to distrust shepherds.

    For what I saw at the abbey then (and will now recount) caused me to think that often inquisitors create heretics. And not only in the sense that they imagine heretics where these do not exist, but also that inquisitors repress the heretical putrefaction so vehemently that many are driven to share in it, in their hatred for the judges. Truly, a circle conceived by the Devil. God preserve us.


    Mrd, did he say "abortion" or "contraception". Sullivan is making the point that the whole event focused attention on contraception, more than abortion, contraception being the better war to have with Republicans, like Santorum, etc.

    Brain freeze. The discussion was about contraception. Sorry

    On Chris Matthews it was acknowledged that while the majority of Catholic women may use/have used contraception, they are taking the side of the bishops because they consider this to be an assault on their religion.

    Proves the point that hypocrisy is alive and well - women throw their own gender under the bus even as they decry the lack of support for what's perceived to be women's issues (and not restricted to healthcare).

    I wonder if there has been adequate polling done that supports Mathews' impression of Catholic women since this flare-up has occurred?

    rmrd - It wasn't CM, it was one of the female 'journalists' and she stated she had talked with many women who profess to be Catholic.  And I have read and heard this analysis elsewhere too.  

    Interesting. Kurtz had another segment that took reporters to task for dismissing Santorum as a viable candidate prior to his three recent victories. Given the inability of MSM reporters to pick up on the feelings of voters they are covering, I simply don't believe that their interviews with "female Catholics" accurately reflect most Catholic women..

    rmrd -Within the last 24 hours, I've spoken with two women who identify their religion as Catholic.  When asked, they expressed the same sentiments (both have used contraception).  

    For too many, I believe there are two constant issues at play:

    1.  If it's their personal lives/bodies they have the 'right', but won't speak out for other women's rights in this area.

    2.  The woman's socio-economic status seems to also impact their 'outlook' and actions in this matter.


    Now you know how I feel when I talk to Black Republicans :)

    Hey Auntie, and these guys all talked about all the women in DC they talked to that believe the original move by the Administration, was terrible, horrible, awful.

    When I live on the east coast in 1980, I notice a  huge difference in the way we in the West view religion and the East. On the east coast I found that you could hear a mass in Latin.. I've never run across that here. I found they were way behind the times, many Catholics at the time on the East Coast still had problems with Vatican II, so those beltway boys can talk all they want about how Catholic women think is wrong to attack the Church over this, when Catholic women around the country are appalled that the Church has once again delved into politics attempting foment some sort of religious insurrection over this issue. I hate that, they are so wrong.

    My mom, who has always been a very good Catholic, very good, was so disgusted by the child abuse scandal she quit giving money to the Church long ago, now she is so mad she actively tells women how sexist the Church is and how they no longer deserve tax exempt status because they won't stay out of politics and our bodies. My mom will be 70 this year. Those beltway boys might think they know what Catholic women think, but they really have no clue, they really need to leave DC more to get a feel for the rest of the country.

    Well done, TM, I responded to 2 aspects, and because they're not the ones you want, you dismiss my comments as "didn't bother to read my blog at all".

    I'll try to refrain in the future until I summon the recommended dose of adulation.

    And as Bob Somerby notes, Rachel Maddow from the "anti-woman", "majority male beltway media" also got it wrong - those "no exception" states did have an exception if the Catholic institutions just eliminated pharma support completely. 

    I think that Tmac gets bitchy, flighty and hysterical if she doesn't get her recommended dose of adulation.

    Was this comment really necessary?

    I made a pertinent comment, that the female representation on Sunday talk shows for this issue was considerably higher than normal, somewhat counter to the assertion of this diary.

    And that one of the most significant non-male Washington Beltway media got the facts pretty wrong as well.

    Dismissing my comments as "you didn't read my diary" was rather ostrich-like. If you'd like to try to turn that phrase into a sexist insult, have at it. Anything=everything.

    It wasn't necessary, and I should have left it alone. 

    Wait a minute PP, you made the claim that my blog wasn't good enough because I didn't talk about the correct issue,  you made the claim that Bob Somerby had it right, and the inference that I needed to discuss that, otherwise why bring up Somerby? I covered exactly how the media distorted and wrongly reported the issue, which isn't just about those 28 states, but the EEOC ruling in 2000 that made those regulations possible in those 28 states. I did leave out the 1990 supreme court decision that made that EEOC ruling possible. Not sure if Somerby did, I haven't read Somerby in a year or two. Sorry I don't know what he wrote, but I think I did just fine presenting the facts.

    So I still don't get your point.

    But you are right we women should just shut up about having all these dudes discuss and make decisions about our health care and access to contraception, because we've been given a bigger voice over the years. I know that sitting back and waiting is the legacy of civil rights and women's rights.  We wait and then the white boys in-charge give us equality when they say we can have it. I'd forgotten how this works.

    Yes when I responded to your comment it meant I only want adulation, even though I wrote about what you inferred I did not write about. Yep, just about adulation.

    Your comment is full of "everyone is sexist" venom, and I pointed out

    1) that there was much more female representation on TV than usual (3x as much over 2 years ago, not "over the years"). One would not guess this from your Think Progress statistics.

    2) that your "male Washington Beltway media" included Rachel Maddow, frequently a liberal hero, who botched the basics on this story.

    What Somerby pointed out was that despite media impressions, Catholics did have a way of getting around EEOC regulations by excluding prescription benefits.

    3) Regarding "you are right we women should just shut up", I didn't say that, and I'd prefer you didn't put nasty shit in my mouth, thanks. (And "white boys" is a nice little racist/sexist putdown, in case you don't realize)




    55 out of 146 guests were women, almost 38%?

    Do you realize the norm 2 years ago was 20 out of 148, roughly 13%?

    So they almost tripled the norm for female representation for this story.

    PP - Please advise if I am understanding your intent, that because 'they almost tripled the norm' that this a good thing, so why still be dissatisfied?


    I'm simply giving perspective - never said "be satisfied".

    It used to be that to get a female opinion you had to watch The View. My guess is that when they debated Sen. Nelson removing abortion coverage in Obamacare 2 years ago, there was little female representation on Sunday morning TV.

    Nevertheless, women are only 30% of Obama's cabinet, 17% of both houses, 12% of governors.

    Women only filled 25% of the media jobs created 1990-2005. Women make up 28% of news directors and 16% of general managers.

    A quarter of news stories are reported by women, about 25% of cable news hosts are women (all white), and fewer than 20% of Sunday talk show guests are women.

    Blasting TV for putting on 38% female guests, 2-3 times better than 2 years ago, and better than its industry average seems a bit iffy without explanation.

    Where will these female opinions come from - political & media professionals, or just anyone off the street?

    While contraception obviously affects women (and men), so does mortgage fraud and war in Afghanistan - why does our concern about equal representation on TV only rise for sexual issues?


    Women are still under-represented at all levels of government.

    • Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress. (Source)
    • Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women. (Source)
    • State Legislatures are only 24% women. (Source)
    • Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor. (Source)
    • The United States trails behind much of the world—ranking 90th in the number of women in our national legislature. (*Note: The U.S. is listed as 73rd, but after accounting for tied rankings of other countries, the ranking for the U.S. is 90th. Source)
    • On average, male cabinet appointees outnumber women cabinet appointees in our states by a ratio of 2 to 1.  (Source)
    • 50% less women than men consider of running for office. Of those, 30% less actually run, with only a fraction seeking higher office. (Lawless, Jennifer and Richard L Fox. It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005.)
    • Women constituted 54% of voters in the 2008 elections, but only 24% of state legislators. (Source)
    • Women of color represent only 4% of Congress and 23% of women Members of Congress. (Source)



    Appreciate the factual data. 

    While contraception obviously affects women (and men), so does mortgage fraud and war in Afghanistan - why does our concern about equal representation on TV only rise for sexual issues?

    Couldn't agree more.  Interesting isn't it?!?

    They say that the three words in marketing and headlines that garner the most response is FREE, SEX and SALE.  Ironic that put together or separate, they get the most attention.  Says quite a bit about our society's priorities and interests.  sigh.

    FREE SEX for SALE, an oxymoron, no? Though actually more like truth in advertising.

    Birth control is a sin, right? I mean, my bishop says so and I mostly don't believe him, but like, what if he's sort of right?

    So if I'm a Catholic woman and my birth control is free (or paid for by my insurer as part of my benefits,) then I'm not paying for my sin. Which is bad.

    But if I cover the cost of birth control out of my own pocket, then I'm paying for my sin. Literally. Which kind of evens things out.

    Honestly, I think this may be one of the thought processes that keep Catholic women from supporting free contraception, even though they use it themselves.

    Erica, I think your are exactly correct in how Catholic women might view this controversy.

    I don't know I was born and raised a Catholic, my mom too, this whole thing really pissed her off, we were skypeing the other day and she was pissed! She was one of the first women to be legally prescribed the birth control pill in 1963. If she didn't have access to that, I'd have 12 brothers and sisters. I only have one brother. So  I don't really know what Catholic women think.

    I wonder too, all the Catholic women I know are so pissed they could spit, they are really pissed that the Church has one more time delved into politics to limit our rights and privacy. So I don't know, I really don't know, I admit I live in liberal land, left coast, latte drinking (I only drink coffee) subaru/volvo driving, timberland boots wearing, microsoft/ working, rain loving nuts. So it's probably a different demographic out here. In this state there are no exemptions for religious organizations. None. No one protests this as far as I know.

    I am still laughing about the Viagra condom.. that thing would be a damn money maker!

    I think you're onto the thought process erica. I think of some Catholic women I know and it fits. And goes beyond what you say, like this:

    If they give out contraception like candy, free to anyone that wants it, that gives men the license to sleep around without guilt, which most of them really want to do. That there's nothing wrong with family planning within monogamy, but something dangerous (for women especially) about a society that doesn't put pressure everyone to be monogamous

    Betcha if the rules said "free for married women" a lot of such qualms would vanish.

    Also, I should say that I suspect more than just Catholic women think this way

    I was struck that the current Congressional GOP doesn't see a down side politically on pushing on this:

    Will Fight To Let ANY Employer Deny Birth Control

    TPMC, Feb 12

    Not satisfied with President Obama’s new religious accommodation, Republicans will move forward with legislation that permits any employer to deny contraception coverage in their health insurance plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says.

    I mean, it's not like they don't have access to polls. They're willing to give up the voters who feel strongly about this if they ever thought they might get some of those. There's probably plenty of non-right-wing people who won't be all outraged if nearly everyone has to pay for their own birth control, where birth control (or Viagara for that matter) isn't considered a standard part of health insurance.

    Maybe this gets back to the fact that many continue to fear challenges from the further right in their own primaries.

    Most probably. At the same time, there seems to be little fear that it will hurt them much to go this route to do that. Because, like I was trying to imply, it's possible that there's a lot more women (& men) out there who aren't ready to go to the barricades over birth control not being covered by health insurance. Now if you implied (like Santorum types) that you 'd like to see birth control illegal, that's barricade stuff.

    This is where I am seeing some faults in left-o-center pundit arguments--those that are sayin'-that this was a trap Obama set, women are not going to like this, they are gonna be outraged, women are going to run away from the GOP, etc. I think--naw, not if all it's about is health insurance policies not paying for birth control. All that's really doing is bringing up the "should the poor and lower income people get these or these or these free benefits?" subject, and that one is not a topic where the non-left population (the population that is a realistic target of the GOP) always agrees with the left population. Birth control is not as expensive as cancer treatment or heart bypass surgery, it's really that simple. Yeah, having an unplanned kid that you have to raise to adulthood can certainly be equally expensive or more, but most people don't think of that as uncontrollable fate.

    P.S. Most people know how inexpensive condoms are. One can easily rationalize things like: pay for all women to have more expensive forms of birth control, men quit taking any responsibility at all.

    I see what you mean. I'm not sure if it's a barricade issue in and of itself. But if Santorum were nominated, for example, it would be part of a package which would be untenable for many of what I would call business Republicans. The new PEW poll which gives O a 10 point lead over Santorum has an interesting part. On the question of the party uniting behind the eventual Republican nominee, 70% said they would do so if it was Romney and 54% said that for Santorum. This is a poll that has R & S essentially even. I'm thinking the lower number for Santorum reflects business Republicans, but that's a wild guess in line with my opinions. 

    I realize I'm coming in a little late to this thread, but I need some clarity.  A friend just recommended I read an article by Michael Novak in the National Review, which was so over-the-top insane, I could barely get through it.  It was a rant about the Obama administration and their conspiracy to destroy the separation of church and state, blah, blah, blah.

    Now, to me, the issue seems simple;  if a religious organization chooses to work in the public sector, why should they be allowed to make adherence to their religious beliefs, a condition of receiving that service?  If you provide non-religious services, and receive grants and other support from the government, don't you have to perform services in a manner which is consistent with the laws of the land, as opposed to the laws of your church? 

    Or am I missing something here?


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