Monday, 13 February 2012

Contraception and the Culture War

Since Obama made his contraception rule 'adjustment' on Friday, there have been further developments.

The wannabe xian martyrs worked themselves into a righteous snit shrieking about 'war on religion', 'war on religious freedom', yadayada. Others called Obama a dictator. There were many raucous rounds of 'pregnancy isn't a disease, birth control isn't health care'. People flinging the word 'entitlement' around. Men -- presumably, some at least not 100% celibate or 100% gay -- were whining about fairness. And, of course, that old reliable saw 'Pay for your slutty sex yourselves, you slutty sluts!'

Our own Max Pointy couldn't resist. (Check the comments for a taste of the idiocy.)

In other words, the usual reaction to anything having to do with sex, women, and/or pregnancy and religion.

And then the Republicans fell into Obama's cunning trap. They doubled down in their opposition to accessible contraception.

Not only did they go there, they are now supporting an amendment that would allow women's employers to decide what kind of health care coverage they get.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is putting his weight behind Sen. Roy Blunt's amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would allow employers to deny coverage not just for contraception but for any treatment or any condition they claimed was contrary to their religious beliefs.

So, we go from a bunch of old guys in dresses, to a bunch of old guys in Washington, to one's own employer telling women what they can and can't do with their lady-parts.

Well-played, ReThugs! We now have you out in the open as anti-sex, anti-women, anti-healthcare, pro-employers' and -oldguysindresses' religious rights.

On a subject so uncontroversial even the political deadheads have woken up.

Like me, Andrew Sullivan is chortling.
As for politics, the Republican fusion with the Vatican is also, it seems to me, a terrible mistake for the party. Obama’s greatest skill is in getting his opponents to overreach and self-destruct. And this issue could not be more tailor-made to benefit the candidate with real potential pull with far-right-wing Catholics and evangelicals: Santorum. If the GOP really makes this issue central in the next month or so, Santorum (whose campaign claims to have raised $2.2 million in the two days following his victories last week) is by far the likeliest candidate to benefit. It could finally unite the Christian fundamentalist right behind him—especially since Romneycare contained exactly the same provisions on contraception that Obamacare did before last week’s compromise was announced. That’s right: Romneycare can now accurately be portrayed as falling to the left of Obamacare on the contraception issue. This could very well be the issue that finally galvanizes the religious right, especially in the South. Imagine how Santorum could use that on Super Tuesday. In fact, it could be the issue that wins him the nomination. And do you really think that would hurt Obama in the fall?

Um. I rather think not, Andrew.

And this morning, more fun stuff! Two of the five female Republican senators have broken with their party and announced that they are in favour of Obama's contraception rule.

Andrew thinks that this could be the end of the so-called culture wars. That may be waaay too much to hope for, but I think it's going to signal the end of the ReThuglican party in its current virulently misogynistic form.


Alison said...

Only two of the pathetically few Republican female senators broke ranks? WTF is wrong with the others? And do the males not have wives, daughters and daughters-in-law who use contraceptives? These are the same people who were having fits over "government bureaucrats" coming between a patient and, presumably, his doctor. Woman, well not so much. It's legislators and the Catholic Church between a female patient and her doctor. Never mind that there are conditions for which oral contraceptives are the only way to control the symptoms. Endometriosis anyone? Ladies, wake up and vote these bums out.

Wendy said...

There's another Janet with an interesting take on contraception:



Even if you disagree, you'll find it's the most concise and full explanation of why the Catholic Church is the only one to still oppose contraception.

fern hill said...

Clickable link.

Warning: Very long. Didn't read all of it. Just enough to get the Vatican Talibanishness of it.

But thanks, Wendy. My co-bloggers might want to eviscerate that.

fern hill said...

It appears that the link doesn't work. I guess DJ!'s guardian angel/bot doesn't like it. Copy and paste if you want to read.

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