Having crapped all over abortion rights, the Thugs are taking the next logical step. They are going after birth control.
Last year was not a great one for abortion rights. First, congressional Republicans attempted to deny statutory rape victims access to Medicaid-funded abortions (twice). Then GOP-dominated state legislatures pushed record numbers of laws limiting abortion rights, including proposals that could have treated killing abortion providers as "justifiable homicide."
Yet in the past six months, social conservatives have widened their offensive, and their new target is clear: Not satisfied with making it harder to obtain legal abortions, they want to limit access to birth control, too.
"Contraception is under attack in a way it really wasn't in the past few years," says Judy Waxman, the vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center. "In 2004, we could not find any group—the National Right to Life Committee, the Bush campaign, anyone—that would go on the record to say they're opposed to birth control," adds Elizabeth Shipp, the political director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We couldn't find them in 2006 either, and in 2008 it was just fringe groups. In 2010, 2011, and this year, it's just exploded."
The current issue is whether employers, including Catlick universities and hospitals, must include prescription birth control in employees' health insurance without a co-pay. It's a matter of religious freedom, you see, despite the fact that 99% of Merkin women -- and 98% of Merkin Catlick women use contraception.
Amanda Marcotte nails it:
No matter what, this fight needs to be rubbed in anti-choice noses. They revealed that they're anti-sex, not pro-fetus. #neverforget— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) February 10, 2012
Make no mistake, Canadians, if we give the misogynists a centimetre on abortion rights, this is the metre they'll claim next.
UPDATE: Obama did not cave to foot-stamping bishops and misogynist thugs. White House officials are not calling this a compromise, but rather an 'accommodation'.
Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman's insurance company "will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge. The religious institutions will not have to pay for it."
Immediate reaction on Twitter: relief, disappointment that treating contraception separately is stigmatizing, and in this tweep's view well-played by Obama.
Basically, Obama got the GOP to come out hard against birth control, then yanked the rug out from under them.
As commenter k'in says: PUNKED!
By the way, the average Merkin woman will save about $600 a year under this plan.