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Assisted Reproduction

Republicans Double Down On Contraception Policy

Forrest Gump famously lamented “stupid is as stupid does” and it seems as if Republicans are attempting to prove his theory. Infuriated at the contraception compromise announced by the White House last week, Republicans have blindly decided to double down and proceed with legislation proposed by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that will allow any employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plan. That’s right. Any employer can deny birth control in their health plan.

Recall that the initial objection to the HHS mandate was that it was an improper intrusion by the government into matters of religious freedom. This argument was made with a straight face notwithstanding the fact that 98% of Catholic women already use birth control (either for family planning or medical reasons unrelated to birth control). Now it seems that the ultimate agenda is to impose their own religious beliefs on the rest of us as a first step towards eroding all reproductive choice. Today, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren called out her rival, incumbent Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), on this issue:

“I am shocked that Senator Brown jumped in to support such an extreme measure,” Warren told The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent in an interview. “This is an all new attack on health care. Any insurance company could leave anyone without health care, just when they need it most.”

“This is an extreme attack on every one of us,” Warren added. “It opens the door to outright discrimination. It would let insurance companies and corporations cut off pregnant women, overweight guys, older Americans, or anyone — because some executive claims it’s part of his moral code. Maybe that wouldn’t happen, but I don’t want to take the chance.”

I hope these candidates continue to tack to the right in an effort to pander to the conservative base of the Republican party and the 2% of women who do not use contraception. In so doing, they will certainly lose a majority of the 98% who have no moral objection to the use of birth control.


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