February 17 2012

The GOP's Tone-Deaf Hearing

Hadley Heath

All of my young liberal friends are sharing two stories on Facebook today.  One from Jezebel: "Congressional birth control hearing involves exactly zero people who have a uterus" and one from Think Progress: "Democratic women boycott House contraception hearing after Republicans prevent women from testifying"

Oh man.  

I mean, "Oh woman."  Better stick with female pronouns so I don't upset them further.

But seriously, this is good stuff.  It fits in with the larger Leftist message that conservatives hate women and want to "wage war" on them.  

Listen, I respect lawmakers who are trying to point to the bigger picture on this mandate.  We shouldn't be having this conversation about birth control, and we wouldn't, if the Affordable Care Act hadn't given the executive branch such extensive reach into the health care decisions of millions of Americans.  But nevertheless, this hearing was in response to a mandate specifically dealing with pills exclusively taken by women.  

At IWF, we don't believe in quotas.  We don't think there needs to be exactly 50% women in every legislature, committee, school board, trustee board, whatever.  We believe people should be selected for jobs, tasks, projects, and yes, even  testimonies in Congressional hearings based on what we have to offer in terms of expertise or experience.

But the GOP should have included a woman in this panel.  In fact, by regrettably removing the only woman, this hearing only served to support the bad stereotype about this argument, that this is a conflict between (clergy) men and women.  

And there are many women who are willing to take a stand for religious freedom.  The GOP missed a great opportunity to hear from one of them.  These women want to take responsibility for themselves and not ask that the government become our Sugar Daddy.  These women understand the economics of a birth control mandate and how there is no such thing as a free lunch.  So next time the GOP has a hearing like this, here is a short list of women who should testify:

Grace-Marie Turner - president of the Galen Institute

Sally Pipes - president of Pacific Research Institute

Jennifer Marshall - director of Heritage's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society

Nina Owcharenko - director of Heritage's Center for Health Policy Studies

Or these two women who really did testify at a different hearing on the mandate.

This is not to mention any member of IWF's staff or any of our senior fellows.  That's 16 more options.

I know the young woman whose testimony was dismissed from the GOP hearing this week was near college age.  Believe it or not, there are plenty of young, single women who think this mandate is harmful, too.  I'm sure Sloane Frost (director at Students for Liberty) and Sarah Davis (director of Network of Enlighted Women) would agree.

So here we are... Available to explain the basic concepts of rights, liberty, and government any time we're called upon.  And we have uteruses, if that helps.

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