February 21 2012
Charlotte has a great piece today about the effort to make contraception a political issue in the 2012 presidential election. It astounds me that the feminist left thinks that educated women can be so easily manipulated regarding Obamacare’s birth control mandate. Since when does having “access” to a good or service mean that that good or service must be provided “free of charge”?
Here are a couple examples on how absurd their rhetoric has become:
National Reproductive Action League President Nancy Keenan
“We will fight to make sure that women can get birth-control coverage without asking their bosses for permission.”
Umm. . . what? Who’s asking their boss for permission for birth control coverage? Many birth control measures (condoms, spermicidal agents. etc.) are inexpensive and sold over-the-counter at drugstores and even grocery stores. The only “permission” one needs to get to purchase birth control is a prescription for contraceptive pills, patches, rings, or shots. Planned Parenthood even makes it their mission to provide these services free or at low cost to women—and they certainly aren’t asking for any permission slips.
National Organization of Women President Terry O’Neill:
“A woman who cannot control her reproductive life, who cannot plan her own family, is unable to contribute to the community on her own terms, and moreover is at the mercy of men and the state… [t]hat's why we must get out the word that opponents of birth control coverage are opponents of birth control, period.”
A woman does not automatically become pregnant due to the absence of birth control pills in her system. It is sexual intercourse between a man and a woman during the woman’s fertile phase in her cycle that leads to pregnancy. If a woman has to pay out of pocket for contraception, she does not relinquish control over her reproductive life to “the mercy of men and the state.” (Oddly, Ms. O’Neill advocates that in order to be protected from the state, women must inject the state into their lives).
More from Ms. O’Neill:
“Thus, a religiously affiliated employer's first amendment rights must be weighed against. . .the increasingly recognized international human right to unfettered access to basic health care (and birth control is obviously basic health care for women).”
This speaks to the fundamental misconception on the left about what constitutes a “right.” The rights enumerated in the Constitution protect an individual liberty against government action. It tells the government what it cannot do, not what government must do.
There is no right to health care. The federal government cannot force individuals to perform work as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or drug company manufacturers in order to provide you with said health care. Ms. O’Neill and her fellow travelers are arguing for a new entitlement (a legislative guarantee of access to benefits) and trying to disguise it as a fundamental “human right,” which it clearly is not.
Let’s focus on what this birth control debate is really about: NARAL, NOW, and their comrades on Left, believe that women deserve to be free of any out-of-pocket costs for any abortion, contraceptive, or sterilization services they choose to consume.
These people seek to mandate that the rest of us pay for it under penalty of federal law. And they are using lies and inflammatory rhetoric to insinuate that anyone against such a mandate wants to (a) take control over women’s personal decisions, (b) seek to outlaw all birth control methods, or (c) wants to return to the good old days where women were barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
As Ms. O’Neill makes it clear, the Left is deliberately trying to confuse the debate over birth control coverage with birth control availability in an effort to frame any dissenting viewpoint as an “attack on women.”
That is undeniably false.
I am against all mandates under Obamacare not for religious reasons, but because it is unconstitutional for the federal government to force individuals to buy a product or service—be it health insurance or birth control coverage—that they do not wish to purchase.
The fact is, it is not my responsibility, nor an employer's, nor a religious institution's, nor anyone else's (save, perhaps, the sexual partner) to provide free-of-charge contraception to a sexually active woman.
Women are capable of paying for their own makeup, clothes, shoes, salon services, and toiletries. If you choose to have sex, and you choose to use birth control to reduce your likelihood of getting pregnant, more power to you.
But use your own money to buy your own birth control.
Women won’t be fooled by NOW and NARAL into relinquishing constitutional rights in exchange for $30 worth of birth control pills every month. We aren’t that cheap.