To my lady friends, re the Issa hearing

You’ve been punked by the Huffington Post and Planned Parenthood.

They showed you a picture of an all-male panel. That panel was all clergy, of various faiths…which, for various doctrinal and historical reasons, is a male-heavy profession. There was a second panel, after the Democrats walked out, which contained 2 women, one of whom was a doctor.

Still, you say, how do men have a right to tell me whether I can use birth control? Well, they weren’t discussing birth control; they were discussing freedom of conscience. Nobody is talking about restricting access to contraception. It’s an absolute non-starter, politically. If there were enough women interested in making contraception illegal to do so, they wouldn’t be using it, and thus there wouldn’t be an issue worth making laws about. And single men aren’t going to get behind such a law, because contraception makes it possible for them to use you (and vice-versa). Not to mention that there’s a mess of caselaw in the way, and such an attempt would be swatted down faster than you can say Griswold v. Connecticut. However, lying and saying it’s about your rights was a good way to fire up the base, wasn’t it?

Me, I’m pro-choice on everything short of murder. It is your body, after all, so it’s up to you to decide what to put in it: raw milk, cocaine, hormone pills, penises, tobacco, food supplements, Oreos deep-fried in peroxidized fat…it’s all fine by me. I’m even a squish about things like the IUD and the morning after pill that are technically abortifacients but do their thing at or near the time of conception. I wouldn’t use them, but I’m not into your business enough to say that you can’t.

But I’m a little mystified by this notion that you have a “right” to free contraception, and that if you can’t get it free, your rights are being violated. How did you ever survive that violation of rights over the past umpteen millennia?  Yes, you have a natural right to pick leaves off the contraception bush and eat them. (Apparently the ancient Greeks had such a bush, which is now extinct.) But you don’t have a natural right to force me to be a contraception-bush farmer. I’m a 2nd-Amendment fundamentalist; does that mean I have a right to free ammunition, or that I have a right to force Mennonites and other pacifists to buy it for me? Of course not!

And I also don’t understand why (actually I do understand why, but it’s not an explanation you’ll accept) it’s the Catholics who have to finance other peoples’ sins. Where is the outrage over the Amish and Christian Science exemptions in Obamacare? Why is nobody outraged over the Amish not having to pay Social Security tax if they work for other Amish? They might work for English later, or change their minds and take the dole…it’s patently unfair. How come they have their own schools? What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their exemptions. Why is it that a Wiccan coven can run a church in a residential neighborhood in violation of zoning laws? Why are you so wrapped up in the plight of a few people who can buy their own birth control or quit working for a Catholic employer? It’s not like we’re draftees in our employment, though the current job market makes it seem so at times.

I’m told that the personal is political, or the political is personal, or however it goes. So, ladies… since I and folks like me are the people who fund Catholic institutions…tell me, why must I buy you an abortion? Don’t deal in generalities; get specific. Better still, come to my place and take my stuff and sell it to buy abortions for poor women;  put your bodies where your mouths are.

ADDENDUM: More details on the circus.

One Response to To my lady friends, re the Issa hearing

  1. jeffrey smith says:

    First off, you’re looking at it from the wrong angle.
    The Church is not arguing against the right to free contraception.
    The Church is arguing (more precisely, demanding) the right to run hospitals and schools on a different basis from every other hospital and school. Everyone else is mandated to pay for contraception. The Church wants special treatment, and is throwing a tantrum because they’re not getting it. So the question is–do employees of Catholic institutions have or not have the right to be treated by the law in the same way as employees of non Catholic institutions.

    I agree with you on the false idea of a right to contraception. If the Church were in arguing against that “right” in general, and demanding that the mandate be struck down in toto, or at least that every employer be allowed to opt out, I’d be in whole hearted support. But as far as I can see, they’re only demanding it for themselves, and not fighting the contraception mandate’s imposition on every employer in general. And of course they’re fighting for it with a topic that most people think the Church is wrong on, and most people think is no more the Church’s business than the governments.

    Did you ever fish those EEOC URLs out of the spam filter? –which goes to the question of timing and whether this has a good deal to do with anti-Obama politics, as opposed to something the Church should have started fighting under Bush 41 or even Clinton.

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