I hate it when Republican insane talking points become all a person hears about on radio and TV. But like many who will read this, I have several relationships with women – my wife, my daughters, many friends and relatives are women. This most recent controversy is truly, truly insane. But it does fold in nicely with the Republican War On Women. This war has been going on for a long while, but as the move to the fringe increases, the intensity of the war also increases.
Among the many things that make me want to puke over the whole controversy on birth control pills being covered by health insurance through a person’s place of employment is that the Catholic Church is carrying the water for the Republican Party. For some stupid reason, I was taught that churches were to keep their noses out of secular business and in turn they would not be taxed. They have never been taxed, but damn near every church in this country sticks its nose into secular business.
Considering that the Catholic Church already offers reproductive services, including pills, through health care benefits at most of their businesses (hospitals, schools, universities) and considering that most Catholic women already use or have used the pill, isn’t the Catholic Church a huge hypocrite? It is too bad that no one will even speak of repealing their tax exemptions that they seem to want to forfeit.
This week has been quite the eye opener in the Republican Party’s War On Women. The week started with the attack on Planned Parenthood by the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation led by Republican activist Karen Handel and Nancy Brinker. Attacking Planned Parenthood also attacks millions of women, especially poor women, for whom Planned Parenthood is their reproductive health provider.
Then, of course, this attack on birth control came out of the blue. Using the Catholic Church as a surrogate, which is shameful, Republicans are trying to once more control women’s reproductive health and thus keep women “under control.” Claiming this is a religious freedom question is obviously bogus, as the Catholic Church already defies that logic.
Here are the lessons I have learned from this situation:
1) Settling for the odd compromise of a health care bill is going to come back and haunt Democrats. We still need to work toward Universal Health Care and nothing less. Health Care must be severed from the work place and from insurance companies, else there will never be consistent health care in this country and it will always be open for judicial interpretation and games played by doctors, insurance companies and workplaces
2) It is about time that some politicians with guts stand up to say to the churches of this country “If you want to keep your tax exemptions keep your nose out of state affairs.” And then back it up with laws that will actually tax churches if they cross lines. Ever since the Reagan revolution decided that they could get evangelical votes by playing to the religious, the lines have become more and more blurred between church and state. If they want a voice in policy, pony up for the upkeep.
3) It is time for women, especially Republican women to stand up and say “Stop this insane war on women.” Through the years of the alliance of evangelicals and Republicans, they have shrunk available reproductive health care in state after state to the point where poor women have no access to reproductive care. This is wrong. Believe it or not, women are humans also and as such deserve to have medical services available to them and for them in a “free” country. For those who believe in “market” economics, I think one can make the case that there is a huge market for women’s reproductive services.
One thing I have fought for all my life is that my daughters be treated equally with men. For a long time the fight was for economic equality. Now that is still an issue and access to all medical care has been added.
Meanwhile, Chuck Grassley does his part in the War on Women as he helps cut funds for the Violence Against Women Act Reathorization. This act has been reauthorized by voice vote for 2 decades. But our Chuck says “No!”