“Girls” of All Ages

I’ve watched the recent insurance/contraception controversy play out with an increasing sense of unreality. The GOP attack on the HHS rules seemed so transparently political–after all, some 26 states have had similar rules for years, and somehow religiously-affiliated hospitals and universities have lived with them. I chalked it up to the same partisan frenzy that accompanies every single thing this administration tries to do.

And while I still think that’s true of the faux outrage by Boehner and Romney and many others, I have also reluctantly concluded that many of these privileged white males who want to defund Planned Parenthood and outlaw abortion also–unbelievably–want to deny women access to birth control. These advocates of “limited government” really do want to use that government to control women’s bodies. Their reaction to Obama’s masterful “compromise” strips the veneer off their argument that their concern was all about the First Amendment (a “concern” that incidentally demonstrated their lack of understanding of First Amendment jurisprudence).

The GOP argument was that requiring religiously-affiliated employers to pay for health insurance that included birth control violated the employers’ religious liberties. The Obama administration said fine, then the insurance companies will offer that coverage–free–directly to the employees. (The insurance companies have no problem with that, because birth control saves them money; abortions and live births are both far more expensive than contraception.) The religious employers don’t have to pay for the coverage; they don’t even have to tell employees it’s available-the insurance companies will. Problem solved.

Except, evidently, it isn’t solved, because those uppity women will still have access to free birth control. So the attacks–considerably less coherent, but no less furious–continue.

It is absolutely amazing that in the 21st century, there are still men–and some women–who believe women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. It seems unbelievable, but there is no other plausible explanation.

I don’t know if other women are as angry as I am about this contempt for women and our most basic rights. I think many are. My favorite bloggers, Margaret and Helen, certainly are.

All I know is that the 2012 election is increasingly shaping up as a contest between the 21st century and the 1950s, when grown women were “girls” and men made all the rules.


  1. I’m furious. I’d like to know if those presenting the moral objection currently cover men for erectile dysfunction. Certainly this would be morally objectionable without proof that they are currently married. Documentation updated quarterly?
    As a mother of four daughters I find all of this disgusting.

  2. President Obama did a masterful job of working out the problem to what should have been the satisfaction of the GOP and religions of all descriptions…it’s never going to be good enough for the GOP. As with a man, it is entirely a woman’s business (or it should be) what she does with her own body. Cancel coverage of Cialis and Viagra, too!

  3. After a few discussions with a friend who opposes women’s reproductive rights, he finally explained his real motivations –

    Premise 1 – Birth control allows unmarried women to engage in sexual activities without “consequence” (pregnancy).
    Premise 2 – Sexual activity by unmarried people is a sin.
    Conclusion – All forms of birth control must be banned.

    Whether he is typical or not I do not know, but I believe he is trying to get the government to violate the First Amendment by imposing his religious views upon the entire country.

  4. The Republican party has written off people of color, gays, and now, women. I am so angry at this current crop of Republican presidential candidates. The pill has been available for fifty years. It is beyond belief that now they are trying to control women in this way. A tsunami backlash should overwhelm these misogynists.

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