House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a Roman Catholic, refused to say whether she supported her church’s teaching that contraception is immoral.
“I do my religion on Sundays, in church, and I try to go other days of the week; I don’t do it at this press conference,” Pelosi said curtly as a reporter asked about her view of the church position on contraception.
Pelosi brushed off the organizations and church dioceses that filed suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate. “I don’t think that’s the entire Catholic Church,” she said. “Those people have a right to sue, but I dont think they’re speaking ex cathedra for the Catholic Church.”
In February, Pelosi accused the bishops of falsely using religious liberty arguments to impose their ideology on the country. “It wasn’t about church and state, it was about an ideological point of view that flies in the face, again, of the respect that we need to have to have for women, the God-given free will that we have to have responsibility for the role that women’s health plays in the lives of their families and in our country, and the strength of women,” she said.
Media darling and left-wing feminist activist Sandra Fluke is yet again in the news. She gave an interview to some CNN program called “Starting Point” that nobody watches, just like the rest of the programming on CNN but I digress. Ms. Fluke had some choice words for Republicans.
“I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift,” said Sandra Fluke.
Sandra Fluke, who rose to national prominence when she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh following her testimony in favor of increased contraception access, said Wednesday that many women personally feel “they’re under attack” from GOP policies.
“When you look at the facts, quantitatively, there have been a record number of bills in the House to limit reproductive health. … Women feel that. I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift, and not in their favor,” Fluke said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”
So once again in the mind of Sandra Fluke and other left-wing feminists, women are nothing more than vaginas and uteruses. The only issues that women care about are abortion and birth control in their minds. Something tells me that not necessarily true. Women, just like men, I’m sure care more about whether or not they will have a job in the failed Obama economy for starters. This whole “war on women” is a distraction from the real issues invented by the Democrat Party and their allies in the media and the feminist movement.
A few months ago, conservatives sought to gain politically by going after the contraceptive mandate implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This immediately became an issue of religious liberty for conservatives because it would have required religious institutions to cover contraceptives even if it was against their teachings.
Thanks to some rather nutty comments by Rick Santorum, who openly questioned the use of contraceptives, Democrats were able to spin the issue into a so-called “war on women.” The situation was exacerbated thanks to comments by Rush Limbaugh aimed at Sandra Fluke, who had argued that taxpayers should fund contraceptives. Even though Fluke’s reasoning was flawed, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize her contraceptives, Limbaugh’s comments were completely unnecessary and wrong.
The strategy was successful in the short-term, as wedge issues usually are. However, it eventually backfired on them when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, had never worked a day in her life.
Romney took to Twitter to defend herself, setting off a firestorm that caused Rosen to later apologize. The argument from conservatives is that Democrats are waging a “war on stay-at-moms,” largely silencing Democrats on the issue and swinging momentum back to Republicans — at least temporarily.
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.” ~ Groucho Marx
It truly is almost unbelievable. Our national debt is at $16 trillion and rising, with annual deficits of more than $1.5 trillion. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and at a level greater than what Greece was at when its economy collapsed. Our lauded entitlement programs are bankrupt, yet our politicians seek to expand them. Unemployment is still well above 8%, the longest such period of sustained unemployment at that level since the Great Depression. We’re barely past Valentine’s Day and gas is more than $3.50 per gallon, and expected to rise above $4, and possibly as high as $5/gallon, by summer. Iran appears the be rapidly closing in on getting a functional nuclear weapon, and has been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil supply flows. We have a president hell bent on destroying the fossil fuel industry, much like his signature achievement, ObamaCare, is crippling the health care industry.
Our own government has been selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and is now directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Mexicans and Americans, yet they act as if it were of no more import than having incorrectly filled out some government form (actually, they’d probably find that a much more grievous sin). The dollar is weak and the economy anemic, despite the trillions spent on the stimulus, auto union and Wall Street bailouts, and slush funds for the politically connected.
ObamaCare’s massive increase of government involvement in health care is already causing its share of problems. You simply cannot give government a bigger role in something so personal without creating all sorts of conflicts about what should be covered, and what should not. There are simply too many competing groups with values and needs that do not overlap. The current health care system is already a mess because of this, and further nationalization will only make it far worse.
It’s also not terribly surprising that the first major battle of this war has to do with reproductive health. During the passage of the law this was already a fierce debate. Now, the storm that is consuming much of the public discourse is regarding the coverage of contraceptives. Some argue that they should be covered under the mantle of “preventive services”, while others object to this for religious or fiscal reasons. Whether we like it or not, this is a matter of public interest now. While most libertarians and some conservatives want to eventually remove government from the issue, it is there for the foreseeable future. So it’s a debate we must have.
Over the last week, this debate has all revolved around the testimony of Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old law student at an expensive university who nonetheless found it outrageous that she and her fellow students should have to pay for their own birth control. Her statements brought up a number of issues, and, in my mind, provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the mess that government involvement in health care creates, and the entitlement mentality that has pervaded our culture. This mentality is all around us; just last week I witnessed a woman throwing a near fit at my local Rite Aid because her $9 over-the-counter allergy meds were not paid for by her insurance.
This past week in Arizona, the remaining contenders for the Republican presidential nomination gathered for the last debate before the Super Tuesday primaries. Not unexpectedly, considering the moderators of these debates tend to be members of the left-leaning national media, the questions directed at the Republican candidates were often premised on a liberal worldview. Maybe nowhere was that more obvious than in the media feeding frenzy surrounding the beliefs of former Sen. Rick Santorum regarding birth control.
As a member of the Catholic Church, Santorum adheres to the belief that abortion and even the use of birth control are immoral. The media has seized upon this as proof that, were Santorum to win the presidency, he would impose a theocracy upon America, the implication being that he would use government to block abortion and birth control to those that desire it. Mitt Romney, in a previous debate, was perplexed by the question of whether states have the right to ban birth control, correctly noting that no state was even considering such a move, so why bring it up?
While several of the candidates touched on it, this was a golden opportunity to discuss a subject of immense importance and one that too few Americans could define, much less elaborate upon…the doctrine of federalism.
Over the past few weeks there has been much discussion of the Obama Administration’s decision to mandate that even organizations associated with the Catholic Church cover contraception. This has raised the ire of many on the right, who view this mandate as an assault on religious freedom. Since the Catholic Church does not believe in using contraception, they argue, forcing them to cover it means they must violate their consciences. Leaving aside the details, one thing is clear to me - the critics of the mandate are almost without exception missing the larger point.
The contraception mandate is awful, for sure, but not because it is an “assault on religion.” It is wrong because the government has no business telling ANYONE what they must cover. The mandate would be wrong whether it was inflicted on a Catholic group, or a secular one. And to be honest, I don’t think that religion is even a major factor in the decision to establish the mandate. It is born out of a belief that there is some imaginary “right” to free health care, including contraception. That is the true abomination.
Furthermore, why is there outrage only now? Is it somehow okay to force non-Catholics to pay for other’s health care? I understand this involves an issue of great moral importance to Catholics. But is a federal mandate more wrong because it goes against a religious teaching? I say this because many, including myself, do not subscribe to a religion, or belong to one without much political clout. It is disturbing that somehow my liberty is not worth as much because I am in a minority and I don’t have groups lobbying on my behalf.
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear a case over Obamacare’s contraception mandate, a requirement on employers to provide health plans that cover emergency birth control, and its implications on religious liberty.
Hobby Lobby Stores, a craft chain with 578 stores and more than 13,000 employees, filed a lawsuit against the contraception mandate in September 2012, claiming that it violated the religious liberty of the owner and founder of the company, David Green, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).
Filings in the case — Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores — explain that Green runs his business “with religious principles in mind” and points to the company’s mission statement, which commits to “[h]onoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
The contraceptive mandate would include coverage for the morning after pill, Plan B and Ella, which Green believes is tantamount to abortion. Hobby Lobby claims that it could face fines of $475 million each year for non-compliance.
“If Hobby Lobby instead drops employee insurance altogether, it will face severe disruption to its business, significant competitive disadvantages in hiring and retaining employees, as well as penalties totaling $26 million per year,” said the brief filed by the company.
Back at the end of February and early March, Sandra Fluke came to fame thanks to very stupid comments by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Fluke appeared before a panel of Democrats who sit on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During her testimony, Fluke explained that college women cannot afford the cost of contraceptives, which she said can cost upward of $3,000 over the course of a few years and that it justifies mandates in private health insurance plans.
After Limbaugh’s comments, in which he called her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” President Barack Obama’s campaign and Democrats in Congress began playing up the so-called “war on women,” one of the more annoying, untruthful memes we’ve heard this year.
The underlying problem with Fluke’s comments is that, in her mind, someone should be forced to subsidize the behavior of others. While basking in the sun of her notoriety, Jacob Sullum explained easier options for those that couldn’t afford expensive birth control products, such as buying condoms, which are relative inexpensive, or abstinence. Sullum also noted the holes in Fluke argument, explaining, “By the same logic, religious freedom requires kosher food subsidies, freedom of speech requires taxpayer-funded computers, and the right to keep and bear arms requires government-supplied guns.”
There are days when you really must wonder if the folks over at ThinkProgress, the opinion site of the left-leaning, George Soros backed think tank Center for American Progress, actually, you know, think about what they’re writing. This recent piece on Rand Paul and contraception just shows they don’t do critical thinking very well.
Although GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has dodged questions about whether he believes the Constitution protects a woman’s right to use birth control, one of Romney’s top legal advisers is a leading opponent of the right to contraception. Robert Bork, the former federal judge who serves as co-chair of Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, described the first Supreme Court case to protect access to contraception as “utterly specious” and a “time bomb.”
In a surprising departure from conservative orthodoxy, Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) broke with Romney’s legal adviser yesterday, stating that the Constitution does indeed protect a right to birth control:
Responding to a question about her Catholic faith during a press conference yesterday, ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) weighed in on her church’s lawsuit against the ObamaCare’s contraception mandate (emphasis mine):