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CONTRACEPTION: Who is ‘most directly affected’?

Letter by Betty M. Keller, Gig Harbor on Feb. 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm with 53 Comments »
February 15, 2012 1:16 pm

In deriding the Obama administration for the recent controversy about insurance and contraception, columnist Michael Gerson (a conservative, middle-aged male), stated that the “most directly affected” group in the U.S. had not been consulted (TNT, 2-14).

And who is that “most directly affected” group? Why, the Catholic bishops, of course.

Silly me. I would have thought it was women! To say nothing of their husbands, lovers, families, existing children, etc. But no, a group of religious, older, celibate men are more “directly affected” and should have more say in the matter. A

s a woman, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry at such opinions.

Leave a comment Comments → 53
  1. Also sad? Women whose feminist sensibilities trump everything else. Sometimes it’s not just all about you.

  2. ManuelMartini says:

    How about honesty versus feminist sensibilities? I’ll take Feminist Sensibilities for $100, Alex.

    Providence Hospital provides Group Health for employees. The coverage includes birth control and abortion services.

    Can you say “phoney issue”?

  3. frankiethomas says:

    The issue polls more favorably among the Catholic populace than the general public, go figure. they are FOR this. They were polled. Obama is not throwing himself on an ideologic sword. this polls well and works for him politically in that Romney can’t argue against hi on it (See Massachusetts) and it gives Ssantorum something to argue with Romney about (love a little Republican infighting. So blah blah blah the sabre rattling. . .

  4. And who is that “most directly affected” group? Why, the Catholic bishops, of course.

    OK…that made me laugh out loud! Thanks.

  5. islandernwly says:

    Actually, it is more about women, because its use goes far beyond what the Bishops would have a need for. And I believe she was speaking for the majority of women that use contraception for far more medical reasons then just birth control. And if its not about the majority of women please explain who it is about.

  6. drummerswidow says:

    Jon Stewart’s take on this – the “Vagina Ideologues” – was the most hilarious of all. Highly recommended for all to watch. Unless you think it’s not the least bit ODD for celibate old men to be deciding about contraceptive coverage for women.

  7. drummerswidow? Just watched “Vagina Idealogues”- hilarious! BTW If they want to call this a war on their religion, they need to take a look around because it looks more like a war on women. You are right, why are these celibate old men deciding on women’s health?

  8. ManuelMartini says:

    A not-so-funny vaginal ideologue:

    A top Republican legislative leader in Virginia described abortion as a “lifestyle convenience” during the floor debate on a controversial measure to require trans-vaginal ultrasounds before a woman can get an abortion.

    State Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) made the comment midday Tuesday as the House of Delegates took up consideration of the ultrasound bill. The bill — which then passed the House 63 to 36 — would require any woman seeking an abortion in the state to receive an ultrasound first. As an external ultrasound is not able to produce a necessary picture early in pregnancy, a trans-vaginal ultrasound would be needed to produce an image of the fetus.

    While addressing the debate, Gilbert, the House’s deputy majority leader, took to the floor to support the bill. The Shenandoah Valley lawmaker used his floor statement to describe most abortions as a “lifestyle convenience” for women. Witnesses said that Gilbert did not clarify which abortions he does not consider to be “lifestyle conveniences.”

    Yes, ladies, it is exactly what is sounds like.

  9. So sad that sozo does not get it. Some never will.

  10. Appreciate the sympathy Publico. It’s hard to be so out of step with all you enlightened, worldly folks, but I get by despite my blind adherence to a code that runs counter to that of current pop psychology.

  11. ManuelMartini says:

    In addition to Providence in Olympia:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article727121.ece

    Several New York area Catholic Hospitals have been providing birth control for up to 10 years.

    As usual, a church is lying to the people.

    Pop psychology, indeed.

  12. I’ll take Feminist Sensibilities for $100, Alex.

    Since studies show that covering contraception cost will save $100 per employee, that answer could also be under the Sound Business Practices category.

  13. johnesherman says:

    I would think the most impacted herd of people would be those who pay for insurance; it follows, add a free benefit that somebody else pays for with their increase insurance payment tomorrows forever.

  14. johnesherman says:

    Just thinking, my thoughts think—for example, wages declining, unable to afford health care from earned wages, as we race to become economical competitive with under-developed countries that have lower standards of living (wages, health care, benefits, energy available, and housing); as a result, insurance is necessary because a person’s wages unable to pay for desired health care services or pharmaceutical medications.

  15. Flanagan says:

    All this rhetoric about contraception, who’s for and who’s against, who’s gonna pay and who’s not…with no mention of rhythm, which works if you’re taught to “read” the changes in your body throughout each cycle.
    Course that requires a little will power and education. It’s a much healthier way to do business than take pills throughout your child bearing years, that are conctantly messing with your body. Duh !!!!!

  16. menopaws says:

    Today two Congresswomen walked out of a hearing where MALE religious leaders were testifying about this contraception issue. Not ONE female religious leader on the panel. This isn’t some feminist rant—women are just furious with THEIR health care needs being some political football for men to toss around and make decisions………It is insulting, it is ridiculous—–it tells me that all of this is merely an excuse—not the reason for this. Catholic women IGNORE this doctrine and use birth control. they have for years and years and years. This should be THEIR choice. A group of celibate men have NO business getting involved in this private and personal decision. Faith is NOT supposed to be used as a weapon. Jon Stewart nailed it—-we women are just fed up with our health care being controlled by men………Viagra panels please!!!! Let’s make your prescription public, okay?

  17. ManuelMartini says:

    Flanagan – the increase in offspring prior to the birth control pill is directly proportionate to the lack of information about birth control. Thanks for your example of “rhythm” to prove it.

    Let me guess, you are the male that doesn’t have to be “responsible”.

  18. with no mention of rhythm, which works if you’re taught to “read” the changes in your body throughout each cycle.</i?

    My aunt and uncle were both college-educated and extremely intelligent and, as good obedient Catholics, practice the Rhythm-method. My 13 cousins from that marriage is evidence of just how well that method works.

    btw – the Rhythm method requires the man to ignore the Leviticus-prescribed bans on being near women during the periods before and after their "uncleanliness".

  19. with no mention of rhythm, which works if you’re taught to “read” the changes in your body throughout each cycle.

    My aunt and uncle were both college-educated and extremely intelligent and, as good obedient Catholics, practice the Rhythm-method. My 13 cousins from that marriage is evidence of just how well that method works.

    btw – the Rhythm method requires the man to ignore the Leviticus-prescribed bans on being near women during the periods before and after their “uncleanliness”.

  20. sorry about the double-post…….at least I was able to stop the all italics from the first one…..

  21. whitecap says:

    Ms. Keller…you have missed the point of the criticism of Obama and the insurance issue. It’s very simple. It’s a constitutional issue. I don’t personally agree with the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control but it’s not a matter of whether I agree with them or not. It’s a matter of religious liberty. The Church has taken a stance against birth control from whenever birth control came on the scene. This is not some flippant recent thing for them. The question is does the government have a right to force the Church to violate its beliefs? I think constitutional scholars and in fact, the Obama administration (in an after-the-fact fashion) would say no. And lest we think this is just something the Catholic Church is opposed to, in the most recent testimony before Congress that I’ve seen, there was of course a representative of the Catholic Church, but there were also representatives of the Baptists, the Lutherans, Judaism, and two college professors all supporting the Church’s position. Constitutional rights cannot be determined simply by whether most people agree with them or not and the protection of constitutional rights is sometimes burdensome. But consider the alternative.

  22. menopaws? You are so right! What is it with this war on women? We have this birth control issue with all these religious men, then Santorum’s comment regarding “rape babies”, and also Liz Trotta’s comments regarding women basically asking to be raped in the military because they are there around men and that’s what happens?! Newsflash… WE DON’T NEED SOME PATERNAL ENTITY WAGGING THEIR FINGERS AT US! And Flanagan? If the rhythm method worked so well, there wouldn’t have been the need for other forms of contraception. Please keep in mind the insanity regarding contraception because NOWHERE in this debate with these holy psycho men is there mention about medical insurance covering MALE VASECTOMIES!

  23. sandblower says:

    Whitecap wrote: “The question is does the government have a right to force the Church to violate its beliefs?”

    Religious freedom is not absolute and this is a good example of why. When beliefs negatively impact a person’s health, the line is drawn. I think good arguments can be made in that regard and I find it difficult to believe intelligent people would find otherwise.

  24. ManuelMartini says:

    “Whitecap wrote: “The question is does the government have a right to force the Church to violate its beliefs?”

    First, let’s make sure that the church is being honest about their “beliefs”. When they are already providing birth control coverage to employees, I’d say the “belief” isn’t the issue.

    Second, let’s examine the belief. What if the belief is partnering up female children with male adults for the purpose of “marriage” or sexual partners (Waco, for example)? Do we want to ignore that in lieu of “The First Amendment” (I doubt that was the line of thinking from the founders of our country)

    Third, the “belief” is that young adults cannot date or socially mix interracially. That would be a violation of the civil rights laws made in the 1960s. Now do we want to regress on civil rights, all for the sake of a minority of the population believing that their version of a great fairy in the sky doesn’t want race mixing? (makes note to self – avoid reference to Nazi Germany)

  25. ManuelMartini says:

    “I don’t personally agree with the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control but it’s not a matter of whether I agree with them or not. It’s a matter of religious liberty. The Church has taken a stance against birth control from whenever birth control came on the scene.”

    FALSE PREMISE.

    The Catholic Church is already providing birth control coverage to employees of their businesses.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article727121.ece

  26. whitecap says:

    sandblower: You find it “difficult to believe intelligent people would find otherwise”? Believe it. Now I would agree with you if you said intelligent people might disagree on this issue.

    MM..as to the hypothetical “beliefs” you cite, please do 10-15 minutes of research on free exercise cases and you’ll see why your examples are silly.
    MM… here’s a portion of the article you linked:

    “‘In many cases, there was no other choice but to comply under protest,” said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York Conference of Catholic Bishops. ‘None of it is voluntary. It is all under duress.’

    To sidestep contraception coverage, Catholic institutions in New York would have to drop prescription drug coverage altogether — an even more untenable alternative, Poust said. ‘That goes against our deeply held beliefs as well,’ he said. ‘What we’ve been living with for the past 10 years is now what the Obama administration is seeking to foist on the national population.’

    The (New York)Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal brought by the New York Catholic groups, which argued their case on the same religious liberty grounds that bishops are currently using in a highly public campaign against the new federal requirement on birth control coverage.”

    But you see MM, they way you presented it, they ware WILLINGLY providing the contraceptive coverage. Obviously not the case. At least be honest.

  27. whitecap says:

    Frida and Menopaws…you are having a very emotional response to this issue and in doing so have castigated the “religious men” who have represented the Catholic Church as some kind of evil bent on doing harm to womens’ health. Let me challenge you: name one other institution in world history that has done more to improve the health of men, women, and children worldwide than the Catholic Church. Name one. You make it sound as though if the Church has its way on this, birth control will be a thing of the past for women who work for Church organizations. Didn’t you listen to Obama’s speech?

  28. ManuelKardini is the one who is promoting a FALSE PREMISE when he posts this HALF-TRUTH in his 12:20 PM comment:

    “The Catholic Church is already providing birth control coverage to employees of their businesses.”

    ManuelKardini would have you believe that the Catholic churches, described in this one and only news article he cites from buffalonews.com (of Buffalo, New York) are providing birth control/contraception voluntarily.

    Below are a couple clips from the article ManuelKardini has posted and reposted over and over again on various blogs.

    PLEASE READ these paragraphs yourself (and the entire article at the link below if you want the entire context).

    PLEASE NOTE the use of the words “under protest”, “under duress”, “violating the law” “result in penalties and fines,”.

    TITLE: “Catholic institutions here cover birth control”

    “In Western New York, that means prominent Catholic institutions such as Baker Victory Services, Catholic Charities of Buffalo and St. Bonaventure University have been providing prescription birth control coverage for employees for nearly a decade.”

    “In many cases, there was no other choice but to comply under protest,” said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York Conference of Catholic Bishops. “None of it is voluntary. It is all under duress.”

    — and —

    “Catholic Charities of Buffalo officials declined to be interviewed for this article. But in a prepared statement, the agency said it complies “under protest” with the state law and includes coverage of contraceptive drugs or devices in its health plan for 493 employees.”

    “To not comply would be violating the law and could result in penalties and fines,” it said. “When this state law was approved in 2002, it received very little attention or public opposition. The Obama administration’s recent decision to mandate even broader coverage at the national level shines new light on not only state law but the more fundamental issue of religious freedom and liberty.”

    http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article727121.ece

    Does any of THAT sound like any Catholic Church is doing this voluntarily? No, they are being FORCED to by New York state government, and that’s precisely what was wrong with the initial HHS Rule that President Obama compromised and revised.

    IN FULL DISCLOSURE, so you know exactly where I am coming from on this issue, I will state again that I am personally Pro-Life, but I am also Pro-Choice.

    I don’t believe in abortion, and I have issues with some forms of birth control, but I also DO NOT believe I have the right to force my beliefs on sozo, menopause, Frida, or any woman, or any other person for that matter. Each person has a right to her (or his) own beliefs on this issue, and a right to make a choice for herself (or himself).

    Conversely, the federal government, state governments or any other government body in The U.S. does NOT have the right or legal authority to force the Catholic Church, or any other church to violate it’s core beliefs with this issue. This is a First Amendment issue. This is why I firmly believe President Obama and HHS changed their initial rules to the compromise.

    Now that the Fed has compromised, it may be possible for the churches to go back to the state courts and reach a similar compromise so that women still have the same rights to choice and access to resources without having to force religious organizations to violate their beliefs.

    I don’t know what the Catholic Bishops problem is with the Obama Compromise, and I really feel they should back-off and be satisfied with the new rule, as they can use it as a precedent to implement the same compromise in the states, and specifically New York state as cited it the article that ManuelKardini falsely represented over and over as if it were voluntary Catholic compliance, which is it most certainly NOT.

    WHO IS MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED by this issue? The answer is obviously American women. But, the religious community is also affected, and that’s why The Obama Compromise was needed and why it works, because it addresses the concerns of both America’s women and churches.

  29. whitecap, Sorry for the extra-long comment. I do recall your advice from the other topic, but this time I felt I needed to be specific and detailed so my words could not be easily twisted.

  30. whitecap says:

    muckibr…In spite of your best intentions, you know when MM gets ahold of anything he disagrees with, it will either be twisted, distorted, misstated, misrepresented, red herring-ed, “disproved” by some lousy hypothetical or countered by a false analogy (or what he thinks passes for an analogy). If not any of those, his response will be simple fiction. I think people who tend to side with his position would agree with me there.

  31. aislander says:

    This “controversy” is a manufactured wedge issue for the political benefit of the Obama re-election campaign and NOT about contraception, which is free (or at least cheap) and readily available.

    The controversy, such as it is, is about the First Amendment and the boundaries of federal interference with religion.

    The “compromise” of forcing the insurers (who are paid by employers) to pay is merely “mandate laundering”: making an illegitimate coercion seem legitimate so that it gives spineless politicians a plausible, if flawed at its core, reason for supporting the outrage.

  32. Whitecap: Great take on MM, i couldn’t agree more.

  33. ManuelMartini says:

    The Hospitals are providing birth control as per the laws of their state.

    What’s so complicated about that?

    Providence Hospital in Olympia is providing Group Health as an option to their employees. Group Health provides birth control pills and abortion as part of their basic care Why doesn’t Providence complain about that? Could it be their partnership with Group Health as the hospital in Southwest Washington, since GHC doesn’t have a hospital except in Seattle? I wonder how much money Providence makes by being GHC’s hospital of record in SW Washington?

    This didn’t take take 18 paragraphs and several personal insults directed at commenters on this thread. It just took an honest look at the laws and who must comply – AND – a partnership that is 100% VOLUNTARY.

    If the Catholic Church doesn’t want to follow the laws of the state where they do business, they can opt out of business. Isn’t that what the Conservatives say? “You have a choice”?

  34. ManuelMartini says:

    Darlin – someone commented, in reponse to one of your comments:

    “Darlin, you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about”.

    I agree with them, completely.

  35. ManuelMartini says:

    “This “controversy” is a manufactured wedge issue for the political benefit of the Obama re-election campaign and NOT about contraception, which is free (or at least cheap) and readily available.”

    Funny. Since the conservatives have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar (see the list of Republicans that endorse the birth control mandate since 2000) http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-gop-contraceptives-20120216,0,3392996.story … now they are going to blame Obama for what they were caught trying to do – make ANOTHER social wedge issue.

    Remember when McCain/Palin had the opportunity to run on the economy? Nothing has changed since 2008. The GOP still can’t talk economy with the American people because the American people KNOW who screwed up. Guns, gays and God.

    You can only lie so long.

  36. aislander says:

    ManuelMartini wrote: “I agree with them, completely.”

    So…it was a collaborative comment? I thought this was a forum for individuals to post…

    Did you mean to write, “I agree with him..?

  37. ManuelMartini says:

    “In Western New York, that means prominent Catholic institutions such as Baker Victory Services, Catholic Charities of Buffalo and St. Bonaventure University have been providing prescription birth control coverage for employees for nearly a decade.”

    Under duress for a decade.

    Oh please……give me a break. When do the Catholic Hospitals become….what’s the term?..oh yeah….PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for their actions?

  38. ManuelMartini says:

    aislander – did you change from “word of the day” to Ms Grammar?

    Maybe more than one person agreed.

    I guess you have nothing to offer on your ridiculous statement about the Obama Campaign so your now going to raise your level of discourse to personal insults?

    Nice to have you back. I’ve been missing the “personal insult when cornered on an issue” technique of yours.

  39. aislander says:

    Conservatives can be wrong (we are human, after all), but not nearly so often as lefties are.

    As for who screwed up the economy, I can state unequivocally that our nation would not be in the financial straits it now inhabits if the Federal government had observed its constitutional limitations.

    And conservative are the only ones advocating for THAT…

  40. aislander says:

  41. ManuelMartini says:

    oh geez….”you’re” instead of “your”….

    Since we are not going to discuss the issue, I’d better watch my typos.

    I think if you are going to continue this line of insults, I’m just going to have to not post for awhile….:::sigh:::::

    :::::lays back on feinting sofa looking forelorn and distressed:::::

  42. aislander says:

    Closed the stupid italics, I hope…

  43. aislander says:

    Hypersensitive much? I was just asking…

  44. aislander says:

    …and that would be “…lies back on fainting sofa…” Feinting is what I used to do when I fenced. And I think that would be a “couch,” although in most contexts you would get points for using “sofa.” Much more upper, don’t you know…

  45. ManuelMartini says:

    you built fences?

  46. aislander says:

    Ah! Sinistra v gauche–tasty!

  47. aislander – if you are going to get the thread stuck on italics, at least do it with a post that isn’t just a grammar/spelling police comment.

  48. aislander says:

    beerBoy: If you are going to criticize me for the italics in a grammar/spelling-police post, at least make sure it WAS a grammar/spelling-police post…

  49. Just to repeat, because I got way too long winded in my previous comment, and this was at the very end of it…

    WHO IS MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED by this issue? The answer is obviously American women. But, the religious community is also affected, and that’s why The Obama Compromise was needed and why it works, because it addresses the concerns of both America’s women and churches.

  50. CuzEyewanna says:

    There is no affect to the religious community. That is a ruse

  51. mea culpa – I missed the actual culprit and connected the previous two.

  52. There is plenty of affect to the religious community, however the insurance contraception coverage has no effect upon them.

  53. aislander says:

    That was a very affecting comment, beerBoy, and, perhaps, affected. However, I don’t believe it has much effect on this discussion…

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