Do an Internet search on the phrase “war on women” and you won’t be directed to articles dealing with China’s mandatory child limit, or Islam’s hijab requirements, or even to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and the Salem witch trials.
Instead, you will find articles and websites devoted to the idea that the 2012 “war on women” is now solely and exclusively about birth control: women need it, men possess it, wanna fight about it?
To hear the proponents of government-mandated health care talk, you would think that “war” has broken out because men — in the meme of the hour usually old, religious, white men — want to prevent women everywhere from using birth control (“contraception” sounds so much more health need-ish) and seek to impose their will on women everywhere by legislating it out of existence.
Curiously, birth control could not be legislated out of existence entirely — even should the old, religious, white codgers want to — because the two most effective forms of birth control (consider the human claims to divine power even that phrase entails!) are sex within a marriage relationship and abstinence. In that context, we might consider the strategy of the gun-rights lobby, when it spins the counter-argument with the philosophically-loaded slogan “Gun control is hitting what you aim at.”
But the inconvenient truth about the matter is that no one is attempting or even suggesting that birth control be made unavailable.
Let me say that again: no one is attempting or suggesting that birth control be made unavailable. The issue is who will be required to pay for it.
Inherent in this brouhaha is the matter of force. Those who characterize their opponents as waging “war” on women suppose that women are being forced to not use contraception. But that is a blatant falsehood that the majority of media is happy to perpetuate.
It is Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled Congress that forced government healthcare on the nation, arguing that “we must pass it to know what is in it.” It is Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services who forced employers to provide coverage of birth control in health insurance policies. It is President Obama whose “compromise” was to force insurance companies to provide those same coverages, all the while continuing to force religious employers to pay for it.
Who, as they say, is forcing whom?
If it strains credulity that those who are doing the forcing accuse others of using the force, consider the sort of statements made by a prominent representative of this strategy. On March 1, 2012 before House panel, Kathleen Sebelius said:
“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception.” … “Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”
Here is the sort of philosophy being forced upon the American people, and the transparently twisted logic that is used to support it. In Sebelius’ world — which she and the Obama administration would force the rest of us to occupy — fewer humans is a good thing. And, fewer humans is a good thing both because fewer humans saves us money, and also because fewer humans means that the populace can disregard the church’s teaching on sexual morality without suffering the natural outcome of procreation.
What is the most astounding about Sebelius’ comments is that birth control is a benefit “for women and for their children.” What children? Should Sebelius, Obama, Pelosi and the rest of those alleging a “war on women” have their way, they will have succeeded in preventing the existence of the very children they claim that their birth control mandate benefits.
American citizens are being forced to pay for the birth control of students. Religious organizations are being forced to provide a service and a product that their tenets explicitly forbid.
Liberty for religious people is attacked. Liberty for all is threatened.