Women can’t be trusted (Updated)

The GOP has shown me the light. Women just can’t be trusted with their own reproductive rights. If we let women chose, they may choose to get an education. They may choose to join the work force. They may or may not choose to stay home. We can’t have all that choice. We need to decide what’s best for women.

From RM Blog:

Following up on an earlier item, here was the witness table at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as discussion about contraception access and health care got underway.

You’ll notice, of course, that all of the witnesses are men. What you can’t tell from the photo is that the second panel will feature four more men, and the combined total of the nine witnesses will include no women, no experts on contraception, no experts on health care, and no experts who might say something Republicans disagree with.

As ThinkProgress noted, this proved to be a bit too much for some of the Democratic woman on the committee. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked a sensible question under the circumstances: “Where are the women? When I look at this panel, I don’t see one, single woman representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need coverage for basic preventive health care services.”

As the farce hearing progressed, nearly all of the Democratic women on the committee left the room in protest.

There is one Republican woman on the committee, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), who has not expressed concerns about the one-sided nature of the hearing.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who rejected the one witness Democrats asked to participate, claimed this morning that the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and a progressive voice, had been invited to participate, and would have provided balance to the hearing (balance, in this case, would mean nine conservatives and one liberal). (more…)

Why do we need women on this panel? Seriously, shouldn’t it be the other way around? The panel should be 100% women. Men should have no say. NONE. A women’s husband, lover, significant one should only be included in the conversation if the woman wants to include him. That’s my two cents. What’s yours?

Update: This is Sandra Fluke. She clearly hits the nail on the head.

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21 Responses

  1. That is a lie. Women can still choose. But that does mean religious groups have to fund them directly or through insurance. Apparently freedom to choose now means others who morally object have no choice but to pay for them. And guess what? Just as many women oppose abortion as do they support them. If the prochoicers truly believe in their own rhetoric of keep rosary out of ovaries then don’t drag religion into footing the bill. If they believe it is issue of privacy where others have no say don’t force the issue on the public making others paid for them. This is not a matter of not trusting women to make a choice with the mandate. It is hatred for religious folks in not letting them and their organizations make a choice.

  2. And if men should have no say then those feminists should call for repeal of child support laws.

  3. Here’s my point if you are an individual, then you can do whatever you want from a religious standpoint. No sex. No baby. Free sex. Whatever. If you are business and you hire without discrimination. If you are a business then you have agreed to conduct or business under the laws of the United States. You’ve agreed not to discriminate based on sex, gender, race or sexual orientation.

    Do the same religious organizations pay for vasectomies? Do they pay for Viagra and other drugs like it? The answer is most of them actually do. So the question isn’t really religious freedom. The question is the ability to discriminate against women.

    Thanks for your comments.

  4. Sound like yesterday’s rhetoric. Has HHS mandated Viagra? They have mandated vasectomies. The Catholic Church has opposed sterilization for men and women. No inconsistency here.
    Here are the real issues. What is your constitutional right of some women and men to force their neighbors to subsidized their birth control or Viagra?  What is their constitutional right to force their employers to buy their birth control or Viagra. What is the constitutional right of the government to force businesses to give away their products for free (Obama’s accomadation).
    The issue isn’t contraception or Viagra but freedom.  The current controversy present presents a burning question that demands answers.
    WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY?
    Could the government force people to buy policies for breast implants, lap bands, nicotine patches, in vitro fertilization, sexual reassignment surgery, etc? Could the government force people to buy memberships to health clubs?
    One can be certain that there are more mandates to come, especially after November. Obamacare is an unlimited power grab by unelected bureaucrats, a blank check for Washington.
    People that sacrifice security for freedom shall have neither in the end.

  5. My friend, you have horribly misunderstood what Obamacare is about. I’m sorry. I don’t think that there is anything that I can say or do to convince you that individuals are more important than corporations even religious corporations.

    Thanks for your comments.

  6. My good friend – Obama care is a weak attempt at trying to provide health care, universal healthcare to the American people. In years past, we could sit down and discuss this measure at length over nice scotch. Unfortunately, it’s been way too long since we’ve been able to do that. Way too long.

    We could discuss the individual rights of Americans. I could stand here and tell you that as an individual in the United States whether you are black, white, Catholic or Protestant this measure gives you, as a female, unprecedented access to contraception that you didn’t have before. It should be obvious that nowhere in this measure will individual females be forced to take contraception if they don’t want to. From a religious standpoint, this should decrease abortion on demand. This should make many people, including myself, extremely happy.

    Unfortunately, this measure has been painted, in conservative circles, as an attack on religion and government overreach. Not freedom for women. An attack on religion. The fact that many in the Catholic Church disagree with the church’s stance on contraception is not germane. The fact that many Catholic businesses already provide contraceptive care to their employees seems to be a moot point. This whole debate has centered around forcing Catholic businesses to do something that these businesses don’t do. I’m not sure why this debate has not centered around other religions who don’t believe in healthcare. Should these religions be forced to provide health care to employees?

    the fact that 98% of Catholic women of childbearing age have rejected the church’s doctrine on contraception somehow is not germane to this conversation. The fact that almost all Catholic women have rejected this doctrine should cause everyone to step back and reevaluate but unfortunately, it hasn’t. The fact that many people have read the exact same Bible and don’t see any mandate for or against contraception has also been overlooked in this discussion. Basically, the Catholic Church has taken a stance and come hell or high water they’re not going to budge. 

    So, should the Obama administration try to provide a basic health need to all women? My answer is yes. Should we be able to let individual businesses decide whether they will cover this or that – I don’t think so.

    Of course, the real mandate, the real effort should not be forcing businesses to do anything with healthcare. Businesses should get out of the business of healthcare. Universal healthcare needs be provided to all Americans.

    Thanks much for your comments.

  7. Drinks sound good. Guess I’ll just settle for a beer by the
    laptop. Let me address 3 themes that seem to run throughout this debate.  The first is “freedom for women” Sounds good
    politically but why not proclaim freedom for men?  I would guess that male sterilization is also
    included.

    More importantly, I think you and I have a different
    understanding of freedom. The freedom for women that you praise is a the
    government  forcing  some citizens to directly  or indirectly pay for  stuff for other people. The folks receiving
    the free stuff can get the stuff free elsewhere . I missed the right to free
    stuff in the Constitution. Maybe if we really want our second amendment
    freedom, Obama should provide free handguns.

    Moreover, many of those getting the free stuff can easily
    pay for it themselves.  In a time when we
    will need some fiscal restraint, how sane is it to force a struggling self-employed
    street vendor to pay higher insurance so millionaire entertainer can get free birth
    control?  This is a bureaucratic sledge
    hammer.

    Anyway, the freedom seems quite lopsided. No co-pay for pills
    but co-pay for pregnancy and hospitalization cost.  If free reproductive stuff determines freedom,
    then what about free artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization?

  8. ECT : “a basic health need to all women”

    As I said, sterilization for men is included.  Are vasectomies a medical necessity  for any man. For some women oral contraceptives
    may be medically recommended but they aren’t a necessity. Oral contraceptives, sterilization
    and abortifacients   is not a “need”  for “all” women.

    Fertility is not a disability. Pregnancy is not a disease
    and children aren’t cancers. For most women,  the decision about when or if to have children
    is a life style issue, a very important choice but not a medical imperative.

  9. ECT: I’m not sure why
    this debate has not centered around other religions who don’t believe in
    healthcare. Should these religions be forced to provide health care to
    employees?

    I don’t know of any religion that doesn’t believe in
    healthcare, maybe Christian Science.  If
    a disbelief in sickness and therefore medical healing is still central to Christian
    Science, then I don’t think that they should be forced  provide coverage.  Such beliefs are usually not a secret and I
    would not expect them to change for me.

    You’re right, the debate isn’t about contraception.  Whether or not Catholics use contraception is
    not relevant to the issue of institutional freedom and certainly not relevant
    to individuals forced to by coverage against their conscience.

    The issues are the freedom of religious institutions to practice
    their faith which means  governing  themselves 
    especially as regard to faith and morals and the respect of conscience
    for individuals.  

  10. My friend, you’re starting to worry me a little bit. From you, I can always depend upon a thoughtful and clever comment. Sure, it has a conservative slant, which I’ve come to expect, but it is always firmly rooted in logic. This time, not so much.

    First of all, as you know, women between the ages of 16 and 54 (approximately) much of their health really revolves around their reproductive health. If you think that vasectomies are something that men are clamoring for in order to prevent or decrease unwanted pregnancies and yet, these men do not have access to vasectomies, I’m all for a government program that not only increases vasectomies but also makes it more affordable or even free for men. Somehow, I think if this proposal was pushed by the Obama administration it would be met with laughter.

    If you look back over the last 50 or 60 years, the one thing that has really helped women has been their ability to control when and if they want children. The statistics are very clear. Early pregnancy is associated with a decrease in education. It is also associated with a decrease in social economic status. This means increased income over their lifetime. You know the stats just as well as I do. Now, this does scream for a two-pronged approach. This should be more than simply education. They should also reinforce the wisdom of abstinence until women are ready. I don’t think that this is an unreasonable approach. But I also understand that young women and men get into situations in which willpower can be easily broken. In my opinion, women should be given the tools to be able make a responsible decision. A couple nights of passion should not condemn someone to working at McDonald’s the rest of their lives. Yes, the night of passion was irresponsible. I agree and freely admit this. The key to this debate is to give women open and honest information. To let women be able make a decision before that night of passion. They must understand that abstinence only has been shown in multiple studies to lead to the invariable – oops.

    One of the central arguments in your discussion is the fact that some people in our society are being forced, against their will to pay for things they don’t want. I guess my argument is twofold. First of all, in United States many of us pay for services that other Americans use and we don’t want. In my opinion, the best example would be the military. There are millions of Americans who object to our militarization both on ethical grounds and the religious grounds. Yet, taxes to go to the Pentagon nonetheless. Conservatives, more and more, have come to hate the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and the IRS to name a few of the government services that we all pay for yet some of us violently object to them. So to answer some Americans to pay for contraception doesn’t seem to be that far out or outlandish. Secondly, let’s actually look at the data. How much healthcare does an otherwise healthy 21-year-old female require? For the most part, it’s almost nothing. So the $100-$200 that a 21-year-old female would be paying into her health insurance policy would more than cover her contraception needs. No cost shifting at all.

    There is no bureaucratic sledgehammer. There is no forcing you to pay for things that you don’t want or need.

    Finally, health insurance is all about cost shifting. The whole basis of the health insurance industry is to get those who don’t require a whole lot of healthcare to pay for those who require a ton of healthcare. The gamble of the health insurance industry is that over the long run you will end up paying more into the system and you will take out of the system. For 90% of Americans, this is 100% sure.

    Thanks for your discussion.

  11. I mentioned vasectomies because I thought that they may be included in the mandate. Apparently the issue is not entirely clear. Another possible surprise,  from Kaiser Health News:

    “The insurers’ letter from September says they interpreted the rule to include only female-based contraception and that the requirement to waive co-payments “does not apply to methods and procedures intended for males.”
    But Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group, says the language is unclear, and it would be foolish to exclude vasectomies. For one thing, he says, they are less expensive and pose a lower risk of complications than female surgical sterilization methods. Plus, he says, waiving co-payments for services for one sex but not the other raises issues of discrimination.”

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/February/27/five-questions-health-law-mandate-birth-control.aspx?p=1

    If Obamacare becomes a race to see who can get the most stuff then I wouldn’t be surprised to see advocates for free vasectomies.

  12. Your argument contradicts itself. First, you make an elaborate analogy about how we are forced to pay for the military and then state:

    “There is no forcing you to pay for things that you don’t want or need.”

    Huh? 

    So, why do they call it a mandate? Why are there penalties?  A 50 year old  self employed businessman will be force to buy a policy that subsidizes other peoples contraceptive cost. That’s the mandate. The mandate is only going to expand to include services that most peple don’t want or need. Consider how in other countires public medicine has been used to pay for in vitro fertilization and sexual reassignment surgery.  The Affordable Healthcare Act is a blank check.

    As for the military analogy it fails because:1. Providing protection against external and internal threat is a basic function of government 2. Military and police protection are  classic public goods  that are shared by all the citizens. So, when Hitler was defeated in WWII or Osama was killed, all American benefitted even the pacifist and the antiwar activist.3. The healthcare mandates is a direct  wealth transfer from one group of private citizens to another group of private citizens.4. Finally, we don’t force conscientious objectors to participate in fighting or involve them in  buying  the guns and giving the guns to the soldiers

  13. I appreciate your engagement on this. It is clear that this is a subject that you feel extremely passionate about.

    My argument does not contradict itself. Simply because you’ve picked out two sentences which were not even in the same paragraph does not mean that my argument contradicts itself. As I recall, I presented multiple different thoughts in my previous answer. One of them had to do with the military. I stated that there are many Americans who object to the military on both moral (religious) and philosophical grounds. The fact that you dismiss their objections because there are some perceived overall benefits this not dismiss the fact that some Americans vehemently oppose the military. I am positive that I could sit here and tell you the same general health benefit that would apply to all Americans by having a decrease in unwanted pregnancies by having some national contraceptive program. I’m sure that you dismiss that argument just as I’m dismissing yours. The basic function of government is open to debate. As a matter fact, that’s a lot of what this debate is about. I think one could argue that providing protection against internal an extra all threats can be done in multiple different ways without our direct military involvement. I would suggest that Sweden’s government takes its position and its role in protecting its citizens extremely seriously yet they’re not involved in external conflicts (militarily). As far as your third argument that healthcare mandates a direct wealth transfer, I think he can make the same argument for the military. Many of those who oppose the military look at it as a direct transfer from one private citizen to those in the military-industrial complex like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Halliburton. They look at the military as a means to siphon money out of their pockets and directly transfer it to political cronies who sit in these companies as executives and on their Board of Directors. To dismiss this argument as completely nonvalid would be exactly the same as my dismissing your argument.

    I just reread your fourth argument. I truly don’t understand. What do you mean that we don’t force conscientious objectors? We jail them. Off the top of your head, you can think of at least four or five people who were jailed in the 1960s for objecting to the draft. Mohamed Ali comes to mind.

    For me, the bottom line is we need to remove private business from the health insurance business. Let private business do what they do best – their business. They spent an ungodly amount of time and money trying to manage their healthcare costs which have little to do with improving health care to their employees.

    There is much more but I’m going to run and hit some golfballs before the rain hits us here in Asheville. 

  14. ECT: “As far as your third argument that healthcare mandates
    a direct wealth transfer, I think he can make the same argument for the
    military.”

    **********

     Many of those who
    oppose the military look at it as a direct transfer from one private citizen to
    those in the military-industrial complex like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing
    and Halliburton. They look at the military as a means to siphon money out of
    their pockets and directly transfer it to political cronies who sit in these
    companies as executives and on their Board of Directors. To dismiss this
    argument as completely nonvalid would be exactly the same as my dismissing your
    argument.

     

    The comparison fails
    because Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and the others provide a service or product
    in return for the money they receive.

    What product or
    service do we get from those receiving subsidize or free contraception ?

     

  15. ECT: “As far as your third argument that healthcare mandates a direct wealth transfer, I think he can make the same argument for the military.
     Many of those who oppose the military look at it as a direct transfer from one private citizen to those in the military-industrial complex like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Halliburton. They look at the military as a means to siphon money out of their pockets and directly transfer it to political cronies who sit in these companies as executives and on their Board of Directors. To dismiss this argument as completely nonvalid would be exactly the same as my dismissing your argument.”********
    The comparison fails because Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and the others provide a service or product in return for the money they receive.

    What product or service do we get from those receiving subsidize or free contraception ?

  16. ECT: “ I am positive that I could sit here and tell you the same general health benefit that would apply to all Americans by having a decrease in unwanted pregnancies by having some national contraceptive program. “**********

    Really? Explain how someone who is not sexually active would be healthier by paying for someone else’s oral contraceptives  or condoms or vasectomies.  Does paying for someone else’s sex lower your cholesterol?

  17. ECT: “I think one could argue that providing protection against internal an extra all threats can be done in multiple different ways without our direct military involvement. I would suggest that Sweden’s government takes its position and its role in protecting its citizens extremely seriously yet they’re not involved in external conflicts (militarily). “*********

    1. Sweden does have a military that contributes forces to the EU and NATO
    2. We’re not Sweden. Could we have responded to Germany and Japan without the use of military force?
    3. Is there a country that does not maintain some military and police forces?

  18. ECT: “I stated that there are many Americans who object to the military on both moral (religious) and philosophical grounds. The fact that you dismiss their objections because there are some perceived overall benefits this not dismiss the fact that some Americans vehemently oppose the military.”*********

    I think that the defeat of Nazism or the death of Bin Laden speaks for itself.  The point is not so much whether or not a specific military action is beneficial, but whether the benefit is a non public good or public good.  From Wikipedia.

    “In economics, a public good is a good that is non-rival and non-excludable. Non-rivalry means that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce availability of the good for consumption by others; and non-excludability means that no one can be effectively excluded from using the good.”

    The chief benefit of a military or police force  is protection of the public.

    Is protection a public good? Yes.

    Even though we (not necessarily you and I ) may disagree on the need for protection we all more or less equally benefit from the protection.  Protection provided by the military cannot be limited to only select citizens or the rich.
     
    On the other hand, oral contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients are rivalrous and definitely excludable . We can’t share the pill.

  19. 5. I forgot the most significant difference between your military analogy and the mandates.  It’s easy to get too deep in the weeds.

    The military isn’t a private company.

    There is a radical  difference between   the government spending tax money versus the government  dictating how YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY in the private sector.

    There’s a radical difference between the government paying private contractors for services versus the government forcing you to contract with private businesses. If the government can tax you and then tell you how to spend your leftover money, what’s left of freedom?

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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