Apr 12

Just when liberal women were angrily trumpeting their bogus claim that the GOP has a ‘war on women,’ a high-profile liberal female Democrat drops a bomb on the wife of Gov. Mitt Romney.

Which The Hill reported as “a gift” to the Romney campaign. Really.

Hilary Rosen’s comments that Ann Romney had “never” worked outside the home triggered a new round in the culture wars and provided an opening for Republicans to close a gender gap between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Both parties seemed to sense that the veteran Democratic strategist’s criticism of the stay-at-home mom could be a game-changer in the fight for female voters.

Obama’s campaign sought to distance itself from Rosen, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, and Romney’s campaign put the candidate’s wife on television, where she urged Rosen to “respect” the choices of other women.

“Look, I know what it’s like to struggle,” Ann Romney said on Fox News.

“Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as much as some people have,” said Ann Romney, who has battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. “I can tell you and promise you that I have had struggles in my life.”

Ann Romney, who has emerged as a strength of her husband’s campaign, then defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling, and that’s why we’re running,” she continued.

She also defended her husband’s respect for women and his record of female advisers…

Obama has opened up a 19 percentage point lead over Romney among female voters, according to some polls, and Romney’s campaign this week has been doing everything it can to try to close the gap.

Rosen’s remarks on CNN Wednesday night, in that context, were a gift…

Rosen initially showed few signs of backing down on Thursday. On Twitter, Rosen responded to becoming part of the latest campaign controversy by tweeting, “Bring it on!” But under heavy fire from her own party, Rosen issued a statement of apology to Ann Romney later in the day.

“I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended,” Rosen said in the statement. “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

Wait. What?

Suddenly it’s a “phony war”? What a tattered web they weave…

The coverage filled news and social network communications media on this for the past 24 hours. Elizabeth Scalia nailed it well here.

There is irony in Rosen sneering that Ann Romney knows nothing about working women, while she, Rosen, supports an administration that pays its female employees less than men. But I digress.

Rosen seems to truly not get why people, especially women (both working and at-home) took offense at this. In Rosen’s shallow world, where formal credentials matter to an excessive degree, and “what you do” matters far more than the person you actually are, Rosen’s remarks were seen for the rather elitist, class-warfare cues they were, (those rich Republicans are so out of touch with the struggling proletariat) but more importantly they brought back memories of Hillary Clinton saying she wasn’t “some little woman standing by her man, baking cookies…” and of Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s wondering if Laura Bush had ever worked a “real” job and the understanding that Michelle Obama had a $300,000 a-year job created for her out of whole cloth, and then discontinued when she left for the White House.

One highly doubts that if either Bill Clinton, or John Kerry or Barack Obama had suggested he looked to his wife to get a sense of women’s economic concerns, Rosen would have for a moment thought those women lacked expertise in the realities of raising a family and earning a paycheck. And yet, Hillary Clinton, while she surely worked, had a governor’s mansion and a lot of help; she was never driving kids to soccer in a beat-up car; she probably never had to figure out how to stretch a pound of chopped meat through supper and the next day’s lunch while wondering if she had enough gas — at $4 a gallon — to get to work the next day; Teresa Heinz Kerry, of course, also had the help — the servants, cooks, chauffeurs — and Michelle Obama’s paychecks and circumstances hardly relate to the realities of most working women.

None of these women have lived the “reality” of most working mothers, any more than Mrs. Romney has. None of them.

She’s really only getting started here.

Well, excuse me, but I really must ask, how the hell does Rosen know what Ann Romney does or does not know? Does Mrs. Romney staying home mean her curiosity and intellect were drained from her, and she therefore reads nothing, explores nothing, studies nothing?

Ann Romney has at her disposal precisely the same economic records and reports that the privileged Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Kerry or Mrs. Obama would use to educate themselves on the issue, of “struggling working moms”. For all Rosen knows, Mrs. Romney has, through observation and study, become a freaking genius on the economic realities of working women, because learning is not confined to classrooms (in only the “correct” schools) and human people have the capacity to understand a great deal, and even to become wise on some issues, because they are interested and curious, and because they think.

Of course, I don’t know what Ann Romney knows or doesn’t know, either — but as a woman who preferred to give up a salary in order to stay home with her kids, even though it meant rolling coin for haircuts, I’m willing to give her a benefit of a doubt. I’m willing to actually find out what Romney knows before sneering at her.

I know Elizabeth Scalia, and she wouldn’t sneer at Ann Romney or any other woman devoted to raising her children and serving charitable organizations and countless needy while supporting her husband’s goals to serve the country no matter what she knows or doesn’t know. And that’s the point that’s so clearly at the center of this illustrative series of events.

The ‘war on women’ claim in the 2012 presidential campaign is bogus, while the real one that wages on was launched quite a while ago by the pro-abortion contraceptive culture most visibly at work in the January takedown of the Susan G. Komen foundation by Planned Parenthood over Komen’s plans to stop funding the abortion giant, and the late January announcement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs would become mandated insurance coverage as “preventive care” for women.

Elizabeth has a lot of links on that blog post worth reading. Including in the updates.

UPDATE III:

Rosen makes apologetic statement and writes: “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

If by “substance” you mean the real phony war, which is the Democrat’s utterly fabricated “GOP war on women”, then I have to say is: Dear Ms. Rosen, You guys, first!

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Feb 26

The president may have been surprised by the unusual and overwhelming unity among Catholic Americans after he issued an unprecedented threat to religious liberty most directly aimed at Catholic institutions. But he probably didn’t expect a whole movement across America to rise in solidarity with the common cause of resisting his unchecked tyranny.

Call it what it is: The Audacity of Power.

In one of the boldest, most audacious moves ever made by a President of the United States, President Barack Obama is on the brink of successfully rendering moot the very first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (emphasis added). If he forces the Catholic Church to comply with the Health and Human Services ruling to provide its employees with insurance that covers activities the Church has long held sinful — abortion via the morning after pill, sterilization and contraceptives — then the precedent is clear: when religious beliefs conflict with government decrees, religion must yield.

The story line that President Obama miscalculated in picking this fight with the Catholic Church vastly underestimates the man’s political skill and ambition. His initial approval of the ruling requiring the Church pay for abortion drugs and sterilization was but the first step in a calculated strategy to further his goal of transforming America.

President Obama chose to pick this fight with the Catholic Church by choosing to release the regulations first, and then, as he explained in last Friday’s statement to the press, spend “the next year (before the new regulations take effect) to find an equitable solution that would protect religious liberty and insure that every woman has access to the care that she needs.” The alternative would have been to find the “equitable solution” before announcing the regulations. In other words, this entire political fire storm is a set-up by the Administration.

This is an excellent article. Consider what he posed as ‘choices.’

Option A: The Church complies with the law and violates its own teachings and principles of faith. Such a choice would strip the Church of its legitimacy and make it a de facto vassal of the state. In this case, the ability of the Church to challenge the government’s political power is vastly reduced, if not completely destroyed. Faith, charity and civil society are marginalized. Government wins.

Option B: The Church as a matter of conscience refuses to obey the law, and stops offering health insurance to its employees. In this case, the Church gets crushed by hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. As a consequence, its ability to fulfill its religious mission by funding hospitals, schools and charities is sharply reduced if not destroyed. As the Church is forced to withdraw from its active role in civil society, those who believe in government will rush to fill the void. Faith, charity and civil society are marginalized. Government wins.

The risk to President Obama was the Church would create “Option C” and engage in a broad political battle to force the full repeal of the ruling or, if that fails, the defeat of President Obama in the November election followed by the repeal of ObamaCare. Under Option C, government’s power is reduced. Faith, charity and civil society win.

However…

President Obama’s political skill is demonstrated by his anticipation and preparation for just this outcome. First, he has used the issue to energize his political base by positioning his Administration as the defender of “women’s health” and attacking his opponents for taking him up on his implicit dare to make it an issue in the Presidential campaign.

Okay, stop right there. Ultimately, read the entire article, it’s so well done and incisive.

But let’s look at that claim, heard from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama, to be the defender of “women’s health”. That’s Orwellian.

Let’s be honest.

Advocates of President Obama’s contraception mandate should admit that its main purpose is sexual liberation and not “women’s health,” according to a feminist author who supports the mandate.

“The phrase ‘women’s health’ in the birth control dispute is the latest nimble euphemism,” author and blogger Pamela Haag wrote in a Feb. 17 essay published on the “Marriage 3.0” blog.

Access to contraception, she said, “isn’t really about my ‘health.’ It’s not principally about the management of ovarian cysts or the regulation of periods.”

“Birth control isn’t about my health unless by ‘health’ you mean, my capacity to get it on, to have a happy, joyous sex life that involves an actual male partner,” wrote Haag, criticizing White House supporters for discussing contraceptives mainly as “preventive services” for women’s health.

“The point of birth control is to have sex that’s recreational and non-procreative,” wrote Haag approvingly. “It’s to permit women to exercise their desires without the ‘sword of Damocles’ of unwanted pregnancy hanging gloomily over their heads.”

Just to be brutally clear.

Women are speaking up alright, and many of them against the mandate.

Despite claims that only male clergy and politicians oppose the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, Catholic women across the nation are objecting strongly to the federal rule.

In recent posts on CNA’s Catholic Womanhood page, columnists attacked the mandate from various angles – some addressed the issue of religious freedom while others questioned the validity of abortifacients, sterilization and contraception being labeled as “basic medical care” for women.

But the main remains religious liberty.

Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it: it is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.

Recent actions by the Administration have attempted to reduce this free exercise to a “privilege” arbitrarily granted by the government as a mere exemption from an allencompassing, extreme form of secularism…

In the United States, religious liberty does not depend on the benevolence of who is regulating us. It is our “first freedom” and respect for it must be broad and inclusive–not narrow and exclusive. Catholics and other people of faith and good will are not second class citizens. And it is not for the government to decide which of our ministries is “religious enough” to warrant religious freedom protection.

This is not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization–although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all. If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end?

And that’s precisely the central question drawing religious leaders and organizations into this maelstrom. It has become a coalition of the concerned, and it is growing.

The Evangelicals.

We evangelicals must stand unequivocally with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. Because when the government violates the religious liberty of one group, it threatens the religious liberty of all.

Many bishops have already declared that they will not obey this unjust law. The penalty for such a move would be severe. Catholic hospitals, universities, and other organizations would be forced to pay punitive fines ($2,000 per employee) for refusing to purchase insurance that violates the teaching of their church….

But Catholic institutions aren’t the only ones affected by this mandate. Prison Fellowship, for example, which employs 180 people, could not purchase insurance for its employees that covers abortifacients. Nor could the world’s largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families afford the fines we would incur.

 Three years ago, when we co-authored the Manhattan Declaration, we predicted that the time would come when Christians would have to face the very real prospect of civil disobedience—that we would have to choose sides: God or Caesar.

Certainly for the Catholics and for many of us evangelicals, that time is already upon us.

Lutherans have sounded the alert.

Lutherans generally have some differences with Catholics. That was the point of the Reformation. Lutherans believe that the Bible alone has the ability to determine doctrine, for instance, while the Catholic Church invests doctrinal authority in its bishops and tradition.

But on Thursday afternoon in Washington, the Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, told a panel of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives that the St. Louis-based denomination “stand(s) with our friends in the Catholic Church” in opposition to a recent government ruling on contraception.

The Missouri Synod has not traditionally embraced the notion of pluralism, at least when it comes to what the church calls “altar and pulpit fellowship.” But in an interview Friday, Harrison, who lives in Ballwin with his family, made it clear that the Missouri Synod has “large consensus with the Roman Catholic Church on moral issues.”

“The Christian church is a billion times beyond the Missouri Synod,” Harrison said. “Without the Roman Catholic Church in this country, our way would be infinitely more difficult.”

So earlier this week, when Harrison received an invitation to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he reluctantly agreed. He sat on a panel with other religious leaders and scholars, including Roman Catholic Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University in New York.

“I was minding my business three days ago,” he said, “and then I got pulled into the monkey cage.”

By the time Harrison left the cage, he would deliver a fiery indictment before lawmakers, venturing past the issue of contraception and deep into broad issues of intolerance and righteousness.

Evangelical leaders Chuck colson and Dr. Timothy George struck a nerve with their call to action.

We do not exaggerate when we say that this is the greatest threat to religious freedom in our lifetime. We cannot help but think of the words attributed to German pastor Martin Niemoeller, reflecting on the Nazi terror:

First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did
not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was
no one left to speak for me.

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Feb 21

Some audacious claims have been made in Washington lately on behalf of women. They clearly speak for Planned Parenthood and women in league with their cause. Where are all the women for whom they do not speak?

Here.

Like countless other women, we’ve been closely following the Obama administration’s attempt to compel religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in violation of their beliefs. And like countless other women, over the past several days we’ve heard House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others repeatedly ask those who oppose the contraceptive mandate, “Where are the women?”

Here we are.

Equal rights. Now pay equal attention to these voices. Because word spread like wildfire that they were being represented in a public statement.

We listened to prominent women purport to speak for us. We watched them duck the fundamental religious-liberty issues at stake. And we saw them assume that all women view cheaper contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs as unqualified goods.

In response, we circulated an open letter to a few dozen of our female friends in support of the competing voice offered by Catholic institutions on matters of sex, marriage, and family life. The letter spread, and in 72 hours we received some 750 signatures from a diverse group of women across the country, including women serving overseas. Signatures are still flooding in. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, mothers, business owners, community volunteers, scholars — women from all walks of life are proud to stand together with the Catholic Church and its invaluable witness.

I am one. My signature went on the statement in the early going, but they were so inundated with responses they could only work so fast, and decided to post it now and add on daily.

Most of us are Catholic, but some are not. We are Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Many work or have worked for a Catholic institution. We are proud to have been associated not only with the work that Catholic institutions perform in the community — particularly for the most vulnerable — but also with the shared sense of purpose found among colleagues who chose their job because, in a religious institution, a job is also a vocation.

To a woman, we are deeply troubled by the mandate’s violation of fundamental religious-liberty protections…

Those who invoke “women’s health” against those of us who disagree with forcing religious institutions or individuals to violate deeply held beliefs are more than a little mistaken — and more than a little dishonest. Even setting aside their simplistic equation of “costless” birth control with “equality” and “women’s health,” note that they have never responded to the large body of scholarly research indicating that many forms of contraception have serious side effects; or that some contraceptives destroy embryos; or that government contraceptive programs inevitably change the sex, dating, and marriage markets in ways that lead to more empty sex, more non-marital births, and more abortions. It is women who suffer disproportionately when these things happen.

No one speaks for all women on these issues. Those who purport to do so are simply attempting to deflect attention from the serious religious-liberty issues at stake. We are proud to stand with the Catholic Church and its rich, life-affirming teachings on sex, marriage, and family life. We call on President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and our representatives in Congress to respect religious voices, to respect religious liberty, and to allow religious institutions and individuals to continue to provide witness to their faiths in all their fullness.

Women speak for themselves. And many, many more are speaking up in league with them by the hour.

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Oct 02

You are wielding unchecked power, and you are out of control. Please pay heed.

A couple of months ago, HHS announced a new “preventive care” package of services for women to be included in insurance coverage that defied reason and morals. It drew plenty of outcries for review and oversight. HHS left open a window of time for “public comment” that closed at midnight September 30th.

In the waning hours of that alleged openness to reaction by American citizens and organizations and institutions, more and more voices have come out criticizing that federal department’s decision to require most health insurers to cover contraceptives, the morning-after pill, and elective sterilization.

The US Bishops Conference has been on this major campaign of awareness and initiative of engaging Congress for some months, since word got out that HHS was even considering such a move. It caught on, across the country.

How open will HHS be to the public input they got? Two thoughts…

The first is how inconsiderate they were to a broad spectrum of opinion when devising this plan to begin with. HHS did not consult the nation’s largest provider of healthcare services, which is Catholic hospitals and medical centers and institutions. The narrow group they convened foretold the conclusion.

The medical committee behind the federal government’s impending mandate that insurers cover birth control without co-pay is populated by board members of NARAL and Planned Parenthood, as well as major donors to politicians favoring legal abortion.

The pro-life organization HLI America says public records show the ideological roots of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee, which recommended virtually all private health insurers pay for FDA-approved contraception as essential “preventive care” under the new health care law, including drugs that can cause early abortions.

IOM, a non-governmental organization tapped by federal health officials to recommend the new guidelines, describes itself on its website as “provid[ing] unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers.”

That flies in the face of truth. Here’s the breakdown:

Among the 15-member IOM Committee on Preventive Services for Women are Claire Brindis, a member of the board of directors of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation; Angela Diaz, former board member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; Paula A. Johnson, Chairwoman of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and upcoming recipient of NARAL’s 2011 “Champion for Choice” award; Magda G. Peck, the former board chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs; and Alina Salganicoff, Vice President and DIrector of Women’s Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which strongly favors abortion and contraception on demand.

In fact…

Dr. Anthony Lo Sasso, the lone member of the IOM committee dissenting from the report, concurred that the findings were tainted by advocacy goals.

“Troublingly, the process tended to result in a mix of objective and subjective determinations filtered through a lens of advocacy,” he wrote. “An abiding principle in the evaluation of the evidence and the recommendations put forth as a consequence should be transparency and strict objectivity, but the committee failed to demonstrate these principles in the report.”

This is the time to right that. Which brings up the second thought:

We have ample evidence of the body and weight of public comment HHS received in the final days last week. And it’s not going to stop becoming public.

There’s a large alliance of professional organizations who issued this. Bottom line: the mandate violates the US Constitution, among other things.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center issued this letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It is exhaustively detailed, but gets to the same bottom line. The mandate is unconstitutional.

In summary, treating pregnancy as a disease that should be prevented is medically, socially, and anthropologically inaccurate and sexually biased. By treating pregnancy as a disease to be prevented one can only conclude that the treatment for such a “disease” is an abortion. Thus, the Rule is acting against the very provision in the PPACA and its legislative history, that state that abortion is not one of the “preventive services” to be included in the “services” provided. Yet the Rule clearly mandates coverage at no cost for contraceptives and sterilizations to prevent the “disease” of pregnancy, genetic screening of existing pregnancies whose ”treatment” will for some include abortion, and abortifacients which cause the termination of the newly conceived human being. These and other contraceptives are presented inaccurately as a deterrent to unplanned pregnancies, when the very data presented by the IOM to support such claims belie these claims. Empowering women to know and act with their bodies to manage their fertility in a responsible manner is the real answer to the physiological, social, and psychological problems created by a culture encouraging women to engage in unhealthy life styles. Then, forcing others to participate in and to pay for the life style choices of others, which clearly and demonstrably have been detrimental, is the utmost violation of the United States Constitution.

In the waning hours of “public comment”, Notre Dame joined the swelling chorus of voices.

President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., wrote in a Sept. 28 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the mandate places the school in the “impossible position” of having to defy Church teaching…

The mandate “would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and student health care plans in violation of the church’s social teaching,” Fr. Jenkins said.

Notre Dame joins 18 other Catholic universities and colleges, as well as the U.S. bishops and numerous other Catholic organizations that have reacted strongly against the proposition.

Like the Catholic University of America.

If we comply, as the law requires, we will be helping our students do things that we teach them, in our classes and in our sacraments, are sinful — sometimes gravely so. It seems to us that a proper respect for religious liberty would warrant an exemption for our university and other institutions like it…

It does not take a college education to see the hypocrisy in offering to pay for the very services we condemn in our theology classes and seek forgiveness for in our sacraments. It should not be the business of the federal government to force Catholic schools and other Catholic institutions into such a collective violation of our own conscientious beliefs.

The list goes on. Countless individuals wrote HHS. Like nurse Nancy Valko, a noted bioethics expert and human rights activist.

I have been an RN for 42 years and I currently work in an intensive care unit in St. Louis, Mo. I must protest the current mandate regarding women’s health and conscience rights. Conscience rights serve not only a bulwark against workplace discrimination and harassment for us health care providers but also as a protection for our patients. When we cannot refuse to participate in or even discuss practices we deem unethical, we also deprive our patients of informed choices based on comprehensive information. When health care providers become mere technicians of government mandates, we cease to be ethically grounded professionals dedicated to the welfare of our patients. Right now, the topic is abortion and contraception but the dismantling of conscience rights will inevitably extend to other areas such as assisted suicide and euthanasia. This leaves our patients vulnerable to coercion, manipulation and even death in an ever-changing health care system. I implore you to rethink this mandate.

So now what? HHS can close their window and tune out or reconsider. But the real public comment is only growing, and they cannot control that.

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Aug 03

Let’s count the ways…

So why is the federal deparment charged with the health and human services of its citizens suddenly requiring a massive implementation of an ideologically based scheme to cover birth control, sterilization and morning-after pills at great cost to insurers and taxpayers, and at a time when the federal government is in a budget crisis already?

To say this makes no sense is to state the obvious.

Go back for a moment to that AP report on the HHS announcement in the post below. The one that refers to this as a “broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law.” Let’s parse this, according to the story as it originally appeared, because it’s gone through so many revisions and renditions, it no longer says the same thing at that same link.

Here’s what the AP said Monday:

Indeed, a government study last summer found that birth control use is virtually universal in the United States, according to a government study issued last summer. More than 90 million prescriptions for contraceptives were dispensed in 2009…Generic versions of the pill are available for as little as $9 a month. Still, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Many are among women using some form of contraception, and forgetting to take the pill is a major reason.

So. It’s not a matter of availability. And there’s no need for the government to provide this form of active population control under the guise of ‘women’s health preventive services’ or some variation therof. Why does the government see a need to provide what’s already available cheaply or freely, and allegedly being used by the vast majority of women? Which, important to note, is not preventing pregnancies in a large percentage of cases.

That point came up in a debate on radio this week between bioethics nurse Nancy Valko and a Planned Parenthood director. She went on to cite statistics from the Guttmacher Report online (a research arm of Planned Parenthood).

Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently.

Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant…according to this report, cost was not a factor in not using contraceptives.

Valko went on to say “fertility is not a disease and powerful hormones are not vitamins, and many women are not aware of the sometimes life-threatening complications. She cited two cases of healthy young women hospitalized in the past year for life-threatening blood clots in their lungs. “Doctors attributed this to the pill,” she said. She went on to note the irony that women are choosing hormone-free food but don’t think about taking powerful hormones to “treat” fertility.

Furthermore

The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute (of Medicine), which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.

“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion advocate, said…

Science? What science?

Here’s some science, which another nurse concerned with women’s issues made available, since most media won’t. And Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, has plenty of science Sebelius should be aware of.

This is not health care. It’s blind ideology.

And it’s a threat to healthcare providers with religious believes and moral convictions that oppose that ideology, convictions that have long been protected by law. This new mandate requires a new law, and two congressmen co-authored one that deserves attention. The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act started in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate. This is a good time to remind elected representatives what the people do not want, and cannot afford. In more ways than one.

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Aug 01

The Department of Health and Human Services, which is taking on an Orwellian context come to think of it, has just added a new twist to healthcare law.

In the form of more mandates.

Following recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Obama administration announced this morning that insurance plans will be required to cover contraceptives, which include abortion-inducing drugs such as Plan B and Ella, as well as elective sterilizations.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a news release included the drugs as part of an essential “preventive care” package. “Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” she said.

The HHS release notes that “contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” are to be covered, while CNN notes that the preventive mandate will include sterilizations.

The mandate comes after a massive, months-long push by abortion giant Planned Parenthood to establish free birth control for American women, a campaign strongly opposed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pregnancy is not a disease, they said, and this is not “preventive health”, which Congressman Jeff Fortenberry said on my radio show Friday evening just after the House voted on the debt deal. He’s co-author of the Rights of Conscience Act, even more under threat Monday than it was on Friday.

The spin has been interesting. Early on Monday, the Associated Press carried the story at this link with the headline “Insurers must cover birth control with no copays.” I printed it at the time to use in my show prep materials, so I have the original version. It opened with this:

Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.

The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Etc., etc.

Then that same link took you to a story that morphed into this, headlined “Coverage with no copay extended to health care”. Here’s how it opened:

A half-century after the advent of the pill, the Obama administration on Monday ushered in a change in women’s health care potentially as transformative: coverage of birth control as prevention, with no copays.

Services ranging from breast pumps for new mothers to counseling on domestic violence were also included in the broad expansion of women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Since birth control is the most common drug prescribed to women, health plans should make sure it’s readily available, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Not doing it would be like not covering flu shots,” she said.

Yes, she really said that. It’s tortured logic (apply critical thinking skills to that one). Or it’s  Orwellian. Whichever is worse.

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