Foster Friess, a billionaire backer of Rick Santorum, a Republican candidate, was on Andrea Mitchell’s program on MSNBC yesterday complaining about today’s high-cost contraception; he was also promoting cheaper contraceptive means. He stated on the show: “On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
Aspirin in between the women’s knees as contraception, is this guy serious or what?
I think I got it now. The plan of the Republicans is basically to take this country back to the medical Dark Ages. At a time when we are talking about serious breakthroughs in the science of medicine, these guys are talking about inserting Bayer aspirin in between women’s knees as contraception.
How did we get to this debate shift today where, instead of debating how to fix this economy, we are talking about abortion, contraception and religious freedom?
Last year, as part of the health care reform law the president signed, it was required of all insurance plans to cover preventive care at no cost to the insured. When it comes to women’s health, however, the concept of “coverage of preventive care” does incorporate coverage of contraceptive services, including birth control.
While the president was making sure that women’s contraceptive needs are covered in the health care reform law, he realized that another principle -religious liberty -was being compromised. So he came out last week to rectify that so he could guarantee the inalienability of this constitutional principle of religious liberty we hold so dearly in this country. How did he rectify it?
The compromise the president has reached with the religious institutions and charities is that women will still have access to preventive care at no cost to them, which includes contraceptive services, no matter who their employers are. However, if a woman’s employer is a charity or an institution that objects on religious grounds to the provision of contraceptive cervices as part of their health plan, the president makes it clear that, under the new rule, the insurance company, not the charity or religious institution, will be required to offer free-of-charge contraceptive services to that employee.
Last I checked, we’re living in a democracy in this country, not a theocracy. Therefore, whatever one’s religious views on contraception for women are, these views must not be forced upon others as not everyone may share them.
So we need to be very careful as we are following this debate over religious freedom, abortion and contraception to make sure that we don’t get distracted from the real issues affecting lives in this country and, as a result, let these republicans take us to the medical Dark Ages.