So, it’s been brought to my attention that yesterday’s post, while somewhat cathartic, is really little more than an angry rant. If I’m going to communicate effectively, I need to be far more articulate and discerning with both the points I’m trying to make and the language I’m using to make them, so let’s try this again, shall we?
Allow me to begin by saying that I have have been watching, with equal parts stunned bemusement and abject horror, as the manufactured hysteria over birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act has played out on my radio, television, and computer. I have been likewise bewildered at the twin facts of the preponderance of men speaking on the issue and (for me, at least) the relative silence of women.
Let’s look at the facts – not my opinions, mind you, but the facts.
It is a fact that eight of these states (mine included) do not allow an exemption from participation in these plans to religious-based employers. (go here and find the PDF titled “Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives)
It is a fact that employers have been required to do this since December of 2000, when the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that failure to provide such coverage violates the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. That law is, in turn, an amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlaws, among other things, discrimination based on gender.
It is a fact that access to family planning prevents abortion.
It is a fact that a great number of women use contraceptive medication for reasons other than birth control.
That’s a lot of facts, and those are only the ones I could come up with in the 10 minutes I’ve been sitting here.
Let’s get a couple of other things clear, because this has been an argument I’ve been hearing a lot – and from some surprising sources, as well; my employer DOES NOT PAY FOR MY INSURANCE, and neither does yours. Insurance coverage is part of our compensation package; the money for the premiums comes out of our pay, not from our employers’ accounts. My employer no more pays for my insurance than it pays for my taxes; the money for those things is simply diverted from my compensation before my paycheck is cut.
Let that trickle into your brains, please; the money that pays for YOUR insurance coverage is YOUR money. It doesn’t – or, rather, it shouldn’t – matter a bit what your employer “believes;” who you work for should not determine what kind of access you have to health care.
Let’s get another thing perfectly clear, please; this isn’t just a “woman’s” issue. The men who love women – ANY women – are deeply affected by this, as well.
I can think of no reason – none – why this should even be an issue. Can you?