Archive for contraceptives

SCOTUS rules for Freedom of Tyranny


women's rights vote 2014 scotus decision freedom of religion

Freedom, freedom, freedom schmeedom. The concept is losing its meaning, especially in light of the Supreme Court's warped perception of the word. My reaction to their ruling on contraception and "freedom" of religion is still hampered by my inability to respond with anything but sputtering noises and involuntary twitches, bursts of banging my head against the wall, and convulsing into tears of outrage. Freedom my ass. What about our freedom to not have your damned religion shoved up our atheist and/or non-Christian hineys?  Bam! And that was just a hiccup. I'm shutting up now.

By the way, conservatives, how's that outreach thing going for ya these days?

Anyway, instead of ranting, which would be nothing more than stream-of-consciousness outbursts at this point, I'll leave it to the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, despite evidence to the contrary, our voices still matter. The Times headline for this batch of letters is, notably, "Don't want more Hobby Lobby decisions? Then don't elect conservative presidents":

The U.S. Supreme Court's distressingly improvident 5-4 decisions in this year's religious rights cases should surprise no one. They are the price we have paid for suffering disproportionate conservative appointments to the high court from 1980 to 2008, when Republicans occupied the White House for 20 of those 28 years. ("Supreme Court, citing religious liberty, limits contraceptive coverage in Obamacare," June 30)

All who despair over the Supreme Court's unseemly bowing to religious zealots — especially when certain faiths' tenets are allowed to trump enlightened medical care — should remember this in 2016: If a Republican is elected our next president, look for the court's conservative judicial activism to endure far beyond his or her term of office.

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades


I am losing confidence in our system of three branches of government. Two of them seem no longer to be working for us.

The Supreme Court increasingly seems to be operating as a political body, rendering decisions that make questionable judicial sense unless one happens to be a corporation that has taken on "person" status or a religious group that wishes to impose its specific beliefs on its employees. These decisions are becoming more questionable as our do-nothing Congress functions less like an elected body responsible to the people and more like a robot body created and manipulated by wealthy donors.

As long as our lethargic electorate keeps reelecting these legislators, our president is left to act alone and the court decides in an increasingly predictable way, we will see the continued eroding of our beloved constitutional form of government.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar


If there's a silver lining to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, it's that the decision will energize progressive voters to flood the polls for the foreseeable future as well as fuel boycotts against businesses that use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

Jerry Weil, Seal Beach


Will someone please explain to me how forcing your religious beliefs on others, who may or may not agree, is freedom of religion? Sounds more like tyranny to me.

Barbara Buckner, Laguna Niguel


Paul Ryan: Use #GOPshutdown, debt ceiling as leverage to deny women access to birth control


ryan ugh this guy

Back in February, we posted that the Obama administration clarified the contraception mandate to accommodate religious groups.

Then in September, Politico reported this:

The chamber further adopted a “conscience clause” that postpones until 2015 an Obamacare requirement that employers cover birth control as part of their health-insurance packages.

Yes, House Republicans did that, even though over half of the electorate are women. It was one more attempt to hold our government-- and the world economy-- hostage making a ridiculous laundry list of demands, including a “conscience clause.”

It is now October, and Paul Ryan (R-WI) has come out from under his rock. He said this in a private meeting with House Republicans, via WaPo:

Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.

According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Think Progress put it this way: "Republicans in the lower chamber are still hoping to use the talks as “leverage” to limit women’s access to contraception."

The War on Women continues.

Hey GOP, how's that "outreach" thing workin' for ya?


“How Can a Woman be Anti-Woman? The Ultimate Girl on Girl”


oh, you nasty pin up girl

My former student and dear pal Lucia Fasano has submitted another post for your consideration. You can also see Lucia in my BLUNT VIDEO: Not Guilty– The George Zimmerman Verdict.

This is Lucia's fourth contribution to TPC. Her first was "Oregon festival empowers girls, promotes Planned Parenthood, anti-domestic & sexual violence groups, more." Next came "If I have to endure being followed in a store, racism isn't over" and Bashar al-Assad: Our first truly Internet-era foe.

Please link over and read what this involved twenty-year-old has been writing.

After getting wind of the House GOP's latest attempt to hold our government-- and the world economy-- hostage making a ridiculous laundry list of demands, including a “conscience clause,” she once again felt compelled to use her voice here at TPC.


The chamber further adopted a “conscience clause” that postpones until 2015 an Obamacare requirement that employers cover birth control as part of their health-insurance packages.

Yes, House Republicans did that, even though over half of the electorate are women.

Here is Lucia's latest:

How Can a Woman be Anti-Woman? The Ultimate Girl on Girl
By Lucia Fasano (@lucia_fasano)

A question I get asked often is, “How can legislation be anti-women if some women support it? Like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin or Texas Rep. Jodie Laubenberg?” Well, anything a woman supports isn’t inherently feminist (Women's rights advocacy on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men).

It's easy to be a woman and still be anti-woman. It's easy to be a woman and speak/vote from a place of privilege (such as you don't have ovarian cysts, you don't have to scrounge pennies for doctors appointments, you don't have unwanted sexual assault, you're in a higher social class, you have a light period, you are unable to have children anymore, you already have children, you have a family that would support an unwanted child and not beat you, etc etc etc) and deny other people basic healthcare.

Just like it's easy to vote on a war you're not going to fight.

Just like it's easy to vote against gay marriage when you're not gay.

Feminism isn’t about sisterhood, it’s about personhood regardless of gender identity (not the personhood of corporations or fetuses). Feminism is Rep. Jodie Laubenberg being able to say that rape kits are a form of abortion, and fellow constituents being able to say she’s absolutely wrong-- not because she’s a woman.. but because she’s an idiot.

But we wonder why a woman or an educated man would support legislation that is absolutely medieval. Some of my friends wonder if they know about the benefits, like the medicinal power of contraceptive pills, or that family planning prevents unwanted pregnancies/abortions.

Some politicians do and ignore it, and some fundamentally don’t understand-- charged by ideological judgment.

It all comes down to this: Every intricacy of the GOP's constant bombarding of anti-women agenda is steeped in the hatred or self-hate and shaming of women.

It is steeped in religion, the political science of manipulation and social hegemony, steeped in sexism and misogyny, social constructs and ideals of purity, in the mind-washing and manipulation of the sexually repressed, absolutely entrenched in rape culture, anti-science, un-empathetic, bigoted and fearful of the poor, minorities, or 'deviants'.

It goes so deep. Some GOP politicians only fit a few of those categories, some fit the whole bill. Some are just ignorant and really think they're doing god's work.

But it's mostly about control, and it’s been a long time coming.

But hey, what do I know. My idea of a 'conscience clause' would be tearing up all people with no conscience for women's basic health care and rights with my CONSCIENCE CLAWS.


Obama administration clarifies contraception mandate to accommodate religious groups


birth control gum

contraceptive mandate catholic league Igor Volsky tweetLink

Igor Volsky sounds encouraged. Here's a quick news brief, via HuffPo:

Faced with nearly 50 lawsuits by employers with religious objections, the Obama administration announced on Friday new details of the contraception coverage rule that clarify which employers will be exempt from having to cover contraception costs for their employees.

The new rules announced on Friday eliminate some confusion over which organizations qualify for the exemption by requiring employers with religious objections to self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission. Religiously affiliated organizations that choose to insure themselves would instruct their "third-party administrator" to provide coverage through separate individual health insurance policies so that they do not have to pay for services to which they morally object. [...]

The courts have largely dismissed those cases because non-profits with religious objections were given a one-year grace period to comply with the birth control coverage rule. [...]

Reproductive rights advocates said on Friday that they are still pleased with the details of the contraception rule.

More, via an L.A. Times email alert:

The Obama administration plans to announce a broader opt-out for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control, according to reports today.

The administration will allow religious nonprofits to offer coverage that does not include contraception. In such cases, a third-party issuer will handle all business related to providing birth-control coverage for women, according to a source familiar with the changes who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.