Oklahoma Wants To Ban Birth Control Pill Because It ‘Poisons’ Women

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There doesn’t seem to be an end to the lengths Republicans will go to deprive women of their reproductive rights.

The Tulsa World reports:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Employers in Oklahoma could opt not to include contraceptives and abortions in employee insurance plans under a measure that secured passage by a Senate committee Thursday.

The measure, Senate Bill 452 by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee by a vote of 9-0 with no debate and now heads to the full Senate.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of state or federal law, no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees,” the bill says.

This is above and beyond the provisions already made for religious institutions like churches. With the passage of this bill, any employer may decide his female employees shouldn’t have access to birth control pills. What reason can employers give to control the personal lives of women? Whatever stupid thing they can think of:

Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher.

And what, exactly, is Pedulla’s objection to birth control pills which only prevent pregnancy as opposed to aborting one?

Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.

“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”

It’s funny, I would think that most women feel that religious fanatics like Pedulla, not birth control, are actually responsible for suppressing and disabling who they are. As for women poisoning their bodies, I wonder if Pedulla feels he should withhold his employee’s pay unless they agree not to eat fast food. As a cardiologist, surely he is aware of the damage McDonald’s and KFC inflict on our cardiovascular systems. Perhaps he should also have the right to insist his employees not worship differently than he does? I’m sure Pedulla morally objects to heathen religions.

But really, poison? Birth control pills have a number of uses aside from contraception. They can regulate a woman’s cycle and reduce the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation. They can also help with certain kinds of acne, reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well as osteoporosis. That doesn’t seem overly poisonous  On the other hand, one of the side effects of blood pressure medication on men can be an inability to get an erection. That definitely qualifies as “disabling” men and suppressing their potential to be a father. Do you suppose Pedulla is putting that on his naughty list? I’ll bet all the tea in China the answer is, “No.”

Only in Republican America can “freedom of religion” be twisted into “you will obey my religious beliefs because I have money.” And if you don’t think it’s about money, you’re fooling yourself. The Republican ideal is to give those with money as much control over their employees as possible. Up to and including how they live their lives outside of work. The goal is to dehumanize them so they won’t demand better pay or working conditions. Workers should be grateful to their lords employers and never dare to ask for more. This is especially true for female employees who have become a powerful force in the workplace; something that makes the deeply misogynistic right very nervous.

Here’s the Catch 22 that they think no one notices: First they will deprive women of the ability to not get pregnant, then they complain that giving pregnant women “privileges” like time off or a flexible schedule is “unfair” to the businesses that forced them to get pregnant in the first place. The generic and exceedingly lame answer from the right is that women just shouldn’t have sex unless they’re prepared to have children. It’s a tight little tautology that ensures women are punished for engaging in one of our most primal urges based in the overtly religious belief that women having sex for fun is a sin. By comparison, non of these fine Christian corporations seem to have problem with dispensing Viagra like candy. As the Good Book (Republican Edition) says, “Men shalt have the freedom to fornicate whenever he so pleases while women shall be condemned as whores. The Holy O was meant for man, not for woman.”

In other words: “Woman, get thee behind me and back into the kitchen!”

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