Multi-Millionaire GOP Rep. Diane Black: Avert Shutdown By Repealing Birth Control Coverage

birth-control-pills

Republicans really want us to think there’s no “war on women.” They do. They really, REALLY do.

In fact, despite stupid comments, bone-headed inaccuracies, insensitive statements, and stunningly idiotic legislation to the contrary (not one but TWO vaginal probes?!), ask any Republican if they believe their party has unfairly dealt with women’s issues and they’ll tell you flat out, “Hells, NO!”

Even Republican women would tell you that and some of them have been the most egregious perpetrators (don’t get me started on Michele Bachmann’s litany of inanities, Cathrynn Brown’s “rape baby” legislation, Marsha Blackburn’s rationale for voting against VAWA, or CA GOP official Celeste Greig’s regurgitation of the infamous Todd Akin rape comment (and I don’t need to repeat that, do I??). And, of course, we can’t forget the watershed moment when Sandra Fluke had the audacity to speak up for women’s reproductive rights during the hearing on the Affordable Care Act’s coverage parameters. That snippy little ‘slut’ got a good shaming not only from right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh, but a Greek chorus of GOP Mean Girls who bitchily chimed in. There was a whole lot of shame in that mess and none of it had to do with a young woman standing up for her rights and the rights of other women.


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Like so many other aspects of the “we’ll keep saying it’s true even though it’s not” GOP strategy (think, most of the 2012 campaign talking points, pretty much anything said about Barack Obama, the bulk of what comes out of Karl Rove’s mouth, and who could forget WMD?), the denial about the war on women may sound like music to the right, but to the rest of us it falls on deaf and more discerning ears. Particularly when the far right lets no opportunity slip by to attack the rights of women, usually in service to their fundamentalist religious doctrine. A most recent example?

As the dreaded sequester rolls in and cuts to government-funded services are being sliced and diced, guess which “service” a group of GOP legislators has put on the chopping block? Birth control. That’s right, BIRTH CONTROL! They have proposed “rolling back access to birth control to avert government shutdown” in a bill introduced this week. From The Hill:

GOP lawmakers reintroduced a bill Tuesday to repeal the contraception mandate. They also pressed their party’s leaders to roll back the provision as part of a continuing resolution later this month to keep the federal government operating.

“This attack on religious freedom demands immediate congressional action,” the 14 lawmakers wrote. “Nothing short of a full exemption for both nonprofit and for-profit entities will satisfy the demands of the Constitution and common sense.”

Nope, no GOP “war on women,” right? @ThinkProgress

Nope, no GOP “war on women,” right? @ThinkProgress

And they really, really think cutting birth control pills is going to “avert government shutdown”?? What, do they think these things are made of gold? And guess who’s leading this effort? A woman. That’s right. A woman shall lead them. Tennessee’s GOP Representative, Diane Black, has taken it upon her righteously indignant self to spearhead this campaign to do right both by God and government in demanding the rollback of contraceptive care in the Affordable Care Act. She and her co-conspirators see it as a convenient way to save loads of money and, at the same time, defend the religious freedom of fundamentalist Christians within the party. That’s a “killing two birds” kinda gal!

Of course, that doesn’t take into account the actual cost-saving elements of the Obamacare birth control provisions:

Obamacare’s birth control provision, which went into effect on August 1, helped eliminate the gender-based disparity in health costs by eliminating co-pays for women’s contraceptive services. Studies have proven that increasing access to cost-free birth control lowers the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion, as well as provides women with greater economic autonomy to achieve their personal financial goals. Nevertheless, right-wing Obamacare opponents misconstrue the law as a threat to religious freedom, despite the fact that it already contains an exemption for faith-based organizations that oppose covering contraception. [Source]

But why quibble with facts? This is the religious right and no one’s “righter” than them!

All joking aside, one of the clear travesties of the sequester cuts is its disproportionate impact on women, particularly in the arena of healthcare and family care. Think Progress reported in a piece titled, Five Ways The Sequester Will Harm Women, that “low-income and women of color” will be hard hit in the following ways:

1. Sequestration cuts $424 million from Head Start and Early Head Start.

2. Sequestration cuts $86 million from key women’s health programs.

3. Sequestration cuts $29 million from services for victims of domestic violence.

4. Nearly 600,000 beneficiaries would be cut from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

5. Many public-sector jobs would be lost, which disproportionately harms women.

Now, that’s a shameful list. To read the details under each category, click here.

So when anyone tries to tell you there is no GOP war on women, refer them to this story. And the hundreds of other stories out there that accurately report on the misogyny, sexual discrimination, sexist thinking, invasion of privacy both physical and emotional, and, sadly, women-on-women denigration emanating from the Republican side of the aisle. And make additional note: this is not the first time Rep. Diane Black has made it her business to tear down reproductive and healthcare rights and protections for women:

So far this session, she has also introduced a measure to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as called for an unnecessary government study to justify her continued effort to strip funding from the women’s health organization. [Source]

But Rep. Diane Black is worth more than $33M so no worries for her! @TheTennessean

But Rep. Diane Black is worth more than $33M so no worries for her! @TheTennessean

But it’s said Rep. Black and her hubby are worth more than $33 million, so no worries for her on all this Obamacare stuff. The poor women most in need of the services she’s looking to get rid of? Ah…well…

Yep. No war on women. Here’s to the sisterhood, Rep. Black.


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