Monday, January 23, 2012

In move guaranteed to piss off the Religious Right, the Obama administration will NOT allow religiously affiliated employers to deny full birth control coverage to their female employees.

Courtesy of the Huffington Post:

In a long-anticipated decision that will affect millions of women's ability to pay for contraception, the Obama administration announced on Friday that it would not allow religiously affiliated employers such as universities and hospitals to deny full birth control coverage to the women they employ. 

Under the new rule, set forth by the Affordable Care Act, most women employed in the U.S. will have the cost of their birth control covered with no co-pay. Churches and other places of worship would continue to be exempt from having to cover contraception for their employees if they morally object to the practice, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but all other organizations will have a year to comply with the new requirement, regardless of whether or not they are religiously affiliated. 

Some women's rights groups and Democratic women in Congress had begun to lose enthusiasm for President Obama after the controversial decision by HHS to limit access to the morning-after pill. Many of them recently expressed deep concern that he would cave to the powerful Catholic bishop lobby on the birth control issue, but they were pleasantly surprised with his administration's decision on Friday. 

"I am glad that the Obama Administration has taken the sensible path here," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told HuffPost. "By keeping these provisions strong, the administration is ensuring that millions of women will have access to affordable birth control. That's good news for them and for the health of our entire country." "The bishops pulled out all the stops in their campaign against women’s access to contraception," said Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. "The Obama administration stood with those who support religious liberty and believe in giving women the freedom of conscience to make their own reproductive health decisions." 

The religious organizations that have been lobbying the White House for months to expand the so-called "conscience clause" were deeply upset by the decision, arguing that it includes coverage of the morning-after pill, which they believe causes abortions.

President Obama is making a very courageous choice this close to the 2012 election to stand up for women's rights, as well as to reduce the number of abortions in this country.

Access to sex education and affordable birth control keep abortions down, NOT shaming women into carrying an unwanted child to term!

The religious right are going to come after him hard for this decision and smear him from one side of the country to the other, you can count on it.

In order to understand just how important it is to help President Obama win reelection all you have to do is imagine how this newly acquired access will fair under  President Romney, or President Gingrich, or, heaven forbid, President Santorum.

If that does not give you nightmares then nothing will.


  1. Anonymous3:04 AM

    How could any organization be against birth control . This is so ridiculous. A woman has the right to control how many children she has.

  2. Anonymous3:05 AM

    What's the big deal if no one is having sex? It's not an issue..

  3. Anonymous3:07 AM

    This is all about white babies, they don't want white women to control births, or get abortions.. Trust me, they don't care if women of color use birth control, or get abortions.

  4. sharon28533:18 AM

    the pushback from this decision will not deter our country from
    electing President Obama for a 3nd term.

    I'm glad he took a stand because we need him to be strong and committed to fighting for seperation of church and state.

    The extreme far right wingnuts have done enough damage. I just want this election to be over and make the insanity stop with the repubs candidates. What a group of hypocrites and liars.

  5. Between this and the rejection of the pipeline, progressives should be feeling encouraged by our president. Hopefully, they'll support him in November, rather than stay home and pout, thus ensuring the win of whichever freak the republicans put on their ticket.

  6. Anonymous3:52 AM

    Offering it is not the same as requiring them to use it. Religious leaders try to control their members' behavior every step of the way. Didn't the members chose to join your flock? Why don't you trust what they do out of your sight?

    Seems that the religious leaders are like an abusive/controlling spouse - monitoring and controlling every aspect of their lives.

  7. Anonymous3:57 AM

    Are religious organizations a Super Duper PAC? How is it that churches are permitted to spend unlimited of dollars into peddling their influence in churches?

    What makes them Super Duper instead of simply a Super PAC is that anyone who donates to a church can claim tax deductions - whereas if you donate to a Super PAC it isn't a tax deduction.
    The churches have been meddling into our politics for too long. With the LDS church paying millions of dollars to influence elections in CA and HA (despite having very few members representing the state population - they are bundling money from around the world to influence elections in different states.

  8. Anonymous4:31 AM

    In a similar vein, may I present "The GOP Vagina Rules" -

  9. Anonymous4:45 AM

    This is excellent. Now, teenagers and otherwise unprepared women will not be having babies they can't take care of and who allow their boyfriend/husband to destroy:

    Sadly, this is a too often repeated story.

  10. Anonymous4:47 AM

    Willblow, Track and Piper asked:

    "What are those things? Party favors?"

    Bristol: "Oh look candy!"

  11. Anonymous4:53 AM

    Hey! Those looks like Bristol's cramp pills!

  12. angela4:57 AM


    Its pretty disgusting that some of the same groups who want us to go back to preindustrial pregnancy numbers also don't want people to have affordable health care and even basic needs met like food and education for poor children. I guess women with twelve kids hungry and dying in the streets is part of their christian family values.

    Even though I believe this should ALWAYS have been a no-brainer, bravo to President Obama.

  13. Anonymous5:10 AM

    Why was it okay for the Bush Administration to allow any medical facility staff from Registrars to janitors to have their jobs protected when they refused to sterilize operating room floors, maintain equipment or process patients when they objected to abortive procedures?

    Why is that okay but denying means to prevent abortion consequences an outrage?

    They may think they sit on the shoulder of God to determine our life everafter, but they are the shits that abuse God's power here on earth.

  14. To all right-wing Conservatives reading this site -- please note what President Ronald Reagan said:

    “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever.

    Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free
    and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.

    At the same time as our constitution prohibits state religion, establishment of it protects the free exercise of all religions.

    And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral.”

    Yet one more thing you may not deny he ever said.

  15. Anonymous5:52 AM

    @3:07 AM

    While I respect your opinion, I must disagree with your assessment that this is a fight to preserve Caucasians babies.

    Birth control and a woman's right to choose has always been about controlling women, all women regardless of color or creed.

  16. Anonymous6:06 AM

    Angiemomma, the only reason Obama rejected the pipeline is because the Republicans in congress overreached. Legally he really had no choice but to reject it because they tried to force his hand on it too soon, before the necessary reviews were completed.

    The issue is far from dead and Obama will have to decide on it again. It's by no means certain that he'll reject the pipeline forever.

    I'm totally shocked that Obama did not cave to the Catholic bishops on the contraceptive coverage issue. And that's not encouraging. There should have been no question that a Democratic president wouldn't. But after the morning-after pill betrayal, I totally expected another betrayal. I'm sure had this not been an election year, Obama would have felt free to stab progressive women in the back again.

    The GOP candidates have convinced me that I must vote for Obama again because as disappointing as he's been, they are infinitely worse, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement for Obama.

  17. Anonymous6:11 AM

    They want the children.They don't care about jobs. They don't care about educating children-( only the rich childrendeserve it). They sure don't want anyone learning science anymore, it might lead to ppl using their brains. Any job that pays they want to make school children have. Women will have so many children she can't work, she'll have to stay at home to watch those kids. They don't care abouot healthcare for any of those kids. So they will find a way to take those kids and Politicians will have rich buddies with companies that spring up housing children to work as long as they keep females having bsbies there will be a never ending child labor pool.
    -All the ugliness that goes along with chikld laboe abuses sexual and other wise will be prevelent. Children are the only resource America has left.Religon is only a big business anymore. Mega churches ,mega money.They are able to put blinders on the masses. it's okay to LIE, Cheat, STEAL, KILL, be a racist. They think , as long as you believe in no abortation or birth conrtol, god forgives everything else.IN reality God' knows none of these horrible ppl. The earth can't keep up with the population if every pregnancy, where is all the water for all these ppl or food we get ours from China, not America. This is the 1%'s idea of keeping the 99% down, and they are getting religons to help them.

  18. Anonymous6:31 AM

    I found this a fascinating read this morning:

    The Obama Memos

    The making of a post-post-partisan Presidency.

    Each night, an Obama aide hands the President a binder of documents to review. After his wife goes to bed, at around ten, Obama works in his study, the Treaty Room, on the second floor of the White House residence. President Bush preferred oral briefings; Obama likes his advice in writing. He marks up the decision memos and briefing materials with notes and questions in his neat cursive handwriting. In the morning, each document is returned to his staff secretary. She dates and stamps it—“Back from the OVAL”—and often e-mails an index of the President’s handwritten notes to the relevant senior staff and their assistants. A single Presidential comment might change a legislative strategy, kill the proposal of a well-meaning adviser, or initiate a bureaucratic process to answer a Presidential question.

    If the document is a decision memo, its author usually includes options for Obama to check at the end. The formatting is simple, but the decisions are not. As Obama told the Times, early in his first term, Presidents are rarely called on to make the easy choices. “Somebody noted to me that by the time something reaches my desk, that means it’s really hard,” he said. “Because if it were easy, somebody else would have made the decision and somebody else would have solved it.”

    I love our president to bits. He is the only president I have ever voted FOR, I've voted AGAINST plenty of them. He is working his ass off to fulfill his hopes and dreams for this country and I am damn proud that he is my guy.

  19. Randall6:52 AM

    "Churches and other places of worship would continue to be exempt from having to cover contraception for their employees if they morally object to the practice..."

    That's fine: right up until they so much as suggest whom to vote for - and at that instant they are no longer exempt, PLUS, they have to pay taxes just like every other business in the country.

  20. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Obama's Achievements Which are Getting Drowned By The GOP's Constant Flood of Lies!

  21. Anonymous7:12 AM

    Obama Gets Lucky in South Carolina Primary Results

    The president couldn’t have asked for better results in South Carolina. Now Romney will be dragged through even more mud—or, better yet, lose to the delusional Gingrich.

    But South Carolina takes Obama's luck to another level. Last weekend, pundits insisted that there was only one plausible scenario going forward: Romney captures the Palmetto State and wraps up the nomination by the end of January. That would have been bad for Obama because the Republican attacks on Romney would have ended and Romney’s attacks on Obama would have intensified.

    But now there are two possible outcomes, and both of them appear to be rosier for the president. The first is that Romney still clinches the nomination, but not this month, or next, or even the one after that. As Howard Fineman reports, the GOP slap fest will now last “at least until May”—“not only because there seems to be a genuine three-way race in the offing (or at least a two-and-a-half-way) involving Gingrich, Romney, and Paul, but because of the GOP's primary calendar and state-by-state rules for choosing delegates.”

    In Saturday’s concession speech, Romney claimed that the prolonged contest is “making our campaign better.” But the evidence suggests otherwise. Mitt hasn’t gained support over time in these primaries and caucuses; he’s either shed it, as in New Hampshire, or stalled out, as in Iowa. In South Carolina he squandered a 14-point lead in a matter of days.


    Obama in a LANDSLIDE 2012!!!

  22. Anonymous7:44 AM

    The GOP candidates have convinced me that I must vote for Obama again because as disappointing as he's been, they are infinitely worse, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement for Obama.
    6:06 AM <------firebagger!

  23. hedgewytch8:09 AM

    The President just secured the women of Generation X's vote. And that group of people is nothing to ignore when it comes to the voting booth.

    I remember when I was a young, single woman and the only way I could afford contraception (or female-related health care) was to go to Planned Parenthood and pay out of pocket on the sliding scale. And that was 30 years ago.

    Now insurance companies will have pay for this much needed assistance in full.

    Thank you Mr. President.

  24. Wolfbitch8:20 AM

    I love this latest Obama decision. Now, in order to do what they usually do - that is, oppose him on everything - the Republicans will have to come out loud and proud against birth control.

    That might piss off their own wives a tad.

    The whole birth control issue was the Great Wedge which drove the American Catholic Church (except for the far-right loons) away from the Vatican. What do the Republicans think it will do for their secular power base as well?

  25. Anonymous10:27 AM

    This is good. A few important things to know about birth control in the U.S., health insurance coverage, etc.

    - MANY employers' health insurance plans _do not_ cover birth control, regardless. It's always been that way. Nobody cares unless it's political pandering time.
    Yeah, ALL plans consider Viagra necessary to men's health - not being able to maintain an erection is a 'medical condition'.

    - Women from all socioeconomic backgrounds use Planned Parenthood. Because it's easy, when _everyone_ makes such basic health needs so hard, for one reason or another. Because they serve _everyone_, for real. In a world that has a 'gatekeeper' for damn near everything.

    - In the American arsenal of drug therapies, we simply _do not_ have safe, effective, affordable birth control. Research dollars have disappeared. FDA interference makes it undesirable and expensive with not enough profit margin, for pharmaceutical companies, and the very same time, restrict what we might have from other countries.

    - It's very sad comment that my young adult daughter has no more, or better, options for birth control than I did at the same age.
    They didn't have Viagra, or the selection of designer anti-depressants and allergy medications, 25 years ago. But we have the same damn ineffective birth control and harder to get than ever.

  26. Of course the outspoken Rep candidates against birth control are both Catholic. They're also the two who are obviously racist in the finest tradition of the Republican party - as one of the writers at The Nation said, the dogwhistles have been replaced with air raid sirens.

    Catholic leaders issued a letter Friday to GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, urging them 'to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.'"

    The rest of the letter sounds all warm and fuzzy at first, but on a closer reading, it really makes two points very clear, 1) the Catholic leaders are concerned about the potential for such overt racism to offend people and drive them away from the church, and 2) it's O.K. to BE a flaming racist, but stop talking about it.

    Now that's the kind of good old fashioned religious values conservatives can understand.

  27. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I know many women who are Christians, vote Republican, and still use birth control. Contrary to what many on both sides think, it is not incompatible with Christian beliefs or against the Bible. These women feel as strongly as any liberals I know that their right to use birth control should be no one else's business. They just aren't aware of how much people like Santorum would prefer to limit that right.

    What the misogynistic creeps who oppose bc don't realize is that this issue does not only affect sexually active women. I choose, at this point in my life, to be celibate, but I have a medical condition that necessitates taking birth control. If I had no access to bc, it is not an exaggeration to say that I would be unable to hold even a part-time job, therefore would need disability and would be a drain on public resources.

  28. Anonymous3:56 PM

    re Sharon2853: I, too, would love to have Mr. Obama elected for a third term. However, term limits for Presidents is only two terms. We need to work together to make that happen!

  29. Anita Winecooler7:14 PM

    Thanks, Mr President. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's always right.

    I'm glad President Obama went for this, knowing the backlash he'd get. My daughter, along with her doctor and future partner will be able to make the right informed choices knowing they'll be covered.


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