Contraception Extremism and the Right-Wing Bubble
This most recent battle was the most serious of all, because House Republicans really did shut down the government and look like they were close to forcing us into a default, but despite the seriousness of the issue, one of the major reasons talks on a budget were stalled was, you got it, contraception. Many Republicans demanded a bill that would allow employers who disapprove of contraception—for you, that is, since their own contraception use is kept out of the discussion—to withhold your earned insurance benefits covering it.
While Republicans might try to write off these attacks on contraception as being about “abortion” or “religious freedom” (“religious freedom” being code for “the right to impose my faith on my employees”), the increasingly ugly rhetoric around contraception itself belies that claim. Look, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. Ted Cruz was railing on about how the birth control pill, which works by suppressing ovulation, is an “abortifacient.” This attempt to redefine contraception as abortion has been going on for years now and has only picked up since the Affordable Care Act was passed and the possibility of women having more reliable access to contraception started to freak out the Christian right. At that same Values Voter Summit, speaker Gary Bauer characterized Sandra Fluke as “promiscuous,” basically defining the word to encompass any woman who has ever used or even supports the use of contraception, as Fluke breathed not a single word about her own contraception history during her testimony to Congress.