How Anti-Women’s Health Politicians Came to Suddenly Embrace OTC Birth Control
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By: Emmy Bengtson|September 17, 2014
We know this election holds control of the Senate in the balance. So why are candidates like Thom Tillis and Cory Gardner — who have long worked against birth control — suddenly campaigning for over-the-counter (OTC) birth control?
It’s a story of political maneuvering — an empty gesture to distract women and a cynical attempt to get their vote. Here’s the full evolution of their political ploy.
1) These Politicians Have a Bad History with Women…
We’ve seen it at the national level and in states across the country: A handful of extreme politicians will do everything in their power to restrict women’s rights and health, no matter how dangerous, medically unnecessary, and unpopular those efforts are. These politicians have used sneak tactics to force abortion restrictions through legislatures; pushed legislation that could interfere with women’s access to birth control and ban abortion; and tried (over, and over, and over) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that has benefited millions of women.
The kicker? Just two months ago, some of those same politicians actually celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling to let bosses discriminate against women and deny them the affordable health care they’re guaranteed under the law.
One of the reasons we started #CosmoVotes was because we saw how regularly young female voters are derided, condescended to, and insulted. Women hear so often that we’re dumb and uninformed that even the most politically savvy among us start to believe it: Women are less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office; they’re less likely to hear they should run for office; and once they do run, they are less confident and less likely to take risks. With the inescapable “Beyonce voter” heckles from the media peanut gallery, who can blame them?
Women who are assertive and confident are punished for that too, because they’re seen as abrasive, while men are just leaders. And so even though more women vote than men and more women are graduating from college than men, women are still sorely underrepresented in every major political body. Men go through life with a pervasive overconfidence, which benefits them in the workplace and in leadership positions; for women, simply having a female name means you’re perceived as less competent. Women, then, opine less and are less likely to see themselves as experts or adequately informed; as a result of that, and the fact that female voices and opinions are routinely derided, women play less of a role in public political debate.
We think that’s a damn shame. And we want to give our readers the tools to push back on it by encouraging them to vote (no matter which candidate they vote for) and by throwing our weight behind candidates who stand up for women instead of condescending to us.
But now, a few GOPers have advanced a clever counter-narrative. Recently, four Republican candidates in tough Senate races—Cory Garner in Colorado, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Mike McFadden in Minnesota, and Thom Tillis in North Carolina—in effect tried to declare to voters, “We support birth control so much we want women to be able to get it over-the-counter!” Sounds great. Especially coming from Republicans. If only it were true.
Reproductive health advocates agree that making birth control available over the counter is a good idea if paired with other essential reforms such as ensuring that insurance plans will cover birth control without a prescription. Without these reforms, say advocates, the reality is that access to contraception wouldn’t really expand and in fact would likely be reduced.
Instead, these and other Republicans are pursuing the sort of de-forms and policy reversals that will make birth control less accessible to millions of American women if offered solely over-the-counter. After all, health insurance companies rarely cover the cost of over-the-counter medicines. Over-the-counter contraception would only expand access if it were still covered by insurance as part of a strategy to expand women’s contraceptive choices. But Republicans are trying to roll back or repeal Obamacare, including the law’s mandate that the cost of birth control be covered by employer-provided insurance.
World leaders will descend on United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September to commemorate twenty years since the adoption of a landmark agreement known as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ICPD transformed the world’s thinking about sustainable development, shifting the concern from population growth and numbers to placing human rights at the centre of policy-making — in particular the fundamental rights and freedoms of women and girls to have control over their sexual and reproductive lives.
After an extensive process of reviewing decades of country experience and progress in implementing the ICPD commitments, a bold vision has emerged for a sexual and reproductive rights agenda suited to 21st Century realities. It is the product of analysis from governments around the world, the findings of experts and researchers, contributions from the UN system and civil society, and the priorities set forth in regional agreements - encapsulated in a visionary report of the UN Secretary-General that serves as a Framework of Actions to guide country efforts for years to come.
That visionary action agenda is rooted in social justice and equality for all, and provides proven, practical, and cost-effective recommendations for solving some of the world’s most pervasive problems. It aims to end the deaths of 800 women and girls that happen every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth; to provide access to contraception to the over 200 million women who would like to prevent pregnancy but lack effective means to do so; to expand access to safe, legal abortion to stop the tens of thousands of deaths and countless more injuries that result every year from unsafe procedures.
OK, Lizards….here’s the BBC liveblog on the Scottish Independence Referendum, so you can follow it here and see how it all goes down.
Final results are expected to be announced tomorrow morning, probably around 0700 GMT or thereabouts. Unless it’s a total blowout one way or the other, it’s likely gonna be a nail-biter, at least if the polling thus far has been accurate.
Coverage begins at 2200 GMT, which is when the polls close in Scotland, or about one hour from the time I’m posting this.
Best comment from Ross Williams, one of the ASP commentators, as the camera showed us Jordy Smith and John Florence hanging out in the competitor’s area:
“It looks like John John is getting back to his haole moke roots with that outfit.”
Kelly Slater vs. John Florence in semifinal #2. Worth watching if you have the time.
GLASGOW, Scotland—Something strange is happening in Scotland, and it has little to do with nationalism. On streets that are normally lined only with chain shops, budget shoppers, and retail workers, there are now noisy crowds with drums and megaphones, impromptu dancing, and trestle tables stacked with political literature that keep shedding leaflets into the wind.
The trestle tables are everywhere: rickety, colorful little embassies of something messy, grounded, and different, all parked haphazardly below the giant identikit glass-fronted retail windows that are the familiar backbone of every British high street, and all drawing crowds. They are run by groups with names like Women for Independence, Scottish Pensioners for Independence, and Scots Asians for Yes. Security guards keep coming out of the shops and politely warning those manning these stalls that their banners and volunteers are encroaching on what is technically private land. Those in the street take no notice. They are too many in number, and too high in passion, to be corralled back into sanctioned spaces now.
Another NFL wife abuse allegation
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she bit his lip to stop his sexual advances, and he punched her in the face the next day, according to a police report made public Thursday.
Dwyer later threatened to kill himself in front of their 17-month-old son if the wife alerted the police, according to the report, which detailed the latest domestic violence allegations against an NFL player. Dwyer was arrested Wednesday and benched by the team.
The police report describes two altercations between Dwyer and his wife, on July 21 and 22. In the first, Dwyer tried to kiss her and take off her clothes, according to the report. She told him to stop and bit his lip when he wouldn’t, the report said. Dwyer then head-butted her, it said. Police were called to the home by someone who heard arguing.
Right on time. Into lockstep. Forward we venture to the dark past. While he’s at it, screw clean air. Screw clean water. Screw you people. The Party Of Responsibilities? The Party of Ignorance and Malfeasance. I find it fascinating that empty suits such as this just make a mockery of themselves pandering to a base that thinks Coal Is High Tech and all we need to do to make jobs is cut the EPA, and education, and cut taxes for everyone with more money than they can count. Jersey has a coastline and fisheries and sportsmen and they and you better pay attention. Chris Christie licks the boots of vultures who have no problem with poisoning your children to make a buck. Yep. I’m a moron.
found this on the guardian’s live blog of the referendum:
Are you reading this from America? *waves*
If so, welcome. And here’s a guide written especially for you from the Guardian’s New York office on the best ways to follow the referendum - voting and counting. Obviously its first recommendation is this liveblog. But have a read of it anyway, then come straight back.
The Guardian’s live blog is here: theguardian.com
The result is not expected to be firm until around sunrise in Scotland (after midnight in the USA), but there should be some interesting results trickling out hours earlier, as various districts report in (more than 5,500 polling stations in 32 districts in Scotland will be open from 7am until 10pm local time - 2am-5pm ET).
In the US, C-SPAN will be simulcasting BBC coverage of the referendum, with Huw Edwards hosting, beginning at 5.35pm ET. Recommended.
UPDATE 1: 20.00BST: from the guardian My colleague Mark Tran has compiled this handy walk-through of the next, crucial hours. Here’s the most crucial of the crucial bits:
First results are due between 1.30am and 2am BST on Friday 19 September. The remote Orkney Islands – which has the smallest electorate, with 17,515 registered voters – are expected to be the first to declare. Most of the results should come through between 3am and 5am.
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen – home to about 25% of registered voters – will be the last three councils to announce results, between 5am and 6am.
The councils will report results to Mary Pitcaithly, the chief counting officer, at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston, near Edinburgh. Pitcaithly is expected to announce the final result between 6.30am and 7.30am.
British prime minister David Cameron will make a televised address shortly after the results are declared to try to calm the atmosphere whatever the result.