The “party of freedom” is at it again. Oklahoma Republicans, not content to completely deny access to abortion in any insurance plan, are attempting to prevent women from receiving birth control as well, by allowing employers to opt out of contraceptive coverage.
Senate Bill 452, introduced by State Sen. Clark Jolley, states that “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 unanimously passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee with no debate and is headed to the full Senate.
In a show of typical Republican hypocrisy, this blatantly “nanny state” proposal—which allows a woman’s boss to stage-manage her family planning even though it’s illegal to even ask about it in job interviews—is apparently based on a single male constituent’s view that contraceptives “poison” a woman’s body.
Not only that, says Dominic Pedulla (a cardiologist who describes himself as a “natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher”), contraception “suppresses and disables” who women are.
“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” said Pedulla. “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.”
This particular “poison pill” was recently recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—whom we can assume know a little more about such matters than Mr. Pedulla—to be sold over the counter, a recommendation endorsed by none other than Republican darling Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana.
Pedulla, who says he is “morally against contraception and abortion,” has yet to share his wisdom about whether women who are medically unable to have children should also consider themselves as “disabled,” and if he will call for insurance plans to also stop covering treatment for the effects of other “poisons,” such as nicotine, alcohol and unhealthy food.