Friday, October 7, 2011

Stand up for Our Rights?

Here is what we are up against:

28 Republican Senators have written to protest that the HHS decision to cover contraception as a preventive health care service interferes with the constitutional right of your religious employer to dictate whether or not you use birth control. (Technically, whether it should be a covered benefit and therefore affordable.)

That’s right: these Senators are distressed because your employer, if it has a religious affiliation, should have a constitutional right to mandate your personal sexual behaviors and to trample on your reproductive health choices.

The signers include, for example, David Vitter. His known use of the public funds that pay his salary for the support of sex workers might seem to contradict his right to dictate your own behavior.

Some on our side say these loony extremist statements rile up the Republican base and turn out their vote. We should keep our powder dry and ignore them, because smart pro-choice voters are motivated more by economics and other issues. But these crackpot ideas are too often turning into crackpot laws. Seems to me it’s time to connect the dots: Our human, economic and reproductive rights are our rights, and no elected official will stand up for us until we stand up for ourselves. The extremists are attacking our economic wellbeing and our freedoms at every level. What do you think?

Johanns/Hatch letter on contraception:
In addition to Sens. Hatch and Johanns, the letter to Secretary Sebelius was signed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Dan Coats (R-Indiana), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John McCain (R-Arizona), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), and Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).


  1. Ellen, thanks for your blog and speaking up in a strong voice. You pinpoint core values as a point of contention, and this is something we liberals need to remember and defend. The conservative, almost entirely Reublican values are a spin on true American and democratic principles. We are the ones upholding the truth and the public good. Anything that attacks that is unconstitutional and undemocratic, and we must move forward and call them out. Uniting together we can gather strength and ensure our freedom.

  2. Thanks for your stand for an issue that shouldn't even be a controversy. One must wonder if the agenda is for the sake of the argument, and that the Republican Senators don't have enough else to keep them busy. It occurs to me that rather than taking them down, we eventually might be more productive by finding ways to further empower side, eg Jackie Speiers. Just my thought at the moment.