ACA rules going into effect today mean that women can now get access to birth control with no copay. Though it won’t do much to help women without health insurance and won’t affect existing plans until they are renewed, it will save money and lives in the long run. This is a major milestone on the road to true reproductive freedom. Unfortunately, some Republicans think that today is a milestone of a different sort. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) had this to say about it:
“I want you to remember August 1, 2012 — the attack on our religious freedom. That is a date that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
Those dates he’s referring to are 12/7 (1941) and 9/11. The day after Pearl Harbor, we declared war on Japan. The “War on Terror” began shortly after 9/11. Yes, you read that right, he is literally equating free birth control to acts of violence that claimed thousands of lives. Should we expect the Republican party to declare war on women tomorrow? After all, they did strike first, just like the our enemies on 12/7 & 9/11, by demanding equal rights and reproductive freedom.
When politicians espouse insane ideas like this, why are they not met with pitchforks and torches to run them out of office? I’m not entirely sure, but politicians should never get away with pandering to their rabidly sexist base. The only way to stop this is to hold them accountable. Those who live in Rep. Kelly’s district should move to have him impeached. Americans in general need to take a stand against the current practice in our public sphere of accepting any and all viewpoints as legitimate, no matter how crazy or harmful to society, as long as they are couched in the language of religious freedom. Religious freedom means that you are free to do whatever you want in your house of worship. It does not mean that you have the freedom to force the federal government to impose your personal beliefs on the entire country.