Some Examples of the War on Women (update)
Yesterday I posted Some Examples of the War on Women. Last night I read an article about an almost unbelievable new attack on women, this time emanating from Arizona and, believe it or not, from a woman legislator (and hat tip to reader Karin for posting a comment about this new attack last night). The Republican Whip in Arizona has sponsored a bill that … and I hope you’re sitting down … requires women who want a birth control benefit in their insurance coverage to provide their employer with a certificate providing evidence of a medical condition, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, that can be treated with birth control.
Think about that for a second. If this bill were to pass, an Arizona employer could ask a woman about her medical condition and the medications she takes for that condition. Could you imagine what would happen if a bill were introduced allowing employers to ask men about the drugs that they were taking, perhaps requiring men who take Viagra to provide a certificate from their spouse that the man really does have erectile dysfunction? Yeah, I’m sure that would pass. In what other situation is an employer allowed to ask an employee about their medical condition or the drugs they take? Should a Scientologist employer be able to ask an employee if they are receiving any mental health treatment or taking drugs for depression or anxiety?' Should any employer be able to ask an employer about any medical condition (other than, perhaps, a medical condition that might reasonably interfere with the employee’s ability to perform the job function)?
By the way, I think one aspect of the explanation given by the bill’s sponsor is truly worth considering:
We live in America; we don’t live in the Soviet Union.
Right. Because here in freedom-loving America it makes perfect sense to ask women about whether they are taking medication for birth control purposes; they’d never ask invasive questions about sex back in the old Soviet Union. Wait. Um. Er.
And consider this, too. Arizona, like many other states is, I believe, an at will state. That means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, so long as the reason is not one of a select group of discriminatory reasons (i.e., the employer can’t fire the employee for being African-American or Muslim or female). But if the employer asked for the certificate and the woman refused to provide it, could the employer then fire the woman for being “loose” or for using birth control against the employer’s religious beliefs or moral convictions? What about an employer who refused to hire single women or who fired women who got divorced (hey, isn’t divorce against some religious teachings, too)?
I want to quote one thing that Karin said in her comment, because I think that it really makes the point:
When is this going to end? … I'm beyond bemused and have slid into scared to death for myself and the younger women in this country. Wake the hell up ladies!
Oh, and did you catch Mitt Romney’s comment about Planned Parenthood yesterday? No, he didn’t just say he wanted to defund it. That wouldn’t really be news anymore (though it is worth considering the fact that Mrs. Romney has contributed to Planned Parenthood from their joint checking account). No. Romney went even further. And, before reading what he said, please remember two things: 1) Planned Parenthood is a private non-profit organization that 2) provides a broad range of health care services (including such things as mammograms and cancer screening) to and for women, in particular poor women. So what did Romney say about Planned Parenthood in an interview yesterday?
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.
And I also forgot to include another doozy from Rick Santorum during an interview earlier this year with CNN’s Piers Morgan who asked Santorum about his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape:
Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.
In Santorum’s sick world (yeah, what the hell, go ahead and click on the word Santorum; sorry, but I couldn’t help myself) when a man violently shoves his penis into a woman’s vagina in a dark alley, when an adult abuses a relationship with a child and forces her to have sex even though she is too young to consent, or when a woman is taken advantage of after having too much to drink or being spiked with a date rape drug … then G-d is giving that woman a gift. Hey, I’m not a woman. I’m not a mother. And I’ve never been raped. But I’ll take a wild ass guess here. I’m sure that the woman will love that child. But I also have no doubt that every time the woman looks at that child she will remember the violent or non-consensual act at its conception. Maybe I’m off base, but I don’t think that most women, many women even, would view getting raped as a gift from G-d.
And I’m sure that Republicans like Rick Santorum will do everything that they can to create programs to help pregnant women and then to help them with their offspring, like creating programs to help them pay for food and medicine and … oh, wait. That’s right. They want to cut those sorts of programs too, because, you know, we need to give millionaires more money.
If you see, hear, or read about any other aspects of the GOP’s war on women, let me know.