Last night I caught the end of the PBS documentary on the feminist movement in America and, as I was made aware earlier in the day during a segment on MSNBC, its final victory will be trumping religious liberty! The documentary wasn’t complete without an insistence that there are people who are trying to take birth control out of the hands of women. Does anyone else find the fundamental denial of reality here alarming? Whatever you think of their position on abortion, contraception, sterilization, or much of anything really, plaintiffs are in court asking for protection so they can simply not offer insurance they find morally abhorrent. Evangelical and Catholics schools and business owners, among others, simply want to protect religious liberty in America against an immediate, direct threat to theirs.
The coercion here isn’t coming from the churches and others who object; it’s coming from the government — from an administration that believes mandating this insurance coverage is more fundamental than its duty to protect religious freedom.
In the United States today, we are in a situation where religious liberty, and therefore freedom itself, is threatened by the HHS mandate policy not because we had a vote and everyone determined that birth control and abortion are fundamental human rights that trump religious liberty, but because the issue was successfully obscured. It has been asserted, as it was last night in that documentary, that to oppose the Obama administration here is to oppose women’s access to contraception, to even move to make it illegal. Besides that being untrue, does anyone even believe that would be feasible? Have you noticed the ubiquity of birth control? Have you noticed how our lives have been adapted to its realities and expectations? There’s great denial here, too, as Mary Eberstadt has well noted.
And today I see this in a New York State paper:
Tara Sweeney, spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice New York, said the state’s relatively high abortion rates should not be used as an excuse to restrict abortion rights or as a factor in women’s decisions.
So the official word from the feminist sisterhood on Andrew Cuomo’s abortion-expansion push is: Ignore the fact that we have alarmingly high abortion numbers in New York. Ignore that that may suggest some women don’t feel they actually have a choice — that is, an alternative to abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Ignore all that safe, legal, rare nonsense we used to spout. Follow our lead, and don’t think about the fact that we’re becoming a culture where women’s very freedom seems to be contingent on her ability to medicate her fertility as a disease, to suppress and reject the most creative force within her.
This is miserable. Can we quit the rhetoric and do something to help rather than hurt life (women, men, children)?
When people stop to reflect, they tend to agree this is a shocking state of affairs.
Can we listen a little to the fine doctor here? We can have a much healthier discussion about women in our culture and politics rather than these insulting scare tactics.