The Corner

‘Lady Parts’ E-card Points to an Impoverished View of Humanity

Thank, you, Carrie, for not letting this go. But I’m not holding my breath for feminist outrage.

The mistake that was made in that insulting e-card from the Obama campaign, was that it was actually an honest look at the thinking that has led to the predicament we’re in, where the federal government is curtailing religious liberty through a “preventive services” mandate that views pregnancy as a disease. In this approach to health care, women’s fertility is a fundamental hindrance to her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The only way a woman will ever be free is if she is able to suppress her fertility. It’s radical, isn’t it, that our federal government would impose this worldview by regulation, and tell people who believe otherwise that they must pay fines if they refuse to provide overage they believe to be morally wrong?

As Ed Whelan points out, in a federal court on Friday, a judge told a Catholic business owner that his religious liberty is not violated by the Department of Health and Human Services abortion-drug, sterilization, contraception mandate. “Frank O’Brien is not prevented from keeping the Sabbath, from providing a religious upbringing for his children, or from participating in a religious ritual such as communion. Instead, plaintiffs remain free to exercise their religion, by not using contraceptives and by discouraging employees from using contraceptives.” Religious freedom means you’re still free to receive communion. And for this, we are to believe Barack Obama is a defender, not a curtailer of religious freedom?

If you’re a parent of a child in some New York City schools, your child may be getting contraception contrary to your beliefs. I bring this up in this context because if we’re not outraged enough by the Obama administration’s view of religious freedom to educate our fellow Americans about it before Election Day, it’s not going to be long before few blink at such a circumstance as we’re seeing in this pilot sex-ed program in New York. It’s all basic health care, after all. It’s necessary for her freedom.

It’s an impoverished view of our humanity, of the creative complementarity of the sexes. This thinking has been in the cultural bloodstream, of course, but when the federal government is restricting religious liberty by regulation to insist on it, when the Justice Department is defending it in court, it’s a whole new day. And we have to resist it before it’s too late.

If there aren’t electoral consequences to Barack Obama’s overreach here, the added shame of it is that we are further debasing a tremendous creative gift as a surrender to the poisonous “war of the sexes” in a way that impoverishes our politics, our culture, and our lives.

But that would happen four decades into Roe, wouldn’t it? Life itself isn’t always worthy of protection. So what value are mere parts? They’re but hindrances if they don’t serve our current script. 


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