Editorial: Talk is cheap when it comes to women’s health
If you hear the words, “I’m not racist, but . . .” you can be certain you are about to hear something racist.
Likewise, if a Republican candidate in New Hampshire says, “I fully support women’s access to health care, but . . .,” you can bet he or she is about to celebrate a decision that limits a woman’s access to health care.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that it is a violation of religious freedom to require a family-owned corporation to provide insurance coverage for contraception under Obamacare.
Although there is debate about the decision’s scope, conservative groups and candidates immediately celebrated their latest Supreme Court victory.
As is often the case in the world of political rhetoric, the reactions were predictable and patronizing.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown said: “Scott Brown supports women’s health care and access to contraception but by injecting government into every aspect of our lives, Obamacare threatens all our freedoms. The best solution is to repeal it.”
Gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein issued a statement that said: “I fully support women’s access to health care, including contraception, however, the Supreme Court has exposed one of Obamacare’s fundamental flaws, which is that it imposes a one size fits all answer to every circumstance.”
Not only do the words of Brown and Havenstein appear disingenuous, which the candidates seemingly acknowledge with their hands-up defensive posturing, but they do nothing but add to the noise inside the Republican vortex of unceasing cynicism. If the political schadenfreude directed at the Affordable Care Act doesn’t convince voters that candidates like Brown and Havenstein are more interested in destruction than construction, then nothing will.
Contraceptive services are a fundamental and at times life-saving aspect of women’s health care. By ruling the way it did, the Supreme Court has opened the door for religion and politics to control access to those services. Despite their protestations to the contrary, that is exactly what Brown and Havenstein are championing.