“Once upon a time, Republicans had a very good issue going for them in their battle to replace President Barack Obama with one of their own.
It was something precious and universal: Liberty. Religious freedom.
Once, they had the chance to fight the federal leviathan, which sought to impose its will and its own set of morals on America's people of faith. And to carry the fight from the moral high ground.
In the face of Obama's mandates regarding insurance for abortifacients and sterilization and the rest, they had the First Amendment. They had a founding principle of the American way of life.”
Yes, TEBAR believes denying women healthcare coverage for contraception was a “very good issue”, that is, until Rush Limbaugh started talking about it.
“What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.The johns, that's right. We would be the johns -- no! We're not the johns. Well -- yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word.OK, so, she's not a slut. She's round-heeled. I take it back.”
“So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
But TEBAR gets it wrong, again. Requiring religiously affiliated institutions such as hospitals to provide health care insurance for their employees that included contraceptive coverage was never about “liberty” or “religious freedom”. It was always about a woman’s ability to receive equal access to healthcare insurance with contraceptive coverage no matter if the woman is an employee of GE or St. Joseph’s Hospital.
A woman doesn’t have to use that coverage if their religious views don’t allow it, but that is their individual choice, not the choice of their employer. No employer, religiously affiliated or not, should have the ability to deny anyone, male or female, access to certain coverage by insurance providers due the employer’s religious views or affiliation.
The Republicans were getting their ass kicked on this issue, even before Mr. Limbaugh decided to speak on it. They made numerous missteps, including having only men testify about contraceptives in front of a Congressional Committee chaired by Congressman Darrel Issa. Hell, just the fact that 98% of women who identified themselves as Catholic stated that they use contraceptives, against Catholic dictate, made the war on contraceptive coverage a losing issue.
Republicans are grasping at straws. They know that the real issues are the economy and jobs. They also know that they have no real remedies to help the economy or to create more jobs. That’s why they thought the issue of contraceptive coverage by religiously affiliated institutions was a winning issue. And that’s why The Editorial Board of the Arizona Republic tried to make the issue really about “liberty” and “religious freedom” when it was nothing of the sort.