Oh, these ads … thank goodness for that mute button on the TV remote.
When you hear an ad attacking someone for being against women’s health, you can bet the rent that “women’s health” is code for “compulsory universal funding of contraception.”
So-and-so has a troubling record on “women’s health” … wants to deprive women of “access” to health care … isn’t “good for women.” More to come: EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion PAC, has made an ad buy for the coming week to boost Jeanne Shaheen’s re-election campaign. This nonsense is supposed to mobilize independent female voters who otherwise wouldn’t be inclined to go to the polls. The three New Hampshire races where this approach is being pushed hardest by the free-contraception folks, who incidentally happen to be no-holds-barred abortion promoters: Shaheen vs. Brown, Hassan vs. Havenstein, Kuster v. Garcia.
Ironically, Brown and Havenstein unhesitatingly call themselves pro-choice. That’s not enough to suit the people with the pink signs and the grim ads, though. Brown has voted to respect the conscience rights of women and men who choose not to help provide contraceptives, including the ones that may induce abortion. That’s the hammer Shaheen’s using to pound him. She says that Brown’s vote would have allowed bosses to make health care decisions for women. As for Havenstein, the New Hampshire Democratic Party posted last April about his “deceptive stance on women’s issues:” “We already know that Havenstein opposes expanding coverage for birth control and family planning through the bipartisan medicaid expansion plan.” And that’s deceptive?
Access means free, which means we all pay, in the brave new world of reproductive rights. That’s why conscience protections are anathema to the candidates and PACs running the attack ads about “women’s health.” They’re seriously arguing that suppression of women’s fertility is a higher priority than food or shelter. After all, nowhere are they asserting that bosses who refuse to provide subsidies for rent or groceries are denying shelter or food to their employees. When those same bosses want to stay out of the birth-control business, though, they’re suddenly “denying access” to something critical. So much for choice.
Seems to me that if I want a boss to leave my bedroom, I should get my hand out of her pocket so she can move. If I want a decision to be private, I can’t ask for help paying for it. (Even medical decisions aren’t private, if insurance is involved. The company paying the bill has a right to know what it’s paying for.) If I want to foster respect for women’s choices and autonomy, I should respect the decisions of women who want to divest themselves financially from provision of abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
If only that would fit into a sound bite.
“So-and-so wants to deny you health care” is short and snappy. As code-phrases go, it’s powerful.
Are independent women in New Hampshire ready to look past the attack ads and break the code? Are people who recognize the mendacity of the attacks ready to speak out?
If the answers are Yes, the code phrase will go down as a colossal waste of campaign money. If the answers are No, the code will be used again and again – and we’ll deserve it.
Addendum: Here are a few of the women around the country who have gone to court to defend their conscience rights against governmental attempts to coerce them into helping provide abortive drugs and devices in the name of “contraception” and “women’s health.” They’re not willing to be bullied. These women are fighting the “code,” for all of us.
Barbara Green (co-owner, Hobby Lobby); Carrie Kolesar (co-owner, Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co.); Sister Mary Catherine, CK (in Nebraska v. HHS); Christine Ketterhagen (co-owner, Hercules Industries); Mary Ann Yep (founder, Triune Health Group); Margaret Kennedy (co-owner, Autocam Corp.); Judi Diane Schaefer and Rita Joanne Wilson (employees of Sharpe Holdings); Dorothy A. Shanahan (shareholder, Cherry Creek Mortgage Co.); Mary Frances Callahan, Mary Clare Bick, Mary Patricia Davies, Mary Margaret Jonz, and Mary Sarah Alexander (co-owners of controlling interest in Bick Holdings), Karen Mersino (Mersino Management Co.), Catherine A. Hartenbower (co-owner, Hart Electric), Lilli Johnson (president, Johnson Welded Products); Sharon Lycos and Bethanne Falkowski (shareholders, Trijicon Inc.); Teresa Jane Wieland (in Wieland v. Sebelius); Michele G. Waddell, Joanne V. Merrill and Kathy Byron (in Liberty University v. LEW); Little Sisters of the Poor (in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell); Mary Jo Feltl (co-owner, Feltl and Co. Inc.); Brenda Cannella and Cindy O’Boyle (in FOCUS v. Sebelius); Jeanne Monahan and Bethany Goodman (March for Life).