A proposed Republican bill aims to bravely stand up for a woman's right to pay for her own birth control out-of-pocket. Uh, thanks?
This week, the Senate is discussing two Democrat-penned bills that relate to women's health care. The first, which was the subject of a hearing yesterday, aims to remove restrictions on abortion clinics that don't really offer any health benefits to women, unless you consider "having to drive 3 hours and then wait three business days to get a constitutionally protected legal medical procedure" a health benefit. The Women's Health Protection Act has the support of medical professionals, pro-choice women, women's organizations, and the New York Times. It also has a snowball's chance in hell of ever becoming law with this current Congress, because the House of Representatives is a calcified turd in the peristalsis of democracy.
The second bill — the one that prompted the GOP to offer a response of its own — seeks to combat the Supreme Court's recent and deeply unpopular ruling that corporations can have religion and therefore can decline to provide birth control to female employees if they believe, deep down and contrary to science, that Plan B is the same as baby murder. The Democratic Senators' legislation would render it verboten for for-profit, closely held corporations to deny women access to employer-provided insurance coverage of contraception, effectively contradicting what the five Catholic dudes of the High Court ruled back in June.
Faced with the bad optics of once again heading into election season with a reputation of being the party of creepy vaginal meddling, and the real possibility that he might lose his seat in the Senate to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Senate Minority Leader and human turkey neck Mitch McConnell has led Republicans in introducing their own version of the bill. The GOP's would guarantee that "no employer can block any employee from legal access to her FDA-approved contraceptives".... with their own money.
Women! Gone are the nonexistent recent days when your boss could confiscate your birth control pills from your bathroom cupboards and flush them down your toilet into sewer-hell because his religion demands it. You no longer have to live in fear that your boss is hiding under your bed, clutching rosary beads and a scalpel, waiting until you retire so he can remove your Implanon. Your hero, Mitch McConnell, is here to rescue you from the nonexistent problem of bosses telling their minimum wage employees that they were absolutely, under no circumstances, not to use an entire month's worth of their salary to purchase an IUD that their insurance won't cover. You are free, women. Free to spend your own money on things you were spending your own money on before, anyway.
Mitch McConnell is a feminist hero! Please don't vote him out of the Senate!
But all this political theater, like most political theater, will likely be for naught; Democrats need 5 Republicans to reach the 60 votes necessary to end debate this afternoon, and, according to The Hill, it's unlikely that they'll get it.