On Thursday, President Obama had a video conference with the attendees of BlogHer '12. He spoke about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and—naturally—the positive effects of Obamacare ("I happily accept the term") on women's health: free contraception, access to preventative care like mammograms, and, eventually, no higher insurance premiums or coverage denial due to cancer or pregnancy. He added that he refuses to "give any ground" to those who have opposed the legislation and "would deny women their own health care choices."
In the four days since the birth control mandate took effect on August 1st, Christian-founded Wheaton College in Illinois angled for exemption before they realized they already covered contraception pre-Obamacare. Fucking whooooops. This new aspect of Obamacare is already the target of over 60 faith-based lawsuits by organizations who feel it's not their responsibility to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. The one-year exemptions designed to allow organizations to adapt to the new rule are being sparsely granted based on just how religious these groups actually are.
But even if they're turned down, at least one organization is refusing to comply with the mandate anyway: Priests for Life, which has been a pro-life institution for 20 years, did not meet the religious standards of the one-year moratorium, but its director, Father Frank Pavone, announced that despite this, "we do not adapt to injustice; we oppose it. Therefore today, on behalf of our organization and on behalf of myself personally, I announce our conscientious objection to this mandate... we [refuse to] provide health insurance coverage for practices that are morally objectionable." The consequences for defying the contraception mandate are $100 per day for each employee.
Now that we're all lubed up for crazy assholes, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, compared the legislature to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday. While I can totally see why you would conflate "making sure women can get insurance for mammograms" with "a surprise attack that killed nearly 2,500 people and launched our nation into the second World War" and it doesn't sound at all like the ravings of an insane derelict, Kelly's Democratic colleagues are pissed off and offended by the ghastly statement—particularly, and unsurprisingly, representatives from Hawaii and New York.
'Pro-Life Group Announces It Will Defy Contraception Mandate' [The New American]
'Obama 'not going to give any ground' on women's health' [The Maddow Blog/MSNBC]
Photo via iqoncept/Stockfresh