Today's the day that new institutional insurance plans must begin covering birth control and other women's preventative health care services without a copay, which has caused a predictable disproportionate freak out among conservatives. Leading the call for a waaaah-mbulance is freshman Pennsylvania Republican Mike Kelly, who at an earlier press conference expressed his disdain for women's health benefits by comparing the preventative care mandate to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor — comparisons that are offensive to women, to 9/11 victims and families, to people who fought during World War II, and, really, to both similes and metaphors as well as English teachers everywhere.
Kelly's far from a women's health expert; before he was a Congressman, he owned a car dealership that he inherited from his dad, where he presumably didn't spend his time between convincing people to buy minivans with fold down TV's on the ceilings so the kids can shut up and watch movies rather than talking to their parents furiously studying female anatomy and the way contraception actually works — nope, his anti-abortion, anti-birth control views were forged entirely in a kiln of white hot stupidity and religious fervor. His lack of expertise (or a uterus) hasn't stopped him from proclaiming that giving women the choice to use their employer-provided coverage in order to purchase things that Congressman Mike Kelly personally disagrees with is akin to terrorism and war, though. According to MSNBC, Kelly charmingly quipped,
I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.
America's being attacked? Shouldn't we be deploying Seal Team 6 to Mike Kelly's wife's cervix? WHO CAN WE BOMB?!
Kelly wasn't the only one to embarrass himself at a press conference on a day where health care will become more accessible to millions of American women. New York's Ann Marie Buerkle added,
And as Mike said, August the 1st is a day that we as American will look at as the largest assault on our First Amendment rights.
Guess I missed that part of the US constitution that guarantees business owners the freedom to decide that their female employees shouldn't be allowed to purchase birth control using funds from a pool they've paid into. Or the part where men's religious convictions get to determine what women get to do inside their own skin.