Virginia

Pro-Life Virginia Lawmaker Offers Pro-Choice Bill

Legislation would let most employers opt out of the contraception requirements

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Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), the most notorious legislator in Virginia, is like the broken clock in the adage: Egregiously wrong much of the time but right on the dot now and then.

It is hard to know which Marshall abhors more—gays and lesbians, or a woman's right to control her body. He sponsored Virginia's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and tried to get openly gay men banned from the Virginia National Guard (because "If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month, I'd be worried"). This past February, his GOP colleagues backed away from a bill requiring transvaginal ultrasounds of women seeking abortion. Marshall did not: "There's no reason to," he said. He once sponsored a bill to prevent unmarried women from conceiving children through medically assisted means.

Last year Marshall introduced a fiercely debated fetal-personhood bill. That bill was carried over, which means it will come up for debate again when the General Assembly convenes Jan. 9. Marshall also has filed legislation to forbid abortion for the purposes of sex selection. He might have more bills up his sleeve (he often does). Progressives will have plenty of reasons to shake their fists at him.

But they should cut him a break when it comes to contraception. On that issue, he has taken the truly pro-choice position and they have not.

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—Obamacare for short—forces employers to provide coverage for birth control. After outraged Catholics erupted in protest last year, the Obama administration offered a compromise—of sorts—exempting certain religious institutions, at least on paper if not in practice. Marshall's legislation would expand the exemption by letting most employers opt out of the contraception requirements.

Naturally, this has provoked groups such as Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia—whose director, Cianti Stewart-Reid, thinks "politicians should stay out of women's health."

Well. Politicians who did that would not merely allow exceptions to Obamacare. They would repeal it—along with cigarette taxes designed to discourage smoking and seatbelt laws meant to make drivers buckle up. Keep your laws off my body, as the saying goes.

This is not exactly what abortion-rights activists generally mean, however. In fact, the debate over the contraception mandates has been marked by a level of Newspeak you don't usually find outside the pages of Orwell. All of it has flowed from the pro-mandate side.

Example; Marshall notes that under Obamacare, the arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby could be fined more than $1 million a day if its Christian owners decline to offer coverage of contraception for employees. (Hobby Lobby is challenging the mandate in court.) Planned Parenthood's Stewart-Reid retorts that "our laws provide for people's ability to practice [their faith] as they choose, but it doesn't mean that we get to impose our views on other people."

But Hobby Lobby is not imposing its views on other people. Hobby Lobby is not telling its employees they may not use contraception, any more than it is telling them they can't own firearms because it doesn't give every employee a free Smith & Wesson. Or as Marshall puts it: "If an employer doesn't buy his employees steak, he isn't compelling them to be vegetarians."

Nor is Hobby Lobby telling other companies, such as Home Depot or Target, that they cannot provide contraception coverage to their own employees. Hobby Lobby is pretty much leaving other people alone to follow their own consciences.

That is more than you can say for Planned Parenthood and other mandate supporters, who are indeed forcing their own views on other people. Obviously, they think they have good reasons to. But their having reasons does not change the fact that force—i.e., the government—is involved. At their request.

One simple fix could dismiss all of this controversy, by the way: Follow the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and sell contraception over the counter.

In the heat of debate over the contraception mandate last spring, the president of the National Organization for Women fumed that Catholic bishops were "demanding that the government step in and use the force and power and police power of the state to prevent women from taking birth control." This is such a perfect inversion of the truth that somewhere up in Heaven, Orwell must be doffing an imaginary cap.

Although Marshall's legislation seeks to preserve employer choice, you obviously can't call Marshall pro-choice himself. In too many other areas, he really does want the government to step in and use the police power of the state to impose his values on other people. Funny; as it turns out, that's something he and his fiercest critics have in common.

NEXT: Uganda Hates on the Gays in Order to Make it Possible to Imprison Anybody Forever

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  1. I just…this….FUCK!!! FUCK!!!

    *calms down some*

    As an employer person, I am SO sick and tired of the fucking government telling us what we must include in insurance, and at the special interest FUCKS who insist on it. My most-detested local example is the asshole woman who was pushing coverage of some special treatment for autism because her precious flower had it – of course.

    Fuck you – sorry about your (bad) luck. YOU go buy insurance to cover YOUR issues – don’t make ME buy it because I don’t NEED it.

    Of course they never care. It’s all about me. Why do I hate the autistic kids? (well, cause they’re AUTISITC – duh!)

    /kind of a rant

    1. Also – tsrif!

      /coverage for dyslexics

    2. And this is why insurance is so damn expensive – government mandates. New Jersey alone has nearly 50 government mandates for insurance policies. When I was a single guy, I could not purchase a policy that didn’t cover mammograms, or women’s contraception, etc. Now that I’m married, even though we do not have, and never will have, children, I cannot purchase a policy that doesn’t cover autism treatments, neonatal care, pregnancy care, etc. etc. etc. I can’t stand the self-righteous fucksticks who think it’s somehow noble to force other people to help pay for their shit.

      1. this exactly

    3. But we are all in this together… moving forward, you Rethuglicans have no empathy.

    4. My most-detested local example is the asshole woman who was pushing coverage of some special treatment for autism because her precious flower had it – of course.

      I wonder if she cares enough about her precious flower to have found there are a number of studies showing (some, anyway) autistic children show lessened symptoms on a wheat-free, or sometimes gluten-free, diet? Oh, gee, but that would be a lot of trouble!

      1. She’d want coverage for a nutritionist.

      2. As long as there are still symptoms, she’ll want more. And gluten-free is so trendy now that she is probably already doing that.

      3. And – truly – I actually empathize as a father. My wife and one daughter even teach/care for “special needs” kids” – like WAY special – not mild autism like this lady’s kid has). We were fotunate enough that our three kids didn’t have overly difficult childhoods (well, my son was kind of fucked for about 5 years, but…)

        I’ll just never forget (or forgive) this lady’s smarmy ASSUMPTION that everyone OWED her this cause…”my poor child is worse off than yours!”

        Yeah – who took care of my older brother who had to be put in a care facility after suffering spinal menengitis at age 4 and was utterly incapable of caring for himself? Oh yeah – my mom and dad. Cause insurance didn’t pay for that. THEY did – 100% care, until he finally died at age 20.

        Fuck the special interest fucks.

  2. Cianti Stewart-Reid, thinks “politicians should stay out of women’s health.”

    And the best way to do this is for politicians to introduce bills that mandate employers pay for birth control. Or is that not what she meant?

    1. Is it acceptable for politicians to become involved in men’s health?

      1. No. PATRIARCHY!

  3. Since both doctors and mothers agree that clean underwear is important to health, I wonder how soon before ObamaCare will include mandated clean underwear insurance?

    1. Since going gluten free my underwear has taken a lot less abuse.

    2. Since we’ll all be working two or three 20 hour per week jobs we won’t have time to change our underwear.

  4. The cognitive dissonance makes my head hurt.

    1. LTNS, Dr. Bronwyn. -))

      Here, take two of these and call your PCP in the morning.

  5. As a Catholic I am outraged, and a little amused, as the Church was in favor of obamacare

    1. The reason they were in favour of ObamneyCare is the Church, much to my chagrin as I greatly admire The CC’s commitment to charity and ministering to the poor (all of the charity cases I treated while in private practice were referred via Catholic Charities), engaged in the evil of altruism as means of forcing others to care for the poor and sick.

      Charity is NEVER coercive, and the Church overestimated its ability to affect public policy and remain unscathed from that very policy, and made a deal with Faust-Obama and Beelze-Pelosi in the process.

    2. The people who push the government juggernaut seem to think that they will never end up under its wheels.

    3. From the progressive standpoint, the Church did everything right – for decades they advocated all sorts of policies For the Poor – which libertarians wouldn’t recognize as such, but which from the progressive standpoint made the Church pioneers in caring and sharing, often before the progs themselves got around to it.

      Yet what is the narrative that’s pushed in the media? Well, they can’t be For the Poor because they have the same attitude toward birth control which the Anglicans (those fanatics!) had before 1930, and the same attitude toward abortion that Al Gore and Jesse Jackson had before they decided they wanted the Democratic nomination for President. And nobody who holds the position of Al Gore, Jesse Jackson and the Anglicans on todays’ all-important cultural crusades can possible care about the poor, it doesn’t compute!

      I can understand stereotyping the libertarians (sorry) for not wanting the govt to have redistribution policies “for the poor,” because that follows from progressive premises, but for progressives to forget whole tranches of history when it comes to Catholic social teaching…it would boggle the mind if it weren’t for progressives’ documented history of stupid ingratitude.

      1. Have you noticed the number of films and television programs lately that focus on the horrible Catholic church?

        When I was a kid, I thought anti-Catholic bigotry was a joke, it was so rare. Nobody gave a shit if you were Catholic or Protestant unless you lived in some deep backwater of the South.

        But lately, you can just see these portrayals of the Catholic Church everywhere as being this horrible sexist organization that wants women to be enslaved baby factories who are pregnant all the time.

        And all of this started poping up in just the last couple of years. Wonder why.

  6. Follow the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and sell contraception over the counter.

    Do I lose -tarian points if it sticks in my craw that TOP MEN want to sell orthotricyclen over the counter, but I can’t buy Sudafed without submitting to the sex offender psuedophedrine registry?

    1. Craw aside, they really have little to do with each other. If BC pills could be used to make the demon meth, they’d never become OTC either.

    2. No, although what will probably happen is OrthoT, Lo-Lovera, and other hormonal BC would be BTC, but no registry. Unless some enterprising chemist figures out a way to manufacture meth, a BATH SALZ analogue, or some other euphoric drug with the potential for “illicit use” from BC pills.

      The incongruity is remarkable, isn’t it?

  7. I 100% believe in a birth control mandate. All potential children of progressives should be aborted immediately and any child already born to progressives should be neutered immediately along with their adult parents. And I am totally willing to pay more tax to support this effort. It’s a win/win, I pay more taxes and we lower our carbon footprint as a species.

    Save the planet, sponsor the neuter a progressive today tax!

    1. How many people here had liberal/progressive parents?

      1. Not me – hahahahahahahaha!

        SORRY ABOUT UR LUCK, BITCHES!

      2. *slowly raises hand, filled with shame*

      3. I did. My dad marched with MLK.

        1. Anyone who was forced to march with Martin Lawrence has already suffered enough.

      4. Not me. Woo hoo!

  8. One simple fix could dismiss all of this controversy, by the way: Follow the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and sell contraception over the counter.

    Which by the way, is not the fault of the so-called Doctor’s Guild. This one lies at the feet of PP itself. Surgical abortions are very good money gushers, particularly those performed in the first trimester. You really think PP wants to give up the revenue stream? Especially if women could prevent an unplanned pregnancy in the first place with inexpensive pills or if insurance covered IUD’s, the hands down best method of birth control barring straight up abstinence. Also, with an IUD, periodic (no pun intended) check-ups are required with the “groinocologist” (H/T Kaptious Kristen) to check both placement and an excellent opportunity for other exams such a PAP or concerns about ovarian cysts, something that from which that little dwarf Fluke claimed her “friend” suffered (who was never identified, by the by) and had no insurance to cover it, which was a blatant lie as I know of no private insurers that would deny TX for ovarian cysts once DX’d, and I thought the reason for PP’s existence was to assist women in this dilemma. It’s not about “Women’s Health”; it’s about money.

    (cont)

    1. That’s a nice conspiracy theory you have there.

  9. (cont)

    If PP really cared about women’s health, where are the cries for more research for conditions like cardiac disease, the number one killer of women? How about cancer, like breast cancer? Komen found out real quick that their money isn’t theirs, but PP’s, or have you forgotten THAT little shakedown? And on top of that, PP recieves federal funds. In states like OK, PP distributes WIC, so if they can’t wheedle out an overpriced surgical abortion, then WIC goodies follow.

    And the thing I resent the most was the wholesale gutting of The Conscience Clause. What if I don’t want to perform a surgical abortion? What if MY moral objections prevent me from doing so?

    Where’s my choice and the choice of my fellow doctors, nurses and other support staff that want nothing to do with the procedure and who are employed by religious and parochial hospitals and clinics where that choice was taken away, Ms. Ciant Steward-Reid?

    NOT EVEN A FORMER SOVIET BLOC COUNTRY WILL FORCE ME TO DO SO!!!!!

    /rant off

    1. I don’t see how they could possibly force anyone to perform an abortion.

      1. I don’t see how they could possibly force anyone to perform an abortion.

        Nice medical license you have there, be a shame if something were to happen to it.

      2. I assure you Hyperion, it happens. I’ll just leave it at that.

        Think of this: If EMTALA can force hospitals, especially county secular hospital, to accept any patient for any reason, it’s not a stretch to be forced to perform or assist with certain procedures, regardless of moral or religious objection.

        1. Those employees don’t have to work for those hospitals, they could quit. They could work for a religious hospital. These employees CHOOSE to work at these secular hospitals.

          1. False dilemma though, since the mandate is not a condition set by the employer, but a condition forced on the employer by the government.

  10. Keep my laws off your body? Get your hand out of my wallet, and we’ll talk.

    1. My body, my right to choose, someone else’s problem paying for it.

    2. Oh, what a friendly fascist you are!

  11. This is definitely the most appalling set of lies we have heard from the progressives over the last year. The repeated insistence that allowing employers to opt out of birth control coverage amounts to banning birth control for their employees.

    And the mainstream media never calls them on it. They just get away with repeating the LIE over and over again.

    I have no idea how they manage to maintain a straight face.

    1. I have no idea how they manage to maintain a straight face.

      They believe the lie.

    2. It really is fucking disgusting (and I couldn’t be more in favor of legal abortion or birth control). And that so many people buy the idea that the motivation is really to deny people birth control and make it illegal to be a woman or something is really depressing. Here’s the best bit of idiocy I heard on the subject this election season: That the motivation for opposing abortion is actually a drive to disenfranchise women by making those who get abortions felons. Someone actually said that to me as if it were not completely laughable.

      1. The thing that gets me is:

        What the hell kind of person thinks it’s more important to not have to pay $20/month for pills than it is to allow religious believers to obey the dictates of their conscience?

        And how can such a person presume to claim the moral high ground and adopt an air of self-righteousness?

        I couldn’t be more in favor of legal abortion and birth control either. But I sure as fuck think that we should respect people’s freedom of conscience. Not being forced to act against your beliefs is a far more important freedom than even access to preventive health care.

        Apparently in the new Progressive universe, the “Right to Healthcare” actively supercedes freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. it’s now unlawful to actually act according to your faith if it conflicts with the goal of universal health care.

        1. What the hell kind of person thinks it’s more important to not have to pay $20/month for pills than it is to allow religious believers to obey the dictates of their conscience?

          You clearly haven’t met T o n y…

        2. No freedom is any “more important” than any other. While I agree with your sentiment, you lost me in the end.

  12. While I don’t believe anyone should be forced to buy health insurance, and if individuals were free to choose their own insurance none of this would be an issue, but for many woman, “birth control” has nothing to do with contraception and is yet an powerful drug that can take away knife gutting pain each month…but OTC is a good idea, except that it would get very expensive and everyone would be complaining about that too…

    1. Considering that hormonal BC wouldn’t be subject any longer to the powerful market distorting effects of insurance, the OTC price would plummet.

    2. And you can pay $20/month to buy those pills rather than force a Catholic priest to do something that violates his beliefs so you can have it for free.

      What the hell kind of person are you?

      1. Actually it’s 80 bucks a month for the pills I need because my insurance doesn’t have a discount deal with the pharmaceutical company that manufactures them and when mucinex d went OTC i pay

        1. You could get a prescription for a generic from your healthcare provider and pay out of pocket without involving your insurance company. The price is irrelevant anyway. If it were $2,000 a month, you’d still be a slaver fuck for forcing someone else to pay for something you want, particularly if it violates his conscience.

    3. When prescribed to deal with such problems most insurance covers pills otherwise used for contraception.

  13. for many woman, “birth control” has nothing to do with contraception and is yet an powerful drug that can take away knife gutting pain each month

    This is such a stupid liberal canard. We all know that this isn’t true. Some women use contraceptives to treat the symptoms of menstruation, but it wouldn’t be fucking called “birth control” if it were about preventing cramps.

    1. It could be for both.

  14. The truth is that the megamajority of American women have never had, and never will have, an unwanted pregnancy. Birth control is cheap and readily available and women who take responsibility for their own “reproductive health” have managed for decades to avoid becoming pregnant “by accident”. Tax payer subsidized birth control will not significantly change the number of unwanted pregnancies because irresponible women will continue to use abortion as their primary means of birth control.

    1. Exactly. So why is it so fucking important to force people who HAVE TAKEN RELIGIOUS VOWS to violate them?

      I’m sorry, I can’t help be a little incensed by the fact that these people seem to think “free pills” “freedom of conscience”

      1. bad html …

        I was trying to say “free pills” (much greater than) “freedom of conscience”

      2. They’re not “free pills”. They’re paid for by insurance.

        1. And insurance is magical! It isn’t paid for by anybody!

    2. There is also a longstanding canard that sex ed in schools will stop teen pregnancy which was coupled with the claim that untold numbers of teen girls were getting pregnant because they were ignorant birth control and even ignorant about the cause of pregnancy.

      This has pretty much been shown to be false by almost all studies on the subject, even those by progressive advocacy groups.

      The fact is that the number of teenagers who do not know about birth control is so infinitesimally small that they are only a tiny blip in teen pregnancy numbers.

  15. Referencing the last sentence in this article, what is that saying about “going so far right, you can end up on the left”? That seems to be the case here.

    I think it further illustrates the absurdity of the ‘Left-Right Paradigm’.

  16. Last week I had an unwanted hangover. Will Obamacare cover those?

  17. I am SO sick and tired of the fucking government telling us what we must include in insurance, and at the special interest FUCKS who insist on it. My most-detested local example is the asshole woman who was pushing coverage of some special treatment for autism because her precious flower had it – of course.

    Fuck you – sorry about your (bad) luck. YOU go buy insurance to cover YOUR issues – don’t make ME buy it because I don’t NEED it.

    Of course they never care. It’s all about me.And this is why insurance is so damn expensive – government mandates. New Jersey alone has nearly 50 government mandates for insurance policies. When I was a single guy, I could not purchase a policy that didn’t cover mammograms, or women’s contraception, etc. Now that I’m married, even though we do not have, and never will have, children, I cannot purchase a policy that doesn’t cover autism treatments, neonatal care, pregnancy care, etc. etc. etc.Click Here to view more. I can’t stand the self-righteous fucksticks who think it’s somehow noble to force other people to help pay for their shit.

  18. Though the Tampa Bay Rays already enjoy a fully functional stadium, Tropicana Field, opened in 1990 in downtown St. Petersburg, complaints about less than ideal attendance and location have dogged the team’s fate and invited talks of moving the team across the bay. The Major League Baseball team had its inaugural season in the stadium in 1998. But such talk is muted, however, at least until 2027, when the Rays’ contract with the city of St. Petersburg expires, around the same time the large debt taken out to finance the original stadium will be paid off.

    It cost nearly $233 million in construction in today’s dollars, and St. Petersburg has so far only been able to repay just over 25 percent. For his part, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has kept the Rays in check about sticking around until 2027, threatening to sue any party attempting to break the contract and move the team out of the downtown structure.”I put a lot
    (Click Here to view more) in contracts, commitments and loyalty. All I’m asking is for them to abide by the contract,” Foster told The New York Times in June.

  19. I expected Libertatian logic, not goosestepping GoOPerdom from Reason. The logical flaw is equating an institution with a person (as the T-shirt says “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one” – they haven’t yet! This is about free choice of people, not “free choice” of artificial institutions (how much do they weigh, what are their physical dimensions). The health care law puts the choice into the hands of a person and takes it away from the Theocratic intellectual construct of an “institution”. Quit pretending to be Libertarian if all you’re defending is the rights of an artificail intellectual construct. Go watch Fox news … everything will get better 🙂

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