Monday, March 12, 2012

McCaskill's Reply to my First Amendment Concerns

Thank you for contacting me regarding birth control and women's health.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
Well, it was really on the First Amendment, but of course ... I expected an immediate re-casting of the contact.
I believe we should all work to prevent and reduce the number of abortions in this country.  I support access to birth control, which will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and ultimately reduce abortions.  
Well, we could just sterilize everyone.  That'd take the number of abortions down to zero.   But something tells me this really isn't about reducing abortions.  Call it a hunch.
This is an emotional, difficult subject.  But if you really believe that reducing abortions is important in this country, which I do, then it doesn't work to keep putting up barriers to women getting birth control.
So what you're saying is

"Not forcing paying for someone else's birth control" = "
putting up barriers to women getting birth control"

Much like requiring voter id is "putting up barriers" to voting (while requiring someone to have a Social Security number apparently doesn't "put up barriers" to people becoming employed) Hey, how about  a 6 lane highway right up the valley to the base of the Maroon Bells, then?  I mean, opposing that would "put up barriers" to access to that majestic landmark.
For this reason, I voted against the amendment offered by my colleague, Senator Roy Blunt (Senate Amendment 1520), which would have allowed any employer, health plan sponsor, or insurance company to refuse coverage for their employees for any type of essential health care services -- including birth control, maternity care, prenatal testing, and HIV/AIDS screening -- based solely on an undefined "moral objection."
Oh, I'm sure that moral objection would quickly be defined.  And if people didn't like it they could choose not to work there.  It turns out, in a free country, nobody should be forced to work for anyone, nor should anyone be forced to hire anyone they don't want to hire, nor pay for products or services they object morally to.  Is it really that difficult to understand?
As you may know, following considerable debate, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reached a compromise so that religiously-affiliated employers will not have to provide birth control if it violates that employer's religious beliefs.  This compromise, which I support, ensures that all women with employer-sponsored health plans will have access to free preventive health services, while protecting the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated employers.  If a church or religious employer determines that covering birth control would be inconsistent with their organization's beliefs, the insurance company rather than the employer will be required to offer these services directly to women. 
You mean after considerable backpedaling and re-rationalizing.  Sidestepping, for the moment, that society owes women free birth control, or that it is under the purview of the Federal Government to make sure this happens --  I vehemently disagree on both points -- and sidestepping the suggestion that pregnancy is on the same moral plane as a "disease", this is like suggesting that if the government wants me to offer hitman services and I don't actually want to murder someone myself, I can rest easy even though money I contribute is being used for these services --  because the government will just make sure that I 1) must pay for an outsourcing service that 2) offers hitman services.

I still payed into a system and my money helped pay for an unconscionable action on someone else's part.  And I have no choice in that.   Choice -- making a decision -- involves weighing the costs.  If it costs me more to do something I may have the right to do, I might decide on my own that it is worth the cost --- to me -- or I might decide that it is not -- so I don't do it.   Either way it's not someone else's job to pay for it.
Groups on both sides of the debate, including the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood, have expressed their support of this compromise.
That has no bearing on on the subject whatsoever.  I would also wager that the Catholic Health Association is not in any way sanctioned by the Catholic Church.  It's a name someone made up, like the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine -- which is made up largely of non-physicians and is actually an animal rights front group.  You can name an organization anything you want to to make it sound like it's something it's not.
Under the new HHS guidelines, no one will be required to use birth control or other preventive care services under any plan. 
If I believe it is wrong, what is the moral difference between me doing it and me subsidizing someone else's ability to do it?
Each woman, pursuant to her own beliefs, will access the services she deems appropriate.  
On my blood-stained dime.
However, a woman will not be denied access to health services, like birth control, based on the decision of her employer, instead of retaining for herself the right to choose whether to use birth control or not.  
Her birth control is not the responsibility of her employer, and no right has been taken from her.  I have a right to keep and bear arms, but there is no expectation that someone will buy those arms for me.  If I want to exercise my right, I have to save my pennies and buy it myself, or do without.  
The new guidelines also do not eliminate or change existing conscience protections, which I support, that allow doctors and individual healthcare providers to choose whether or not to prescribe or administer birth control in accordance with their own beliefs.
Again, bypassing the issue that requires someone who objects to it on moral grounds to help pay for it.
It should be noted that 28 states already require health insurance plans to cover contraceptive services. 
Hey, if all your friends are jumping off the bridge, so should you!
 The compromise guidelines follow in the steps of most states, including Missouri, which have already found a reasonable way to ensure access to preventive health services while also respecting employers' First Amendment right to religious freedom, a fundamental principle on which our nation was founded.
It does not respect an objection employer's right to religious freedom at all.  It forces him into a situation where he simply has 
NO Choice
What we have here is an effort to remove the cost of someone else's choice and by force of law, force that cost upon people who think the desired treatment is morally wrong.  It goes to the very heart of the First Amendment, your platitudes to the contrary notwithstanding.

And at its core, I suspect this is not about birth control at all in the end.  This is about taxpayer subsidized abortions.  Because in your world, birth control is women's health is abortion.   If you can rationalize that not forcing someone to pay for something for someone else is equivalent to denying access to it, you can rationalize anything.

This is nothing less than an effort to silence moral objections progressives disagree with.

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