The Washington Post handed over space on its op-ed page Sunday – the highest-circulation day of the week – to the ardently feminist MSNBC talker Rachel Maddow to warn of the Republican “War on Birth Control.”
Or it's simply a "war on women" -- on the Post website, Maddow's column is illustrated with a cartoon video of a Catholic bishop and a politician playing a violent game of political ping-pong with a miniaturized woman's body. Isn't it amazing how liberals who rally for the abortion of millions of females each year can get self-righteous about subsidized condoms and pills?
The most interesting part of Maddow's analysis is her wishful thinking that all the Republican presidential contenders are doomed to lose the women's vote dramatically, just like Ken Buck , the GOP Senate candidate in Colorado:
In Colorado’s U.S. Senate election in 2010, the Republican candidate, Ken Buck, endorsed the “personhood” initiative during the primary. He later backed off that position, but Democrat Michael Bennet hammered Buck for it throughout the campaign. As the rest of the political map turned deep red that year, Buck lost — and lost the vote of Colorado women by a whopping 17 points.
Maddow did not point out that Buck actually lost overall by about one percentage point.
After Mississippi rejected “personhood” and its threat to contraception, after Colorado rejected it twice, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul attended (Paul by satellite) a Personhood USA candidates forum in South Carolina. All signed a pledge to pursue “personhood” at the federal level. Mitt Romney did not attend the event, but when asked on Fox News before the Mississippi vote last year whether he would have supported such a measure as Massachusetts governor, he replied, “Absolutely.”
This is critical context for understanding the national media scrum over health insurance and contraception. Taken together — Republicans’ condemnation that birth control be a required benefit of health insurance, their insistence that Planned Parenthood lose all federal funding, their threat to cut federal Title X support for birth control and their support for “personhood” measures that threaten the legality of hormonal birth control — today’s Republican candidates are all Ken Buck now.
The right has picked a fight on this issue because religiosity is a convenient partisan cudgel to use against Democrats in an election year. Despite that, some Democrats and even some liberals have embraced their logic. The thinking inside the Beltway seems to be that religious voters will turn against Democrats unless the White House drops the basic idea that insurance should cover contraception.
Time will tell on the political impact of this fight, but the relevant political context here is more than just a 2012 measure of Catholic bishops’ influence on moral issues. It’s also this year’s mainstream Republican embrace of an antiabortion movement that no longer just marches on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to criminalize abortion; it now marches on the anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, holding signs that say “The Pill Kills.”
Hundreds of thousands of people who join the "March for Life" in January have never taken part in "Protest the Pill Day." The only TV "news" person to have ever noticed it is one Rachel Maddow, on June 5, 2009, in one of her many fervent commentaries honoring the work of murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller:
Then today, we learn that that same group, the American Life League, has decided to go ahead with plans tomorrow, the day of Dr. George Tiller`s funeral, to send activists out to abortion providers across the country, tomorrow, baring these signs -- "the Pill Kills." They're calling it "Protest the Pill Day, 2009," the day of George Tiller`s funeral. They`re going to be holding up these signs at abortion providers.
The media have long demonstrated a lack of interest in Christian theology. They will dutifully repeat the Obama team’s claim that all they’re trying to do is protect “women’s health.” They will ignore the underpublicized fact that oral contraceptives combining estrogen and progestin are classified as “Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization. The pill is listed next to asbestos, coal tar, benzene, plutonium, and tobacco products.