WaPo Columnist Uses Military Women to Shill for Contraception Mandate

March 6th, 2012 2:08 PM

Liberal media outlets have proven pathologically incapable of telling the truth about the Obama administration’s birth control mandate, portraying the issue as a war on women. Now, the Washington Post is even using a woman’s military conference to defend the Obama administration’s blatant violation of religious liberty, and to attack its critics.

Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak launched into a vicious tirade against the opponents of Obama’s birth control (and morning-after pill and sterilization, which is conveniently ignored by the media) mandate.

Her column, titled “Military conference offers a woman’s perspective,” slammed evil Republican men trying to take away birth control from poor, defenseless women, and suggested that, like the bullies they are, they’d quail before strong women. The online tagline for her the column showed the direction of her piece, declaring: “Come here and tell these women that you want to decide their reproductive future.”

Dvorak’s opening is as hyperbolic as it is dishonest:

"Come to this military conference, look into the eyes of the commander of a naval warship or the strike officer who was in charge of deploying Tomahawk cruise missile tests or the major christened “The Angel of Death” by an Afghan general, and tell these women that you want to decide their reproductive future.

Go ahead, Rush, and see if you have the nerve to call any of these women in uniform sluts for using contraceptives to plan their families around deployments.

I dare you.

This was my first thought when I walked into a Maryland ballroom Monday filled with about 1,700 U.S. servicewomen from all five branches of the military."

The conference was a gathering specifically for military women. But not to worry, Dvorak still sees these deadly warriors as just as put-upon and helpless as 30-year-old law students when faced with the prospect of ponying up for their own birth control.

Still, Dvorak cited only one military woman, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, who spoke for the mandate. And, at least in Dvorak’s telling, Vaught sounds more like a left-wing activist than a military officer: “‘As I watch this whole thing, the talk about sex – contraception, abortion, and all these other things – I look at legislators, who are majority male. They’re perfectly willing to vote and take away’ rights that should be between women and their doctors.” 

Other parts of the article talked about the challenges in the modern military for women. With a hint of disappointment she couldn’t find anyone else to gripe about birth control, Dvorak noted that, “America’s active duty military is nearly 15 percent female. And it’s the kind of place where hair is pulled back and gender is rarely discussed.”

So Dvorak took it upon herself to shoehorn the issue in. “Of course, military women do have one advantage over their civilian counterparts: their health insurance, Tricare, covers their contraception.” This point was spun into an article about men deciding women’s reproductive future.

The “take away your birth control” meme is patently dishonest. No one is talking about taking away birth control, as even fervent Catholics such as Rick Santorum have made clear. What is being talked about is the Obama administration’s abridgement of the First Amendment in by forcing insurance companies servicing religious employers (many of whom self-insure) to pay for free contraception, morning-after pills, and sterilization, despite the religious convictions of its employers – and, for that measure, many Catholic women as well. 

Nor does Dvorak or her colleagues acknowledge the existence of women opposed to the Obama administration’s mandate. Indeed, the press spun Planned Parenthood’s fairy tale that no women testified during House hearing, despite the fact that two women, Dr. Allison Dabbs Garrett and Dr. Laura Champion, testified against the Obama administration’s decision.

But facts don’t matter to liberals such as Dvorak. Nor do they matter to Sandra Fluke, who inflated the cost of birth control. Nor do they care about already established rights, when they can make up new and previously non-existent ones.

Perhaps the other attendees found talking to Dvorak difficult. After all, serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, they’ve seen a real “war on women,” and they have clear understanding of who enemies of women are. Not so Dvorak. Her idea of the enemy is very clear from the column’s closing. At the conference, she wrote, “There’s no name-calling, no-frat boy pranks set to raunchy music while talking about intrusive medical procedures.”

A careful reading of Dvorak’s column makes clear that the women of the military don’t necessarily support the Obama administration’s mandate. But the press certainly does – and they show that support at every conceivable opportunity.