Sexual Autonomy≠Sluts

Sexual Autonomy≠Sluts

Republican leaders denied Sandra Fluke – or any woman – the right to testify for birth control access in their so-called “religious liberty” hearing. Now Rush Limbaugh openly assaults Sandra Fluke for speaking out at a Democratic hearing, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Don’t let Sandra Fluke or any other woman be silenced by these misinformed shame tactics.

UPDATE
In a dramatic scene on Capitol Hill, several Democrats walked out of a congressional hearing on the Obama administration’s rule that would require health insurance plans, including those provided by Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities, to offer free contraceptives for health-related issues and birth control. The lawmakers took action after the committee chair blocked testimony from a female witness who supports the mandate. We’re joined by D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who walked out of the hearing, and the witness who was barred from testifying, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke. Georgetown is a Catholic university whose health plan does not cover contraception.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/2/17/where_are_the_women_lawmakers_walk

America’s Pro-Choice Majority Speaks Out
By Amy Goodman

The leadership of the Catholic Church has launched what amounts to a holy war against President Barack Obama. Archbishop Timothy Dolan appealed to church members, “Let your elected leaders know that you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you want the administration’s contraceptive mandate rescinded,” he said. Obama is now under pressure to reverse a health-care regulation that requires Catholic hospitals and universities, like all employers, to provide contraception to insured women covered by their health plans. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said, “This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.” In the wake of the successful pushback against the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood, the Obama administration should listen to the majority of Americans: The United States, including Catholics, is strongly pro-choice.

Rick Santorum most likely benefited from the 24-hour news cycle this week with his three-state win. Exactly one week before the caucus/primary voting, on Jan. 31, The Associated Press broke the story that Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a $2 billion-per-year breast-cancer fundraising and advocacy organization, had enacted policies that would effectively lead it to deny funding to Planned Parenthood clinics to conduct breast-cancer screenings, especially for women with no health insurance. Linked to the decision was a recently hired Komen vice president, Karen Handel, who, as a candidate for governor of Georgia in 2010, ran on a platform to defund Planned Parenthood. The backlash was immediate, broad-based and unrelenting. By Feb. 3, Komen reversed its decision. On Feb. 7, Handel resigned from Komen.

Adding fuel to the ire was news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had issued the regulation requiring employer insurance plans to provide contraception. The coup de grace, on primary/caucus day, was the decision handed down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturning California’s controversial Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages.

For Santorum, in a primary battle with Mitt Romney, it was “three strikes, you’re in.” As a conservative Catholic and father of seven, Santorum has long waged the culture war, with a focus on marriage, abortion and sex. He once likened homosexuality to bestiality.

According to the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health issues globally, in the United States, “among all women who have had sex, 99 percent have used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. This figure is virtually the same among Catholic women (98 percent).” According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll, 58 percent of Catholics believe that employers should provide employees with health-care plans that include contraception.

Catholic activists who acknowledge the broad use of contraception among their church members, despite its official prohibition, suggest women can “go elsewhere” to get the preventive care. And if they can’t afford to? Loretta Ross, national coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective in Atlanta, told me: “This rule really allows low-income women, women who are dependent on their health care, to access birth control—women of color, in particular … if you don’t want to use birth control, don’t buy it, don’t use it. But don’t block others who do want to use it, who cannot afford it, from accessing it.”

One possible solution to the debate came from a surprising quarter. Michael Brendan Dougherty, a Catholic commentator, was in church a couple of weeks ago when he heard the priest read out a letter from Archbishop Dolan encouraging Catholics to oppose the president. Dougherty, who supports the church’s opposition to the regulation, suggested to me that a single-payer health-care option could solve the problem: “It would solve this particular problem of conscience, as it has in Europe. The bishops don’t like that the government subsidizes abortion or contraception, but they are not in full mode of fury, because they are not being asked to formally cooperate with things they view as sinful.”

Loretta Ross agrees with the single-payer solution, but says the current contraception controversy masks a “war on women with all this rhetoric about religious freedom and care for not only the pre-born, but now, with the attack on contraception, you’re attacking the preconceived. … We’re not going to take it lying down. And as the fight with the Komen Foundation proved, we are a force to be reckoned with. And we’re actually going to work to strengthen President Obama’s stand in supporting contraceptive access.”

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,000 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller. Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

© 2012 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/americas_pro-choice_majority_speaks_out_20120208/

6 Comments

  1. This is INSANE. So who is hurt most by the lack of condoms? Women and girls are. Who hates to use condoms to protect the woman from HPV, HIV and others things they are much more likely to get from male sperm? Men do. What gender is the pope? Male. The Church is supposed to be about love and compassion and this analogy is clearly INSANE, like the Pope and his antiquated ideas of protecting men who sexually abuse boys.

  2. Pope Benedict Regarding Condoms
    The following is a great analogy from an article in by Dr. Janet E. Smith that helps Catholics explain Pope Benedict’s comments on the use of condoms: If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it. It would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for the employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing. to read the entire article.VN:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

  3. You bring up a good point. You are wrong that those of us who advocate non-violence and peace are also busy forcing or pushing abortion. We just want this choice if the couple or the woman or girl chooses this procedure. It is the most humane thing to do. Why do others think they should decide for another if and when they are to start a family? And some now force very young girls who are under such horrible circumstances like incest and rape to give birth. That is abuse topped with torture. Childbirth is a personal choice and the procedure is never anyone’s TOP choice–birth control should be the top choice, then this difficult decision wouldn’t have to be made!

  4. this is an extremely dufcifilt issue for me. When my teenage daughter got pregnant I wanted her to abort and she told me loud and clear, NO. Now my granddaughter is one year old and I have to admit, my daughter was right. I think in the moment when a couple chooses to have sex without protection they have taken their decision pro choice ends here where a new, third life has started. But then there are the what if like rape, severe brain damage/disability of the fetus, etc. It is extremely hard to come to a satisfying opinion. And I also see your point that a legal abortion at a US clinic is better than illegal bullshit. I don’t envy any pregnant woman who is confronted with the question wether or not been there done that.For me one of the American cultural mysteries is the fact that those who oppose war the most are also those who support the killing of unborn life and those who are pro war are those who want to protect unborn babies. Shouldn’t the ones who support the killing on battlefields be the one who support the killing in clinics? And those against ending life in wars, shouldn’t they be the ones with the most compassion for unborn life? One of the things hard to understand for alien XYZ alias Munichmaedchen.

  5. This is a war on women and a Church that has a historical systematic record of abusing children has very little moral standing with me. Perhaps the Catholic Church should clean up its own house before worrying about the uteri of thousands of women.

  6. Such a controversy. Hope that it will be over soon