Where the Women Were During the House Contraception Mandate Hearing
The claim by the pro-Obamacare folks that contraception is "preventive care" is messing with the lexicon of medical definition. Quite simply, pregnancy is not a disease. So therefore, pregnancy does not require preventive care. Instead, it requires "diagnostic care" for the health of the mother and baby. This is something entirely different. We cannot succumb to the mantra that killing unborn children is preventive care.
As a woman, I was embarrassed by the cry of "Where are the women?" because I don't give a rip what gender is speaking about religious freedom as long as it is being addressed. It matters to us all—at least I thought it did. It certainly did to our Founding Fathers who penned the Constitution. And it certainly did to my ancestors who came to this country over a hundred years ago to find the freedom to exercise their faith in a robust and unencumbered way. Rep. Maloney's, and others', insistence that this is primarily a matter of "women's health" is an intentional (although I must say, masterful) attempt to redefine the argument, gain liberal momentum, and detract from the critical issue at hand.
Curiously, before the hearing there was apparently no great concern by the House minority on that committee to get a woman on the witness panel because they didn't make the effort to file the female witness' paperwork in time. The other witness they recommended was a man (who, incidentally, didn't show up). Not to mention that there was a woman (who objected to the HHS mandate) on the second panel of the discussion—but by then the "all male" photo had gone viral and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was already holding her own press conference in another wing to lead the charge of taking offense.
What those angry gals fail to realize is that as a Christian woman I was brilliantly represented on that House committee panel. In my first vocation as a Christian, I cheered the testimony of those brave men of the cloth because they represented me. They shared their concerns for the integrity of the free exercise of our faith traditions along with respect for the First Amendment of the Constitution. In my second vocation as a woman, I cheered again because that panel was filled with some of the finest theological leaders of our day. They made my case to congress and they did it exceptionally well. Other women concerned about the ability to maintain their choice to exercise their faith (without the interference of an over-reaching government) should cheer too.
Maggie Karner is the director of LCMS Life and Health Ministries.
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Obama Does Not Widen Religious Exemption for Contraceptive Mandate | The burden to cover contraception shifts to the insurance companies, but an earlier exemption for religious groups will not change. (Feb. 10, 2012)
First They Came for the Catholics: Obama's Contraceptive Mandate | An open letter to evangelical Christians. By Timothy George and Chuck Colson (Feb. 8, 2012)