ROMNEY TAKES THE BRUNT OF THE “BLUNT” BIRTH CONTROL BLUNDER

A couple of days ago, the Senate narrowly defeated the Blunt amendment, which would have repealed President Obama’s controversial requirement that insurance companies provide birth control coverage for women employees.   By a vote of 51-48, the almost all-male Senate decided maybe, just maybe, women should be able to have control over their reproductive decisions and that the medication should be paid for by insurance companies regardless of where the female employees work.

When asked his opinion about the Blunt amendment, Romney wiffled and waffled and stated that he did not support the amendment.  Apparently his “team” did a double-take and told him “no, Mitt, you didn’t really mean what you said about not supporting the amendment.”  They lovingly corrected his misunderstanding of the reporter’s question, and quickly attempted to snuff out the uproar over his inability to field a simple question.

Romney’s team opined that the way in which the reporter asked the question was confusing.  And, this is a man who has amassed a fortune of a quarter of a billion dollars?  And he doesn’t understand a simple question?  Let me be “blunt.”  If Romney can’t understand a fairly simple question about providing birth control coverage, how does he expect to understand our complicated economic, social, and financial issues?

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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44 Responses to ROMNEY TAKES THE BRUNT OF THE “BLUNT” BIRTH CONTROL BLUNDER

  1. tim zank says:

    The whole subject is so comical. Contraception isn’t a “health” issue at all. Cancer is a “health issue”, the flu is a “health issue”, heart disease is a “health issue”. Birth control is about convenience, period. Would it be too much to ask that you liberals/progressives etc simply come clean and embrace uyour real request, you just want more free sh*t? That’s all it is, you want more free stuff.

    • Spoken like a male! Erectile dysfunction isn’t a health issue either, but we are bombarded daily with wild commercials with youthful looking “old” couples. ED is simply part of the aging process, yet no one throws a fit over insurance coverage for ED drugs.

      And, as to wanting something free – absolutely wrong. It is the religious institutions that have pushed this to the point where the only option was the offering of the medication for free. Birth control is medication. It should be covered by insurance companies.

      If you want to base provision of medication on its convenience for a medical condition, then many drugs could fall under that umbrella. Drugs have been created for restless leg syndrome, dry eye whatever, and overactive bladder. The drugs that go with these conditions are simply for convenience.

      • tim zank says:

        Apples and oranges. The maladies you listed all have a quality of life health component. Pregnancy is not a malady, sickness, or disease.

      • You have just changed the discussion. Your initial statement was that birth control is not a health issue. Now you have tossed in the phrase “quality of life.” I would argue that deciding when to become pregnant is a “quality of life” issue. For crying out loud, plastic surgery a la Joan Rivers can be seen as a quality of life issue.

        The three conditions I listed are recent inventions – created conditions to sell new drugs. Any thing can be a quality of life issue.

      • tim zank says:

        I didn’t mean to “cloud” the issue, but I stand by my original statement, pregnancy is NOT a disease, and contraception is most certainly NOT a health issue, it’s a convenience issue. You want to avoid getting pregnant? Buy your own rubbers or pills or abstain, but asking your neighbors to pay for it is flat out mooching.

  2. No one is asking for free birth control pills. They carry a co-pay just like many other drugs. The only reason they are to be free is because the Catholic church is being hypocritical.

    And, ED is not a health issue either, but I bet the Catholic institutions gladly pay for those drugs – even if they are for 80-year-old men who have no chance of producing more offspring – after all, isn’t that the reason the Catholic church opposes birth control pills?

  3. Had Enough says:

    little timmy sez: “Contraception isn’t a “health” issue at all. Cancer is a “health issue”, the flu is a “health issue”, heart disease is a “health issue”. Birth control is about convenience, period.”

    Bullshit. Tell that to a woman whose body’s been wrecked by pregnancy.

    And it’s not “yew libruls” looking for a free handout. Access to reliable contraception is vital to the prosperity of a society.

    Signal if you understand by stomping your hoof once for yes, two for no.

    • tim zank says:

      Explain to me how civilization somehow managed to survive until the late 20th century policies of progressives suddenly discovered what was “fair” “just” and a “right”? You people sure think a lot more of yourselves than is accurate. Mooches, all of ya, mooches.

    • tim zank says:

      And you posit:

      “Bullshit. Tell that to a woman whose body’s been wrecked by pregnancy.”

      If your body was wrecked by pregnancy, heart attack, fish hook, too many cheetos, etc, you do indeed have a “health issue”.

      If you can’t find $5 for a pack of rubbers (or $25 for a months worth of birth control) and you’re feeling kinda “saucy”, you have a “convenience issue”.

      I’m not gonna pay for your worry free Friday night sexual follies.

      • Had Enough says:

        Careful, timmy, your misogyny is showing.

        Your complete lack of empathy for anyone living in conditions less fortunate than yours is disturbing. Obviously, you have absolutely no idea what females go through in their personal lives, especially those who live with domineering or abusive men who bully their women into sex. And don’t give me that “Well, those women just need to leave!” It ain’t that simple.

        Btw, do you know what happened to women before there was easier and cheaper access to birth control? THEY DIED. Yes, that’s right, they died from childbirth, from the collapse of their bodies because they were too malnourished or weakened to recuperate from their ninth or tenth child. Is that what you want modern women to go back to???

        So, if working toward making reliable contraception readily accessible and inexpensive makes people mooches, print up the stars to sew to our garments – I’ll proudly wear one.

        P.S. The horrors! Your patron saint was forced to apologize for his boorish remarks! http://wapo.st/zIYpxM

      • tim zank says:

        Histrionics and fractured fairy tales. You’re mooches. Period. What a warped sense of entitlement you have believing the government/your neighbors should pay for your birth control. Don’t you people ever feel the least built guilty about sponging off of everyone else? Nevermind, that was rhetorical.

  4. So, Tim, do you support mooching by corporations – subsidies? Or farmers? Or any other group that gets subsidies? They are mooching, and they don’t need it.

    I wonder if corporations feel guilty for taking billions of tax payer funds while not paying taxes and drawing subsidies. Seems we never hear those who call individuals moochers denigrate corporate welfare. I mean if the don’t feel guilty, why should the average person feel guilty?

    • tim zank says:

      Charlotte, in my perfect world there would be no subsidies (tax breaks) for anyone but rather a flat tax of 15% across the board from everyone from busboys to corporations to Bill Gates and absolutely NO BAILOUTS. We are where we are by letting cronies stay elected (yes on both sides) and pay off their constituents. If we did away with the tax code completely and implemented a straight flat tax FOR EVERYONE working OR receiving government assistance (welfare, S.S., food stamps etc) the economy would flourish (putting away the checkbook of course also) and everyone would have a stake in the game. I’m all for FAIR and taking from me to give to someone else is NOT fair in any way shape or form.

  5. Had Enough says:

    Poor, poor timmy. He can’t get a toehold with his misogynistic rants, so he resorts to name-calling again…and again…and again… not to mention he’s simply parroting the same tired rhetoric broadcast across the right-wing nutwerks. Polly want a cracker?

    • tim zank says:

      If the shoe fits:

      mooch (mch) Slang
      v. mooched, mooch·ing, mooch·es
      v.tr.
      1. To obtain or try to obtain by begging; cadge. See Synonyms at cadge.
      2. To steal; filch.
      v.intr.
      1. To get or try to get something free of charge; sponge: lived by mooching off friends.
      2. To wander about aimlessly.
      3. To skulk around; sneak.
      n.
      1. One who begs or cadges; a sponge.
      2. A dupe, as in a confidence game.

      • Had Enough says:

        timmy, what is it about the workings of a female body that frightens you so?

      • tim zank says:

        Typical. Obfuscation of the subject because you can’t make a case for inventing new “rights” and accepting free stuff instead of working for it. Pay for your own birth control and quit mooching.

  6. Had Enough says:

    Can’t answer the question, can you? Admit it – you are terrified. And tiresome. Sad, pitiful timmy.

  7. Dave MacDonald says:

    Ms. Fluke’s appearance before Congress was not about the cost of contraceptives – they’re freely available at Planned Parenthood or for the cost of a weekly latte ($9/month for generic) at Target. She wants the Catholic Church to pay for it.

    • Dave – my understanding is that the Catholic church does not have to pay for them. That was part of the compromise that was reached. If one wants to make the argument that indirectly the church is paying for them, then that literally applies to any medication or treatment for all of us. I indirectly pay for Viagra when my insurance premiums increased. I disagree with providing ED drugs.

      Insurance companies understand full well that the cost of birth control is much cheaper than a pregnancy. The other issue that I think shows the hypocrisy of all of this is that the Catholic hierarchy are all males who have never had to worry about providing for a family. The result is that an extremely high percentage of Catholic women use birth control.

      Also, Catholic institutions have been providing birth control for years now and did so in the Bush years. Why the big fuss now?

      Planned Parenthood is based on income, so if she makes too much money, she wouldn’t qualify for coverage.

      As to the issue of religious freedom – it is being used as a wedge issue since religious practices can be regulated by law (snake handling, faith healing, etc.).

      • Dave MacDonald says:

        Charlotte,

        Thanks for your reply. “Compromise” implies both sides took and gave during the exchange. No compromise was ever reached. Rather, the Obama Administration finalized the plan, without change, on Feb. 10. And, it’s not just the Catholics who believe this. Prominent Evangelical leaders, leaders from the Lutheran Church’s Missouri Synod and the Southern Baptist Convention reached this conclusion as well – women and men alike.

        You can read why all 181 US bishops and the Catholic Church oppose the mandate here: http://usccb.org/news/2012/12-034.cfm

        Some have suggested insurance companies are footing the bill under the new rule. Please understand that many Catholic organizations self-insure a large deductible ($5,000 – $10,000 per person). They, not some insurance company, directly pay all expenses including prescriptions like the “pill” up to that amount.

        “Contraceptives” is a catch-all phrase that includes the birth control pill. While the pill may have been a contraceptive in 1960, it had nasty side effects. It has evolved to become an abortifacient too; it prevents implantation after conception occurs, after a woman is pregnant. In some cases It causes abortion after a child has been conceived (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiCU46_lWeE ). Sadly many are not aware of this.

        Many like me and my church are “pro-choice” on paying for abortion. I don’t believe my government should stand between me and my wallet, forcing taxpayers or any religious organization to pay for something that violates our faith.

        You keep raising the “all-male” point. I’m not sure why that matters. Issues don’t have genders. If they do, lets start by tossing aside Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. It was 9 men who determined those outcomes.

        Your point about many Catholic women using birth control is well taken. My church has done a deplorable job of educating its people why they shouldn’t use it. But which “Catholic institutions have been providing birth control for years now”? I must confess ignorance here. Please cite your source.

        Regarding Planned Parenthood’s income basis – if she makes too much money to qualify, even they believe she should pay for it herself.

  8. Here is the article on compromise:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/10/obama-birth-control-compromise-defuses-religion-issue.html

    Here is a list – not all-inclusive I am sure – of Catholic institutions already providing birth control – and some in forms other than the pill itself. Why all of a sudden is there such an uproar?

    http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/catholic_affiliated_institutions_that_provide_contraceptive_coverage_chart.pdf

    I assume the argument will be made that the Obama administration is issuing a mandate. But, how do you deal with Catholic institutions that are already providing that coverage voluntarily? This would seem to me to be an even bigger issue.

    • Dave MacDonald says:

      Thanks for the list. Some like Notre Dame specifically exclude contraceptives when used as birth control. But you raise a very good point about those that don’t. How to handle them is a problem the USCCB will have to address.

  9. I forgot to address the “all-male” comment. When any group of all of one component makes a decision for another group, I believe there is no balance and certainly little, if any, understanding. Obviously Catholic women believe that or they wouldn’t be using birth control in such large numbers.

    Education aside, in today’s world, a centuries old policy implemented by a male hierarchy that has not experienced raising a family or the struggles of living paycheck to paycheck is simply untenable – and Catholic women are, in droves, opposing that policy.

    I wonder if women were allowed in the all-male hierarchy if the policy would remain inviolate? Yet, the church forbids the involvement of women in the decision-making process – at least from what I have read.

    The policy places hundreds of thousands of Catholic women into a state of cognitive dissonance that the males do not experience.

    • Dave MacDonald says:

      I disagree that Catholic women “obviously” believe that a lack of balance and understanding are why they use birth control in such large numbers. You can’t set education aside – a mistake my church has made. I suspect many women would stop using the pill if they knew they were still getting pregnant but aborting their child.

      The Catholic Church isn’t one group making a decision for or imposing its will on another. Some things violate natural law and are always wrong (abortion for example). Each of us has free will to choose our path. The Church respects that. This doesn’t mean our actions are without consequence.

      Men and women alike are in a state of cognitive dissonance because my church has failed to properly catechise the faithful. Your list of Catholic institutions is proof of that.

  10. Tim – if simply getting government involved a la Ted Kennedy made healthcare skyrocket, then how is it that so many of the other industrialized countries have lower healthcare costs when their governments are involved? Look at the charts – do some research. We have the highest costs on almost any item you want to look at such as tests, surgeries, etc.

    The costs in the U.S. are way out of line when compared to the same tests in other countries. The healthcare system is out of control, and most people understand that.

  11. Dave – the wording says “may” – that is an uncertainty. The primary mechanisms that are certain are the prevention of ovulation and the prevention of sperm reaching the egg.

    I suppose if one wants to live with the constant thought that the word “may” should control, then the parents would have to be convinced that every time a cycle of pills is taken, an abortion occurs. Again, that is apparently not stopping Catholic women from taking birth control pills.

    • Dave MacDonald says:

      Bayer’s monograph in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR.net) doesn’t use the word “may” at all:

      “MECHANISM OF ACTION
      Estrogen/progestogen oral contraceptive; acts by primarily suppressing ovulation. Also causes cervical mucus changes that inhibit sperm penetration and endometrial changes that reduce the likelihood of implantation” (source: http://www.pdr.net/drugpages/concisemonograph.aspx?concise=2478 )

      While suppressing ovulation is primary, inhibiting sperm penetration and reducing the likelihood of implantation are equally intended mechanisms of action. No “may” here. This is not an unintended side-effect of the drug. It “will” do this.

      You’ll find the same result for most of the popular “contraceptives” including Yaz, Beyaz, Modicon, Ortho-Novum, Depo-Provera, and Triphasil

      • No – it does not say it “will” do this. If that were the case, it would flat out say the birth control pill prevents implantation. It says it “reduces the likelihood of implantation.” This is no different in usage than saying if I speed, I increase the likelihood of getting a ticket. It doesn’t mean I will, but it increases my chances.

        So, the pill increases the likelihood; it does not ensure it.

        If the pill prevented implantation, then it would be a “morning after” pill, which it is not.

      • Dave MacDonald says:

        When I said it “will” do this I was referring to “it will reduce the likelihood of implantation.” In other words, by design, this drug makes it less likely that implantation will occur.

        The Yaz monograph says “flat out” that it is for “Prevention of pregnancy.” Does it really prevent pregnancy? Isn’t it more fair to say that it “reduces the likelihood of pregnancy by 95-97%”?

        When used as directed, it still fails 3-5% of the time (women have a positive pregnancy* test due to increased hCG levels after implantation). We know it’s not always preventing pregnancy, so we can conclude that it’s not always preventing ovulation. If a woman still ovulates, she can still conceive. How much higher would the drug’s failure rate be if it didn’t also “reduce the likelihood of implantation”?

        If 95-97% = “prevention,” what’s the percentage for “reduction”? How often is a woman conceiving but losing it?

        Elsewhere in the same monograph it does use the word “may”- “May increase risk of cervical cancer or intraepithelial neoplasia and gallbladder disease.”

        (*Like many others, I believe “pregnancy” begins at conception)

      • Thanks for the clarification. I doubt anyone will ever know how often conception occurs but is prevented from continuing due to the use of birth control pills. I believe also that pregnancy begins at conception, but that does not mean I believe I have the right to decide for someone else if that person wants to use birth control.

        Perhaps that is the reason for the explanation in the medical information. If that is the case, I wonder if Catholic women are reading that and understanding that there is a small chance of this risk, or if they are deciding the risk is worth it?

        I believe to encourage child after child until the end of child bearing abilities is irresponsible. And, to place faith in the rhythm method is terribly risky.

        I had five children in eight years (I am not Catholic). I used the pill but the early forms (1966-1973) caused health problems for me. I would have to quit the pill for a period of time. During that time I would become pregnant, have the baby, and then go back on the pill, only to have the cycle repeat itself.

        By the fifth child, I was pretty much worn out. One of my pregnancies included a difficult one with the loss of our son at birth. My husband (now ex-husband) would have had a dozen and he let me know that when I decided I could not go on having a baby every other year. I made the choice to have a tubal ligation, but I had to get his approval – I had to beg him to let me have the surgery. Five pregnancies, and the doctor still wouldn’t do the surgery without my husband’s approval. Men have no concept of how this feels to women.

        I love my sons to death, but women are not “brood mares.”

        I am asking you, as a male, is there ever any thought to the health of the woman in all of the religious teachings? Where is the concern for the physical well-being of women? Why is it a religion would believe that a woman should have no control over how many children she feels she can physically bear and for whom she can care?

        This is simply the height of selfishness by religions dominated by male philosophies handed down from generation to generation. That is why I go back to the composition of those in power. Obviously, and this is not meant as derogatory, most religions are top heavy with male input and directives.

      • Dave MacDonald says:

        “If the pill prevented implantation, then it would be a “morning after” pill, which it is not.”

        Planned Parenthood would disagree with your distinction:

        “All brands of the morning-after pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormone in the morning-after pill also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

        The morning-after pill can also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.”

        (source: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/emergency-contraception-morning-after-pill-4363.asp )

        In other words, conception has not been prevented and a unique human being has been conceived. A fertilized egg is an embryo. It is simply prevented from attaching to the uterus.

      • Dave MacDonald says:

        “I am asking you, as a male, is there ever any thought to the health of the woman in all of the religious teachings? Where is the concern for the physical well-being of women? Why is it a religion would believe that a woman should have no control over how many children she feels she can physically bear and for whom she can care?”

        I’m so happy to let you know that both I and the Catholic Church agree with you. The church calls for MUTUAL responsibility by BOTH husband and wife. But cooperation and communication are crucial.

        As a husband, I have a responsibility to love my wife as Christ loved His bride the Church. Sadly many men (including me) fall short of that call. We have five children ourselves. I’m struggling with exactly this issue right now. My wife would like to have more children, but I don’t feel God is calling us to that. As you know, raising five children is difficult. Can I be the best dad for my children if we have more? Will I need to work more hours to put food on the table? Will finances be even tighter than they are now? Thankfully I’m blessed with a great wife I love very much. We have been able to work through these issues (we’ve had many battles though!).

        Please know that my Church doesn’t believe women are “brood mares” and they certainly aren’t called to have unlimited children until they drop. If you’d like more information you might check out the link below:

        http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/what-is-nfp/

      • Thank you for your thoughts on this topic. I do think it taxes time commitments and financial ability as a family adds more children. Balance is important, and I certainly respect that you have been able to have those discussions with your wife.

        While it sometimes isn’t pleasant to think about today’s 24-hour techie world as a complicating factor, I think it has had an impact on how we live our lives and how we balance work and family life.

        I will certainly check out the link as I am always interested in learning and being informed – although perhaps it sometimes doesn’t appear that way. :-)

      • Dave MacDonald says:

        “I believe also that pregnancy begins at conception, but that does not mean I believe I have the right to decide for someone else if that person wants to use birth control.”

        I certainly can’t and won’t judge others if they use it. Heaven knows I have my own sins to answer for. I do believe I have a responsibility to lead people to the truth and to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

        I guess that’s what angers me about Planned Parenthood. Although they claim to help young women by giving them birth control pills, it sure looks like they’re exploiting them for profit.

        Former PP director Carol Everett admitted this in 2009, “we had a whole plan that sold abortion and it was called sex education. Break down their natural modesty, separate them from their parents and their values, and become the sex expert in their lives so they turn to us when we would give them a low-dose birth control pill they would get pregnant on or a defective condom. Our goal was 3-5 abortions from every girl between the ages of 13 and 18.” (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaTywSDmls )

        They’re counting on the 3-5% failure rate of the low dose birth control, and ready to provide the “solution” when it does.

  12. Dave MacDonald says:

    I believe Wikipedia’s use of the word “may” be specious at best.

    Pill manufacturers lowered the amount of Estrogen from 150 mcg to 20-30 mcg to reduce side effects, but this increased the number of unintended breakthrough ovulations. Adding Progesterone makes the uterine wall hostile for implantation. We know the pill has a failure rate of 3-5%. If 3-5% of women who take the pill still get pregnant, how many more women are having breakthrough ovulations? And of these, how many are actually conceiving but losing their embryos to the pill’s hostile effects on the uterine wall (aka abortion)? see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiCU46_lWeE

    Dr. Nine Van der Vange et.al. have reported breakthrough ovulation rates of 17-27 ovulations per 100 women who used the pill for one year. Van der Vange’s research “used high resolution ultra-sound which visually showed that women ovulate on the popularly prescribed low dose pill. A blood test confirmed that ovulation had occurred.” (source: http://www.lifeandlibertyministries.com/archives/000358.php ).

    If one knew that 1%, 5%, or 10+% of the time the pill caused an abortion of a conceived child would one continue to use it? I stand by my statement – women continue to use it because they don’t know.

  13. Dave:

    I checked out the link you gave. Interesting information, and I understand the underlying nature of NFP, but I also found another site – Catholic – which does a discusses the struggles that can be attendant to NFP.

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/01/11/when-natural-family-planning-gets-tough/

    I appreciate the fact that by looking at each site I got a sense of what NFP is as well as the issues involved . Although not called the “rhythm method”, it appears to be pretty much the same thing with a different name.

    http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/rhythm-method

    In any form of birth control (other than permanent sterilization), trust lies with each other. If NFP is truly 98% effective, then it would be a better way to go – I am very anti-medication so the idea of not putting harmful chemical concoctions in a body is very positive.

    Thanks for the info; I enjoy learning about areas where I may not have full information.

  14. Dave MacDonald says:

    Thanks, Charlotte. My wife and I have had our struggles with NFP. I also should have clarified we’re now using the Creighton Model which works best for us (see: http://www.creightonmodel.com/advantages.htm ).

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