In the headlines, the reproductive rights battle has been over South Dakota's new forced-pregnancy law. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. digby reports about the Republicans' full-on assault on birth control altogether. First, he quotes from the Kos enterprise:
Today the United States Senate is considering a bill that would have a serious and damaging impact on health coverage for women across the United States. The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions, such as laws that require them to include contraceptives in their prescription plans.digby seems to get what's at stake here:
This development is very interesting in light of the new emphasis on birth control among strategists in the Democratic party. The next battle is already being fought out on the edges of the abortion debate. If this goes the way of Democrats' previous brilliant strategies in the culture wars, within five years we'll have jettisoned our argument about Roe altogether and will be fighting with all our might to preserve Griswold, which the other side will be arguing is a matter of states' rights just like Roe. (No "streamlining" necessary.)
You'd think that common sense would preclude this, but it won't. Common sense says that regulating guns in a country of almost 300 million people is the smart thing to do....
...But more than anything else we must accept the fact that these people are serious. They want to outlaw abortion and they want to curtail people's access to birth control. They aren't lying. And as they've shown with gun rights, they are in it for the long haul. We must be just a stubborn as they are and seek to wear them down rather than let them wear us down.
This is not an issue for tweaking. Let's tweak on the Ten Commandments or public funds for parochial schools or something else if it is necessary to adjust for this family values crap in order to win elections. State mandated forced childbirth and denial of access to birth control cannot be negotiated or finessed. This one's going to have to be fought out head to head, day to day to a final reckoning. That's what they are going to do and if we don't recognise that and act accordingly, we will lose.
The question is this: Where to we turn to? After all, the "big tent" Democrats -- a favorite meme from the Big Box Blogs of the past year -- are siding with the Republicans:
Nebraskaâ€™s Senator Ben Nelson and U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), today announced a landmark agreement between key stakeholders on a broad-ranging health insurance bill to provide more affordable health insurance options to Americaâ€™s small businesses and working families.Who says Republicans work their nefarious plots alone? Senate Democrats are right alongside in the effort to ban birth control.
I'm sure Bob Casey, Jr. would approve.