Yesterday was a big day for our neighbours (or, sorry, is that “neighbors”?) next door! August 1 marked the first day that United States’ federal health reform contraception mandate comes into play. Starting now, the next time that insurance companies go into open enrollment periods (the period where new policy years start and they bring on new enrollees) those companies will have to start providing contraceptive coverage—and some other neat benefits—to their clients, with no co-pay.
It’s a wee bit more complicated than our single-payer health care, but let me put it this way: by January, if you are female bodied, American, and have insurance through your employer, you will have access to contraception with no co-pay. Neat, right? Pop the champagne? Pull out an encore of the celebratory Bollywood videos?
Well, not for everyone. A couple right-wing extremists, in fact, were downright incensed.
Father Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, described the mandate as “unjust”. And Republican House representative Mike Kelly called August 1 a date that will “live in infamy” alongside Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center attacks. Why? Kelly thinks that forcing companies to provide contraception coverage for their employees goes against employers’ religious liberties and is an attack on America.
That’s right. Kelly is comparing birth control provision to the attacks that killed his country’s civilians and provoked large-scale military actions.
Mike Kelly called the mandate an “attack on our religious freedom.” But, as I noted yesterday, Reverend Harry Knox of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice alleges that those who challenge the mandate are the real attackers of individual liberty.
You know, when people say unbelievable things in the Internet age, you pretty much have two choices:
You can get mad.
Or you can post animal videos.