Out of Control on Contraception

“Contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League. O.K., not a sentiment most Americans share.

Comments: 153

  1. We are sincerely hypocritical With highest motives analytical, Contraception, abortion, Bound in dank distortion, For poltroons to make points political.

  2. Polititical: discussion of issues pertaining to those who bring new life to the world. Just a suggestion from a humble admirer.

  3. An excellent voice in the wilderness voiced, and excellent column. Thank you, Ms. Collins.

  4. Not in the wilderness. I want a women's march to go to tomorrow. Really--don't like birth control? Don't use it.

  5. Marvelous analysis. One or the other, can't be both.

  6. Yes it can be both and must be both if the goal is to maintain patriarchal control of women.

  7. Ironic that all of this bizarre religious "reasoning" about birth control comes from the same end of our great political divide as those who fear that Muslims will somehow take over and impose Sharia Law. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, I will not be doing any business with any organization that excludes birth control from their health care plans and will encourage the sharing of this knowledge with others. Hopefully, most women will likewise shun organizations as employers. Contributing to unwanted pregnancies and STDs is a serious moral crime.

  8. Are there any advocacy groups publishing lists of companies which exclude birth control and other women's healthcare benefits from their employee health plans?

  9. Hobby Lobby has not seen my business since they sued. Any others who deny women contraceptives will also be denied my business.

  10. I agree. Haven't stepped foot in hobby lobby since and won't

  11. "“To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League on its website." Actually, what is anti- baby is 1) the Republicans letting the Children's Health insurance Plan expire 2) denying health care to hard-working women who may become pregnant in Republican states that refuse Medicaid expansion

  12. "How can you fight against both abortion and contraception?" There is a third possible explanation. Radical Republicans and religionistas simply love a good old-fashioned forced pregnancy because the sadistic joy of divinely punishing women for having sex is one of life's basic misogynistic satisfactions, or as our Groper-In-Chief said last year, "there has to be some form of punishment" for women who reject male sperm. Let's face it, the religious community is profoundly uncomfortable with sexuality and think women should bear the burden of their sexual phobias, prejudices and patriarchal power games. The good news is that the Christian Shariah community is not forcing the American female public to wear drapes from head to toe year-round like our Muslim Shariah friends are doing....so that's hopeful. America's 'be fruitful and multiply' crowd, the same cancer of growth folks who brought you 7.5 billion humans collapsing the Earth's delicate air, water and soil ecosystems, just can't understand that lack of contraception and lack of sex education is anti-Earth. Instead of following the Bible's 'steward the Earth' advice, the Grand Old Phonies and Biblical Hypocrites are sticking with their 'rape the Earth' overpopulation recipe..."praise the destructive Lord". The problem with living one's life according to a medieval religious textbook is that one's views tend to be medieval. No contraception, no abortions and a complete raping of modern common sense. Nice GOPeople.

  13. Here we have trump, who has spent decades bragging about his promiscuity. Now he throws some treats to evangelicals in appreciation for their inexplicable support. He allows them to impose, in certain ways, their own extreme views about sexuality and reproductive rights on the rest of us. Its clearer than ever that republicans care nothing about life, babies, preventing unplanned pregnancies, "pain-capable" fetuses, faith, freedom, contraception or even abortion. They care only about controlling and punishing women for not meeting standards they think are godly. As if they got pregnant by themselves. Sexually immoral men are never scorned. Its like the Scarlet Letter in 21st century America. I have to believe that the reason shared by the majority of Americans will prevail, and trump's payoff to evangelicals will be another nail in his coffin.

  14. Gail, there is a third possibility. Many anti-abortion proponents are actually anti-sex-beyond-the-confines-of-marriage, hiding behind the "murdered babies" curtain. (If murdered babies were their concern, they would be more invested in the care of these babies once delivered. See also Sister Joan Chittister's 2004 interview with Bill Moyer, in which she described these people as pro-birth.). So: no contraception, no abortion, no help to women who carry pregnancies to term without support. Seems so simple, viewed through the right lens.

  15. How does being anti-sex outside of marriage explain their being against contraception for everyone, married or not?

  16. Dan Savage explains the people who oppose contraception as opposing sex-without-consequences. If people can have sex without risking pregnancy, it makes a mockery of their own self-denial. Although according to the Guttmacher Institute, most of this self-denial is feigned rather than real: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2006/premarital-sex-nearly-unive...

  17. Exactly. Sex for unmarried women should be forbidden. Then no need for birth control or abortion.

  18. "Birth control" pharmaceuticals are really hormone therapy. "Birth control" prevents cancer (uterine, ovarian). "Birth control" controls bleeding (heavy periods, irregular periods). "Birth control" is pain relief (endometriosis, dysmennorhea/painful period cramps, ovulation pain, menstrual migraines). "Birth control" is seizure control (progesterone was found to greatly reduce the number of seizures experienced by women with epilepsy). "Birth control" is a mood stabilizer (erratic hormone levels in some women can cause depression, irritability, unstable moods, and other psychological distress). "Birth control" is migraine control. Stabilizing hormone levels can prevent certain types of migraines. "Birth control" coverage lowers *everyone's* health care costs, increases the health and well-being of millions, and relieves a great deal of suffering.

  19. Contraception has several medical uses.... not just avoiding babies. The assumption that humans will stop having sex is simply naive. We are hard-wired to seek it. Women, however, bear a multi-year burden from a contraceptive error. Why are so many men so fascinated with controlling women's healthcare decisions? Men's sexual healthcare is funded and men's vasectomies are funded. Most men would flunk a human female anatomy or physiology test. Maybe the legal challenge should be based on discrimination?

  20. The insurance the Little Sisters of the Poor provide for their employees covers hormonal treatment even when it has a side effect of temporary infertility. they just aren't willing to pay for it when it has no medical purpose.

  21. If you look at anti-contraception rallies, more women than men are participants. Perhaps its Stockholm syndrome or maybe just finding security in conforming to very well defined and rigid rules of behavior.

  22. Excellent point. Why should we have to pay for Viagra out of my taxes?

  23. The 'Little Sisters of the Poor' apparently feel they need more poor for their sister-ship. The poor must be in short supply these days. But the Little Sisters of the Poor will be filling that shortage thanks to the pious work of the Big Sisters of the Rich otherwise known as the Republican Congress and the Trump Administration.

  24. Thank you Ms Collins for putting into words how frustrating and hypocritical our politicians have become when it comes to abortion and birth control. The American people overwhelming support access to affordable birth control. Why are we allowing a small minority to impose their religious beliefs on those who don't share them. Unwanted pregnancies become unwanted children. My mom got pregnant with me at 20 and due to religious beliefs chose not to have an abortion. I have spent my entire life being told that my birth ruined her life. Birth control would have allowed her to put off being a parent until she was ready. No child deserves to grow up being resented by their mother. We are not a theocracy. Allowing people to impose their religious beliefs on all Americans is a violation of our constitutional rights to live our lives as we see fit. If you don't believe in abortions or birth control that's fine you don't have to utilize those options. But stop taking away my choice to live my life as I see fit.

  25. Saying to an adult woman that she has to pay for her own contraception is not imposing a theocracy on her. Too bad you are allowing your own unhappy life to color your attitudes and to lead you to believe you should be able to impose your religion on others. Most unplanned children have parents that love them and want them.

  26. I'm sorry your mom is so inconsistent in her beliefs. Her belief that birthing you was her obligation didn't extend to believing that cherishing you was also her obligation. I hope you make peace with her and have found other people who do cherish you.

  27. Contraception is what allowed women to rise in the workplace. It was a major contributor to economic growth, and allowed families to maintain some degree of financial security when manufacturing jobs for men were exported. As an employer, I have no intention of seeking to control my employees' reproductive options. Any employer who does should have all of their employees of child-bearing age not show up. Or maybe it's finally time for oral contraceptives to be available over-the-counter. I keep wondering what country I seem to have wandered into, and how on earth do I find my way back? Where's my copy of The Handmaid's Tale?

  28. Birth control pills would be a significant expense for the poor if they were OTC and hence not covered by insurance. Some Republicans have promoted the idea of OTC as yet another way of punishing the poor. Now the poor are in danger of not having birth control pills available at all, as a practical matter.

  29. Liberals will not allow contraceptives to become available over-the-counter. That would mean they would no longer be covered by insurance and the drug companies would have to lower their prices and their profits would decline. Democrats do not want there to be a free market for healthcare because their crony socialist donors would have to compete.

  30. Over the counter and FREE. No doctor visit necessary.

  31. The anti-abortion movement was preceded, for 50 years, by the anti-contraception movement. Anti-contraception is a coherent position, although it is about sexual promiscuity, not babies. Along came Roe v. Wade and it seemed only "natural" that if one was already against contraception one would necessarily be against abortion, too. But it turned out that this logic only flowed in one direction, from anti-contraception toward anti-abortion. As Gail Collins points out, when you start from the anti-abortion position it isn't logical to walk backward to incorporate the earlier anti-contraception doctrine along with it. This is an interesting example of logical reasoning that only works in one direction. An epistemological paradox. But anyway it doesn't matter, because on this issue only liberals are interested in logical reasoning. Conservatives, particularly religious conservatives are committed to magical realism. Of course on other political questions those rules of decision are reversed. Ah well. Feminism hit its high water mark with Hillary. Now we get to watch the tide going out.

  32. It is sad that this author does not understand the concept of "free exercise of religion" contained in the First Amendment. After the right to life, it is the most important of our liberties. The Federal and State Governments have many ways that they can provide free contraceptives to the public if they wish to do so. There is no need to use government power to coerce anyone else to be involved in providing them. The reaction to this is decision is also overblown for 2 reasons: 1. The executive decision is merely codifying what the Supreme Court has already ruled. 2. The decision will affect very few people. The vast majority of the public is employed by companies that do not object to providing contraceptives.

  33. Good thing we have a Constitutional scholar on hand to explain this concept to Ms Collins Actually, there are many good reasons to "coerce" employers to provide contraception. Medicaid, paid for by taxpayers, covers the cost of 50% of all births in the US. Helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies by removing cost barriers to contraception is very much in society's best interest. Government "coerces" us into doing many things that are similarly in society's interests - requiring us to buy car insurance when we drive, requiring flood insurance on homes with federally-backed mortgages, requiring employers to provide workers compensation insurance. Additionally, there are enormous benefits in the efficiency of healthcare when there are straightforward rules about basic coverage that all plan have to follow. When calls have to be made about coverage and co-payments for millions of women trying to select an affordable contraceptive method, there are costs to the system that make healthcare more expensive for everyone on all types of insurance.

  34. Religious nuts are free to not practice birth control, however birth control i a medical process, religion does not give you a right to deny these to others. The free exercise of religion is personal, keep it in your home. Just suppose my religion says you have to have an abortion if you are unmarried. Religion is bunk to start with, so denying others certain medical processes because of p your irrational belief in some god is just plain immoral.

  35. Hobby Lobby applied only to closely held businesses. Trump's order exempts publicly held corporations--all businesses. In addition the objection doesn't have to be religious--it can be anything. (Also, no president needs to codify SCOTUS decisions. Only Congress can make or modify laws.) This latest decision will affect millions of women, not just a few people. How would you suggest the federal government provide contraception to all women? Do you want to expand Medicaid to include universal contraception, regardless of income?

  36. Ready access to contraception is so reasonable it defies common sense that we have people who object without good rationale. Let people have a choice about using contraception technology, and reduce unwanted pregnancies. Thank you Gail Collins for writing on this topic.

  37. People have to be willing to fight to keep hard-earned rights. Apparently, not enough women of childbearing age care about this issue, nor are they willing to fight for their reproductive health rights. End of story.

  38. There are plenty of women ..and men...fighting for this issue. Congress isn’t listening to the majority of people who feel that birth control is necessary for a healthy society.

  39. so tomorrow every man and woman has to hit the streets in protest? and how will that affect trump's dismissal of this mandate?

  40. Very few women of child-bearing age can responsibly afford to have a child in our capitalist driven country with little to not social supports. I am someone who would have been thrilled to have had a child if only I had could have managed it financially. Without health insurance, maternity leave, free childcare and an education that might have led to a solid job it simply wasn’t feasible.

  41. Many of the people who reject both abortion and contraception will cite the Bible as justification for their position, ignoring the ambiguity of the Scriptures on these issues. More importantly, their reliance on a religious text to determine their view on contentious social issues precludes any debate that might lead to compromise. Their implied assertion that God endorses their opinion means that anyone who challenges their claim threatens to violate their right to religious freedom. Such a stance strikes at the heart of the values that make a democratic polity possible. Without compromise, a free society cracks apart at its foundation. The Obama administration tried very hard to compromise on the issue of companies providing contraception coverage for their employees. But the Little Sisters of the Poor rejected the offer, apparently on the grounds that God would hold them responsible for the coverage, even if they didn't pay for it. In effect, the charity demanded that its employees sacrifice their freedom of choice in order to protect the tender consciences of the Sisters. This conception of religious freedom, which asserts the priority of your beliefs over those of other people, threatens the survival of the secular society created by the Constitution.

  42. Well yes. But those people don't want a secular society. They interpret the Constitution as tacitly assuming the US is a kind of generic Christian society tolerant of weak and inconspicuous other faiths subject to being proselytized. In fact, they see destroying secular society institutions as their moral obligation. No different from the Taliban and ISIS except for their theology of choice.

  43. One could wonder why Donald and Melania don't have eight or ten children, if birth control is such an odious thing. God forbid!

  44. I'm not so sure -- Watch them together sometime. I'm not sure birth control has been very necessary ...

  45. After a lifetime of hearing these atrocious claims from legislators that females be subject to every sexual assault and also bear their assaulter's children, I have concluded that despite every form of religion and religious rulings, the brutality of cruel men has been accepted as something that is 'natural.'

  46. It's easier to buy a gun in this country than it is to get prescription birth control. No background check is needed if a gun is bought at a gun show, from an individual, or online. Meanwhile, women have to worry that their employer might drop contraceptive coverage from their insurance policy. Republican politicians love guns but they sure don't love their female constituents.

  47. Ive actually been in this situation. Had no insurance and couldn’t get a prescription for the pill I’d taken for over 5 years after losing my job & employer-sponsored insurance, and having no income to pay for a doctors visit for a prescription renewal. Couldn’t afford the pill regardless, because the one I’ve taken since 2001 for health reasons other than pregnancy prevention is typically $70ish per month, and the generic doesn’t work for me. Without details, it took so much pain, time & effort to get a new prescription that I could have gotten a gun or street drugs within an hour if I had wanted to, versus nearly two month for the pill. The ACA has saved me enough money to put that $70 /mo. into a mortgage, which I couldn’t have done if I were paying the equivalent of a monthly mortgage payment each year on this pill, which I’ll still need to take into the foreseeable future.

  48. You can bet your house that were roles reversed nd only men bore children that there would be free birth control provided every month. In fact, their wives would be putting it in the soup, the meatloaf,, the apple pie (with no motherhood!).

  49. I catch your sentiment. But really, if women didn't bear children, they wouldn't be what we now call women. And if men bore children they wouldn't be what we now call men. I think the biology you're thinking of is one where both genders equally share the burden of child bearing. Perhaps the way seahorses reproduce is what you're proposing.

  50. Gail, you've missed a third group of people. Those who don't believe the gov't should be on the business of telling anyone what to do, effective or not. You know, the people who believe taxes are a form of robbery, along with the more conspiracy minded folks who wake up every day thinking about how the federal government is out to screw them. You know, the people who say that even if it saves money for society, or even if it promotes better health, they don't want the goverment involved. These people prefer elected officials who are dedicated to not attempting to do anything constructive. You see they keep getting elected.

  51. This kind of mentality i centuries old. People will have sex, it i part of natural selection. We know young men and girls reach sexual desire in their late teens. Controls on this behavior has been tried long before written history. When men ruled absolute they placed restrictions on women to keep them as their own. Current conservative Islam requires women wear burkas to keep them from enticing men. many Christian Churches has restrictions on sex as it knows people will do it anyway, and feel guilty. Guilt keeps people in the church. The U.S. grew with puritan principles, a "Hellfire Nation." These GOP politicians are stoking the prejudices of this puritan mentality. They are letting religion supersede reason and personal rights. They are just immoral, they want to deny women the access to birth control measures that are provided by most medical insurance programs because some religious nut wants to force his views on others. We have reached the age of political despicabability, these politicians appeal to the mentality of a banana slug, They have followings of those who want to make others believe and behave as they would like them to do,using religion for legitimacy. It is to bad for us that their mothers did not use birth control, we are overpopulated with them.

  52. Contraception is not anti-baby. It is anti-unplanned-and-can't-be-cared-for baby. What's the alternative? Abortion? Married couples not being able to express their love for one another by having sex? Nobody is forcing anybody to use birth control. You don't believe in it? And corporations don't have religious beliefs. Individuals do, including employees who need health care. In Reformation-era Germany, the province had to follow the religion chosen by the prince. In the United States in the 21st century, there's no justification for forcing employees to follow the religion chosen by their boss.

  53. There is no requirement today that employees follow the religion of their employer. There is no employer who is firing employees who use contraception.

  54. so It’s fine for Trump to cater to the crowd that has a blatant disregard for the First Amendment. Thanks to Hobby Lobby he can. But it’s not fine for secularists to fight for their freedom to use birth control in health plans paid for by secular employers. So I do have one big question: will the fathers and husbands of those poor women forced to make every sex act one aimed at procreation, also be denied coverage for ED drugs? Or is it only women treated like social pariahs for having sexual relations? I bet Rep Murphy’s lover wasn’t Christian either—every evangelist knows it’s a serious sin to have sex out of wedlock, with punishment doubled for having it with married men. Hypocrisy, thy party is Republican.

  55. Yet one more reason employer provided healthcare is a bad idea. Funny how the people who don't want our democratically elected officials setting standards are perfectly willing to let our employers control our lives in this way.

  56. There are over 100,000 Christian Scientists in the US. Many of them are very sincere in their religious beliefs, which include the tenet that sickness can generally be cured by prayer, with no intervention by medical personnel. Does it follow from Trump's doctrine of "freedom of religion" that if a Christian Scientist runs a large company, he/she cannot be compelled to provide the company's employees with health insurance that covers fees for medical personnel?

  57. I find it very curious that there has never been any controversy concerning the use or reimbursement for Viagra, the most profitable drug ever marketed. I guess ED is epidemic. When it involves medical interventions for male reproductive issues the conservative pro-lifers give enthusiastic support. But women having contraceptives to control unwanted pregnancies is "sinful" and "against nature." Two choices for women, abstinence or pregnancy. Even in 2017 denying women access to contraceptives is the law of the land.

  58. I consider this an assault against women.

  59. “To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League on its website. Why, yes! Yes, it is! How clever of you to understand! Contraception means not conceiving a baby that you don't want! And if men don't want babies or abortions, they can either use contraception or pleasure themselves! It is very simple! Congratulations on comprehending the matter.

  60. Representative Murphy voted and supported a legislature measure banning abortion after 20 weeks. His mistress at the time tough she could be pregnant. I am sure that it happened before the 20th weeks which after abortion is banned in the proposed bill . So may be Representative Murphy just forgot all those years to tell us that he did not have a problem with abortion from week 1 to 19. Also when I heard the words "religious liberty" from the religious right, it means liberty to discriminate and using the State to impose their religious believes on every one.

  61. This op-Ed is right on point. Concerning those children born due to the removal of these contraceptive methods, all health care employee providers, insurance entities and the individuals who voted to pass this slap in the face to responsible women, should be required to provide financial support for the resulting children, through their 18th birthday.

  62. How many ways can this wrong decision by the SC strangle American liberty? The problem isn't business being "forced" to provide services that don't line up with their personal religious beliefs; the problem originates from mixing business and religion. And endowing business or corporations with rights that are equal to or greater than individuals. How can a business have a faith? Faith is a gift from God. It's bestowed on people, His creation. Not on businesses. Human rights and women's rights are no match against business interests that now control all branches of government in this country . Women and their healthcare providers should be rising up against this latest attempt to circumvent privacy and science, in the name of religious freedom. Like we won't notice...

  63. I would suggest another explanation for the anti-abortion/anti-contraception supporters relentless attack on women's reproductive rights. They have hated everything about women's liberation and want to drive women back to the dark ages where we were chattel to be handed from father to husband with no rights what so ever. Trust me the anti abortion/anti-contraception crowd is just using abortion and contraception as a cloak for their real agenda and that is to take away all women's rights - the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to have credit in our own names, the right to work and make our own money, the right to decide if we want to get married, the right to decide for ourselves when, where, how, and IF we want to have children. This is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

  64. I am offended that my religious and moral beliefs are less valid than the beliefs of other people. I thought freedom of religion meant I can live according to my own beliefs not that others are free to impose their beliefs on me. Something is wrong.

  65. Gail Collins says there are two categories of people who support restrictions on both birth control and abortions: (1) political hacks with no fundamental principles who just want to garner votes; and (2) people of sincere religious convictions who want to impose their own personal theology on Americans who don’t share it. But there is a third category: those who don't believe that a woman should have control over her own body, future and autonomy.

  66. One of the things I find out when I read the pages of the NY Times is that I'm different. My views are light-years away from the liberals who preach in NY Times editorials. Take birth control for example. I believe first that birth control should be offered free by the government. Since it's a government right, it need not be covered by health insurance. End of problem. You have a moral objection. Then just don't use what government provides for free. Your employer need results have no qualms about giving you something that goes against his conscience, because that's not part of the health insurance that he may provide. But I go somewhat further. Women who have at least one child should be REQUIRED to use an IUD unless they have a clear plan for raising any child that results from a pregnancy, intended or not. Is an IUD birth control? I suppose it is. In other words, what the US needs is a one-child policy much like what China has had. So I suppose that's to the left of the left wing. But my justification is unassailable. We live on a finite planet. If we don't stop reproducing too many children, nature will bite back. In fact, it already is. There are already 800 million people world wide who suffer from chronic malnutrition. The fact is that there are too many people on the planet. The real immoral act is creating another human being without a long term plan to support and nurture that human. I guess that means no children without prior planning.

  67. As long as the majority of our politicians are men, as long as they are Republicans, as long as they are interested in RULING rather than governing, we will have an unequal society. Perhaps it's time for the Sabine woman in each of us to appear.

  68. I really wish reporters and commentators would stop using the term right-to-life and change it to right-to-birth. None of these organization give a hoot about the life of a child once it is born. Ending CHIP was just one small (and it was NOT small) indication of the truth behind the rhetoric of the so called right-to-life proponents.

  69. The whole religious freedom claim by Huckabee Sanders, among others, is a joke. Can I now just stop paying taxes because my religious beliefs are against the wars the U.S. has, and will in the future, wage? Or because my religious beliefs are against the environmental destruction caused by the policy and outright lies of politicians? And isn't religious freedom more about citizens' rights not to be subjected to the tyranny of others' religious views than it is about citizens' rights not to be subjected to the tyranny of secularism and the lack of a state-sponsored religion?

  70. Where is the voice of this magnificent Pope that everyone speaks so highly of? He certainly must realize that this obsessive compulsion and never ending torturous grind promulgated against the health care that women must have to keep themselves alive and healthy will, in the long run do the Church a bit of no good. Who among us does not understand that child-bearing is a difficult process...not the piece of cake that some would suggest. Mis-carriages occur, ectopic-pregnancies happen, fetuses are sometimes deformed, cancer in a women is diagnosed making chemotherapy not a good option for the fetus , and accidents happen. Yes boys and girls, life happens. Why is it so difficult for some who would not choose abortion for themselves to allow others to choose to make their own choices? What is happening to our civil society?

  71. Why does Trump think he has any rights to control my uterus or how I decide for my body what I need or don't need? Why is he focusing on women's rights? Women will continue to use birth control whether it is paid by the government or not - it is the poor women who will continue to have non-wanted babies that will depend on the government for support. It really makes no sense and at some point Trump needs to be removed and this government get back to do the business it has always done. Enough is enough already...

  72. What I find most interesting is the ideologue mindset of politicians who twist themselves into knots opposing birth control, while at the same time opposing abortion for any reason. I guess this makes them not "pro-life" but rather "pro-fetus/anti-child," because they are also the same ones who would cut support to the poor (after all, they are just lazy, right?), cut school lunch programs (let mothers make their lunches!) and cut medical services to those most in need so the wealthy can get bigger tax breaks.

  73. "When the Obama administration was putting the Affordable Care Act into operation, it struggled long and hard to allow employers with anti-contraception convictions to avoid directly providing the benefits, while making sure women still got birth control as part of their health care plan." This points to another difference between the prior administration and this one. While the prior administration worked hard to consider differences, the present administration for everything uses the most simplistic solutions. Everything is dumbed down to answer to primitive instincts, 'nuff said.

  74. Why do so many otherwise intelligent people keep expressing surprise that many of the same people who oppose abortion also oppose contraception? For those on the right, opposition to abortion and opposition to contraception are one and the same thing: it's all about controlling women and keeping them socially, financially, physically, and emotionally dependent on men--like they used to be in the good ol' days. Back into the kitchen, ladies!

  75. Yeah, but we'll still have Paul Ryan! Thank goodness for his trenchant ability to get past the cant and nonsense and put this issue in its proper context. I love you Paul!

  76. Ms. Collins, like many Republican lawmakers, Tim Murphy wanted to have his cake and eat it too. If he had been a faithful spouse, he wouldn't be resigning later this month. Republicans used to place a high premium on God, country and family. What happened?

  77. This is about men who cling to the notion (the hope) that they are superior to women and have every right to control them. In reality, they are terrified of them.

  78. Making it harder for women to get contraception will result in more abortions, not fewer. And you may be sure that desperate women will do whatever it takes not to bear a child they cannot possibly take care of, or that is so damaged in utero that it cannot live, no matter what care it receives. And as for religious and moral objections to allowing insurance policies to provide contraception: I wonder what kind of religion or moral code these MEN have that make them think that it is a GOOD thing to force women into this kind of predicament.

  79. We are retrogressing on issues that affect women, at least for the moment. Hopefully it is only temporary although the trend is not looking good. You have Trump who said some sort punishment should be meted out to women who have abortion before backing out of that statement. Rep. Murphy may be gone, but there is a good possibility that Judge Roy Moore of Alabama will be elected senator. Moore's position on abortion was the subject of a New York magazine article which said, "Roy Moore has staked out the most hard-core position imaginable on abortion, and has maintained an uncomfortably close relationship with activists who justify violence against abortion providers and punishment of women for exercising their right to choose. And that’s aside from his regular comments suggesting that legalized abortion and homosexuality have brought down divine wrath on America." http://tinyurl.com/ycodu8ss The article also quotes from a decision by the Judge on a case that involved the prosecution of a woman who supposedly endangered her fetus by taking drugs. Bizarre doesn't quite begin to describe the Moore's views.

  80. Before abortion became legal in California (1973), most people my age (then, 29) in Los Angeles knew the flight number that went to Nogales, the taxi company to take to the clinic, the name of the doctor who did the work. Cost, in 1970: $500. Two thoughts based on those years come to mind: 1. When employers realize that most employees having abortions are carrying the seeds of their senior management, the rules will be relaxed. 2. This attempt at full employment for straight, white men denies the reality that few people can lead a medium-range middle-class life without two incomes. Good luck, guys.

  81. Since these free market hypocrites cannot seem to chew gum and lie at the same time, perhaps we should apply a free market solution. Anyone who wants birth control can order it from any country they want. About $2/mo in Mexico without a prescription. The postage is more than the pill. Why not extend this to all medications. Put a little competition into big pharma.

  82. those who try to force religious employers who sincerely believe abortion is immoral, and do not agree with birth control, ARE IN FACT "trying to impose their own personal theology on Americans who don’t share it." Check in a mirror before you start pointing fingers. Hypocrisy is a hard reflection to see. I can only hope that by noticing it, we can do away with blanket statements about "the other side" and begin to have an honest, sincere dialogue.

  83. The Abrahamic religions, including the Judeo-Christian culture in the U.S., regard human sexuality with moral horror. It has become a minority view, but its intensity and its residual resonance allows it to punch above its weight.

  84. Public policy is being dictated by people who want women to have sex only for baby-making purposes and to punish those who make "mistakes." I'm in my 60s now -- until the last few years I could never have believed that the US would become so retrograde.

  85. What is frightening is that in 2017 we are even having this conversation. Women's rights are regressing. I sure hope the young women of today are paying attention. They may have to start getting busy and fight for their rights to their full autonomy. Who would've thought, even not too long ago, that women would lose their rights to control their own bodies. Protesting in those Handmaiden outfits is highly effective. Keep doing these, it freaks people out a bit, as it should. Find out where these various men who oppose abortion live and go silently stand in front of their houses at all hours. It'll annoy his neighbors too, who will in turn shun them.

  86. One glaring problem that is being ignored is that we have way too many babies already. I'm not in favor of abortion, but is is and should remain solely the woman's choice. I'm very much in favor of women being able to determine when and with whom they wish to create a child, and effective affordable or free contraception is a godsend for them. Has anyone found a reasonable answer to why contraception is so opposed (other than in the Catholic leadership, since 90+% of Catholics today use or have used it).

  87. Forcing women to both do without contraception AND restricting abortion to zero (the ultimate goal of the anti-abortion crowd) needs to be seen for what it is: relegating women to the status of cattle. They claim to be doing it on 'moral grounds'. But it is an empty 'morality' that requires no sacrifice from those claiming it. It isn't men that are sacrificing anything by making female contraception harder to get. And the like-minded women going along with the men are simply enablers of a project that will end up relegating them, their sisters, and female descendants to 2nd class status. When rights and freedoms no longer have a practical purpose, it isn't long before the those statutes granting such rights get purged altogether. That's when America will join El Salvador, and other countries, in creating the legal purgatory of locking up tens of thousands of women and doctors on the mere suspicion of having 'willfully caused' a terminated pregnancy, even though Mother Nature herself has always, and will always, terminate pregnancies for reasons that can only be known to the God the self-righteous claim inspiration from. That same self-righteous, evangelistic, zeal gave us the 21st Amendment of Prohibition and, 24 years and untold suffering, killing, and dying later, its repeal in 1933. What should be seen as an obvious road already taken, is being ignored like so much 'fake news'. It, too, will end in tears. Especially for women.

  88. Another faction, mostly male, simply does not want to pay for female contraception because "they don't us it". Those people will also be a-okay with this. I have had more than one man express this opinion to me! And I live in bright blue SEATTLE!

  89. Out of control on Contraception is what happens when separation between state and religion is ignored and trampled on. Some may believe everything their religious leader tells them on Sunday, but most of us do find religious preachings driving government policy repugnant. Much religion is misogynistic - one more reason religious principals should not drive government policy. The First Amendment establishes freedom OF religion, not governance BY religion. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

  90. You know, sometimes you just nail it and there’s nothing more to say other than thanks. Thanks.

  91. I'm a gay man - I've never needed birth control. But the people who want to deny women access to birth control and then deny them the right to an abortion when (inevitably) they get pregnant are the very same people who worked mightily to criminalize my consensual sex life and then to deny my people access to the full panoply of civil liberties and protections they smugly take for granted. Women's struggle for choice is my fight for legitimacy and is black people's quest for freedom. We're all in this together.

  92. Right again, Gail. We are dealing with cynics and sincere people who lack the religious tolerance supposedly built into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In both cases, American ideals are tossed aside in favor of the kind of regime the founding fathers sought to avoid. Neither a theocracy nor an oligarchy sustained by decades of funding for propagandists and partisan think tanks can ever represent anything but a perversion of an American project originally dedicated to, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

  93. The American far right says they are pro life, but they are just part of a traditional patriarchal society that wants to keep women "in their place." They are not any different from other conservative religious societies around the world.

  94. Why are we still fighting this issue? Why are someone else's religious views allowed to be imposed on any woman's access to abortion and birth control? This is a health issue for women for many, many reasons, and should be treated as such. Not mixed up with someone else's piety. You never hear these same people clamoring to be allowed not to pay for erectile dysfunction prescriptions because of deeply held religious convictions. Employers not being mandated to pay for contraception, is still about controlling a woman's right to choose, and religious views are the disguise used to hide intent. Good riddance to Tim Murphy. How many others are there without a moral compass, let alone deeply held religious convictions serving in Congress affecting lives with no thoughts to consequences? It makes me shudder.

  95. Women need access to self-managed birth control for not only economic and health reasons, but in order to cope with a society that looks the other way when a husband, boyfriend, or perfect stranger forces a woman to have sex without it. Where consent cannot be guaranteed, women should have the means to control the potential results - since we also have no guarantee that the male will share the responsibility for them.

  96. The steadfast conservatives in the anti-abortion business – Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, James Dobson, Franklin Graham, et al. – are similar to the lobbyists for the National Rifle Association. Just as the N.R.A. resists the mildest form of gun control for fear of a slippery slope towards losing bigger gun issues, the people who make their livings being anti-abortion are illogically against contraception. The professional defenders of Christian extremism know that contraception makes abortion less likely, but their jobs depend upon denying that fact.

  97. Donald Trump remarked that avoiding STDs was his own Vietnam. So it is more than safe to assume that he has no qualms about using contraception. Yet he has now made it harder for others to access an aid whose availability Trump has taken for granted. Another double standard from another two-faced Republican politician. The only remarkable aspect is that anyone could take him seriously when he drops lines about a supposed assault on religious liberty.

  98. I'd like to impose my beliefs. I don't want any of my health insurance dollars to pay for erectile dysfunction drugs. That might also cut down on unwanted pregnancies, especially from older white men who have extramarital sex without being willing to accept the consequences.

  99. “To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League. With this statement, they tell us what this issue is really all about for them. It isn't about protecting "life." It's about opposing feminism. They think a woman's place is in the home, raising babies. And they want to force the rest of us to live according to this faith-based, ancient belief. So much for religious liberty.

  100. No access to birth control or abortions, but no access to healthcare for pregnant women and their children either. So goes the "pro-life" agenda. As noted elsewhere in this paper, it's all about control and power. We invade countries halfway around the world to fight religious extremism and -- remember this? -- the rights of women, and then willfully allow those same extremists to suppress those rights at home. At what point do the people of this country start paying attention and quit electing these men?

  101. I think we ought to give Donald Trump some credit. The Republican President is following his script. This has been a tough week for Republicans. The initial reports on the tragedy in Las Vegas led to queries from the media about action on gun control. The Republican President quickly responded that the proposed gun control measures would not have prevented the tragic event. Then the media reported that the gunman had used a bump fire stock. Trump realized he was in trouble. The bump fire stock installed on the assault rifles enabled the gunman to kill and more people than with a standard stock on the assault rifles. The Republicans would probably be forced to concede that bump fire stocks ought to be banned. Another tough week ending in The Republican President to admit to his base that he had taken a loss on gun control. Trump managed to eke out a win for his base by issuing executive orders to roll back Obamacare contraception requirement. This gave Trump the opportunity to change topic. We have learned that's a big deal for Trump. The best thing to do is to publicize that the bump fire stock is a patented invention and put pressure on Trump and his Republican Congress to roll back patent protection any invention affecting guns. That would be meaningful reform and hand The Republican President, the NRA and gun manufacturers a terrific loss.

  102. Excellent column. Contraceptives are actually pro-baby. They allow a woman to have and care for a baby when she's able to, not when someone else tells her to.

  103. Making abortion rare = maximize access to birth control. Limiting access to birth control= more abortions Forget about abstinence. That is not the real world. Make birth control widely available and free, teach young men and women how to use it, make wise choices, and be smart. That is how to reduce abortions. It's not that hard to understand.

  104. The introduction of the birth control pill in 1960 improved our society in so many serious and tangible ways, as stated by many other commenters here. But it really amped up the Puritan who, as H.L. Mencken said. "is someone who is desperately afraid that, somewhere, someone might be having a good time." Then Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in 1973. I thought that it would be universally seen that contraception is preferable to abortion. But no, the Puritans among us were doubly amped to oppose both. Now the Republicans have become the Puritans of the 21st century. The real Puritans ceased to be an influence in America; so will the Republicans.

  105. How swiftly they move to eliminate women’s rights and scream to the heaven this is about protecting the sanctity of life! But they can’t do a thing about mass murders - not so pro-life are we? It’s quite baffling.

  106. Women need to liberate themselves again. "Under My Thumb" was a song of the Sixties that still rings true today with Congress and the conservatives on the Supreme Court. Women can make bad choices as Trump's wives can attest. They can also make excellent choices as the late Martin Ginsberg and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Michelle and Barack Obama can attest. Give women the FREEDOM to make their own choices and the financial support that contraceptive coverage affords, and they will fly. In the meantime, why is health insurance paying for erectile dysfunction meds? Take them away from men and there will also be fewer accidental pregnancies!

  107. We need to grow up. We keep electing folks who pretend to be cowboys, firemen, ruggedly individualistic paragons of virtue and compassionate/benevolent heroes. We know they're pretending, nobody is really like that, even if some of us have some of those admirable qualities. Apparently we like being lied to. I'm a wartime vet, mostly redneck, pickup, guns, and wear cowboy hats and boots frequently. I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger, Rambo, James Bond or Harry Potter. I don't think anyone else is either. I'm also not stereotypical, as I favor all rights for all people, including minorities, women, immigrants (to a generous point, but to a point), etc. I vote for those who share those beliefs, not blindly in thrall to the NRA, nor the ACLU. I'm beyond skeptical of anyone wearing their religion on their sleeve, and get seriously ticked off when it's a politician. Most folks are like me in that respect, yet somehow we keep electing opportunistic snake oil salesmen, and I can't believe it's all because of gerrymanders. We used to put a lot of stock in character, and we could discern someone's character fairly well. Now it seems we indulge in willful ignorance to empower our fantasies, and have disregarded what we ought to know are the inevitable consequences. Is it something in the water? Have we in fact been so dumbed down as to no longer deserve democracy? We used to understand that democracy was hard work, but we've apparently decided to take the day off.

  108. During the campaign Trump said a woman should be "punished" for having an abortion. This policy change should then come as no surprise. The GOP war on women continues unabated, until voters decide otherwise.

  109. “To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League on its website. Message to the American Life League: No it's not. Contraception is an act of responsibility. Know what's anti-baby? Not taking measures to prevent having children you either don't want or can't afford.

  110. As an MD I have always kept the patient-doctor confidentiality contract sacred. However on MANY occasions I have seen my patients in gauntlet lines at the entrance of women’s health clinics that provide abortions--a LEGAL procedure. I I just never worked at a clinic providing this surgical intervention. But I did drive by such a clinic and always admired the moral and physical strength of those workers wearing bullet proof vests escorting women in from the parking lots or bus stops. Bulletproof vests!! I would see a woman or couple vehemently protesting the clinic. They would be carrying awful signs with enlarged photos of fetuses, would be screaming or spitting on the people going into a clinic. (In 2014, the Supreme Court said NO! to a case where a Massachusetts’ clinic simply wanted a buffer zone of 35 feet keeping protesters away from the patients and escorts....even though SCOTUS has a buffer zone.) They keep this up ALL DAY LONG! So I go into our exam room and here’s that SAME couple or woman asking me for a referral for an abortion! I get the reason of “Just got back in shape after last baby” or “we have a trip to Europe planned.” While examining the woman and doing a pregnancy test (There are other reasons for skipping a period besides pregnancy) I’ll casually bring up “I wonder what reason ‘those’ women at the women’s clinic have for terminating a pregnancy?” INVARIABLY the answer is “They use abortions for birth control!” Put THAT in the paper!

  111. Out there somewhere is, I suspect, at least one woman who has had an abortion that was facilitated by Donald Trump. It's similarly likely that she would have received money in exchange for sworn secrecy. How about a prospective crowdfunding campaign to return that money on her behalf so she can tear up the contract and come forward?

  112. "Farewell, Representative Murphy. If you hadn’t been forced to resign, you’d probably have come up with a terrific post extolling President Trump’s announcement. Even though I’ll bet you were a contraception fan in private life." Though, it would seem, not enough of a fan in private life to have taken direct personal responsibility for contraception, and instead was assuming that his sexual partner would be tending to that detail.

  113. “To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby" By the same token, abstinence is also anti-baby. So is fidelity when one partner is fertile but the other is not. And so, too, is seeking sexual gratification with children unable to be party to child birth (quick, where is that first stone, Catholic clergy?). There is nothing wrong with choosing not to have babies when one or both would-be parents are not prepared to raise a child. There is something terribly wrong with deliberately encouraging unwanted pregnancy by outlawing or economically depriving others of the most likely means to prevent it, however.

  114. Women need birth control pills for endometriosis, heavy periods, irregular menses, and other issues besides birth control. This is a misogynistic attack on women. Republicans want to control women and put us back in the "good old days" of barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. We have separation of church and state and there are no medical reasons for their anti birth control and abortion stance.

  115. I can't wait for 2018 and 2020. I am tired of minority rule. Please help vote these un-representatives out of office. Fury cannot begin to describe what some of us are feeling these days.

  116. The women who should have birth control available to them in many cases do not have health insurance. Do NOT want tax dollars to go to those that will pay for birth control anyway. Want my taxes to go to those who have no other recourse. I do not want taxes to go to sex change operations for those that entered the military only to decide to change gender on the taxpayers. That does not mean I am anti gay etc. taxes dollars are finite.

  117. Now if the government bans insurance from paying for contraceptives, does that mean the government will no longer pay for vasectomies and viagra? Or are men more equal than women?

  118. I believe this is a form of the sexual harassment of women. No insurance coverage for contraception for women; then no insurance coverage for ED prescriptions for men.

  119. Doing away with birth control has been a plan of the GOP for a long time. They don't want women in the workforce. They resent it, in fact. They consider that women are taking the jobs of deserving men.

  120. Thank you, Gail Collins. There's a war going on and it's frightening.

  121. I’m so thankful to be past my reproductive years. But I have a daughter, a granddaughter, and nieces who will have to contend with these old white men whose cherished goal is to deprive women of our agency. The hypocrisy is despicable. Control over our reproductive destiny is so fundamental to steering our paths, yet these politicians treat us as if we have no right or ability to run our own lives. I have to stop now - I’m reduced to spluttering expletives.

  122. Each day's incredible destruction of our society feels numbing. This is a heinous attack on women, and on the "individual liberty" that GOP pretends to advocate for (except when it might cost them them votes). Perhaps the strategy is for women in Red states (with essentially no legalized abortion) to give birth to as many babies as possible, who then fill up future "Make America Great Again" rallies and perpetuate the cycle.

  123. "They’re people of sincere religious conviction, trying to impose their own personal theology on Americans who don’t share it." What, imposing one's views (whether their origin is religious or based on ideology) is wrong? That is pretty rich coming from someone with such stereotypical liberal views. That is what the right complains about about you guys doing all the time! You win the election, you set the rules.

  124. Men in this country are not denied any medical procedures. NONE! EVER!

  125. The Trump backtrack is even more absurd than his usual nonsense. Only Trump, Ryan and their friends would defend the non-existent religious rights of corporations with hundreds of thousands of shareholders. Managers and stockholders can have religious beliefs (if they are natural persons), but they are not the employers. Even the Supreme Court recognized this in the Hobby Lobby case, although I disgree with Supreme Court's decision because they treated the owners and managers of a privately-held corporation as capable of having religious views and rights. That Hobby Lobby decision (5-4) was in my view incorrect as a matter of law, but not completely absurd as Trump's decision is on contraceptives. This is true completely independently of a natural person's view of contraception.

  126. Unfortunately, this could lead to an increase in the pregnancy rate for mistresses of pro-life politicians.

  127. It is all about controlling women. Babies have nothing to do with it. That little blue pill is still covered.

  128. The state of hypocrisy on these issues is the state of confusion. How in the world can justification be made to limit birth control if you are pro-life. It must be the hypocrisy of women are only supposed to have sex to make babies that drives this thinking and if you cannot have an abortion then you will raise that baby or cease having sex. Makes sense to me. Who besides married congressmen need sex? At the other end of this is the belief that once the baby is born the government has no interest. They don't care if the kid lives in poverty, doesn't get lunch and gets sick but doesn't have healthcare. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? What a wonderful way to exert control over women without having to justify the thinking. Once again, thank you GOP congress, what ever would we do without you to set us all straight.

  129. The biggest thing in the news right now is "why did he shoot all those people?" It's amazing that no one spends much effort or is really interested in why all these sanctimonious people vote for politicians like Murphy and Trump. I actually overheard someone say the other day, "I'm so happy we finally have a church-going President." Does anyone actually keep track of how many times djt has gone to church since he was sworn in? They probably would rather not know, and live in their fantasy of having a Christian president.

  130. The Government wants to cut Medicaid. I've heard that half of the recipients of Medicaid are children. If we provided free condoms (as they do in Denmark) and free birth control to women, Medicaid costs would be far less. Another alternative is for every anti-abortionist family to adopt an unwanted child. Far less children would wind up in Foster Care which costs the government two or three thousand a month for at least 18 years. These foster children are oftentimes abused, raped, etc. One more thing, do you think legislator's wives use birth control? Do the mean use it except when they are having sex with their mistresses, I guess.

  131. Trump & the GOP aren't pro-life; they're merely pro-birth. After the baby's born they want nothing whatsoever to do with nurturing and sustaining the baby's life: nothing for clothing, feeding, housing, or taking care of the infant's medical needs. Their concern is only for life in the womb; not for life itself. If we want to reduce abortions, we need science based sex-ed, Obama Care, contraception, and family planning.

  132. Let's line up behind this one and put the onus where it belongs. Require all men who anticipate engaging in unprotected vaginal intercourse with women to get written approval in advance from either the women's parents or the county clerk. Upon pain of imprisonment.

  133. Murphy may be gone, but there will be plenty of hypocrites running to take his place. It's a solid red district, after all.

  134. This is a really well written and carefully reasoned column. Good job, Gail! The truth is, it doesn't matter whether politicians who are opponents of both contraception and abortion are simply demagogic trolls or religious fanatics who actually despise democracy and yearn for the good old days of theocracy. There are plenty of them in the GOP and, until we vote them out of office, we will have to put up with their nonsense.

  135. Representative Murphy will do just fine. He will get a high paying job with a GOP think tank writing articles about how both contraception and abortions must be outlawed. There is always a market for unethical hypocrites on the far right.

  136. As someone who supports contraception and a woman's choice 150%, and consider this one of the last, best and most important reasons left to vote for the Democratic Party, I wonder if Gail Collins was equally smacking her head during the 2016 campaign, wondering if it was really worth it for the Democrats to fall on the sword and risk everything to support de facto open borders and mass migration. And was it really worth it to choose identity politics as the hill to die on. And when I read Susan Brownmiller's NY Times opinion last week, entitled "Hugh Hefner Was My Enemy," attacking the deceased Mr. Hefner for his support of contraception, abortion and women's rights, because his support did not come from a place that Ms. Brownmiller considered worthy, I smacked my head again and began to wonder just how much do the Democrats really care about a woman's right to choose? Because if you don't care about winning and putting together a winning coalition, you are going to end up with the results Ms. Collins details here. In his early 1990's book, "The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society," the passionate Democrat Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. predicted today's exact result if the Democrats & academia continued to double-down on political correctness and cultural Marxism. So now contraception and a woman's right to choose are in play and under serious siege. I can only hope the Democrats are seriously reassessing their strategy for 2018 and 2020.

  137. Every day our nation under Trump goes backward to the dark ages. I truly can not believe this is okay with a majority of citizens in the United States. The list of scandals just since January 2017 is longer than anyone thought possible. Remember, it was just Sunday that the white guy with tons of guns killed 58 people in Las Vegas. The Republican Party has an unusual idea for right to life.

  138. It continues to astonish me that people with an omnipotent, omniscient God cannot rely on his judgment. God obviously entrusted women with the responsibility for bearing children and with the power and the right to make decisions about how, by whom, and when she gets pregnant, and whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Clearly this God is deficient and must be shored up by old men who know better than he just how much control women require. It further astonishes me that some women worship this same God.

  139. I'm sure Murphy is far from the only Republican who thinks that way. It's as if they would rig the system, if they could. Oh wait!

  140. And this party is raking in the donations! How did we get here? Miss Solo in American History 11 made us so proud of the foundation of this democracy . At the bicentennial we celebrated the enlightened words of scholars, philosophers, and sages, who had succeeded in creating a more perfect union striving to make itself better by being true to the ideals for which we fought. How is it possible, in a country with 4,700 universities, that we stand helpless against this assault on the separation of church and state in a government run by the Mad Hatter and the hypocrites who have hitched their wagon to his incompetence? How sad it is that our last line of defense against this folly are the comedians on late night TV.

  141. Thank You! Nicely written but too certain it has fallen on deaf ears. It is hard to believe that this has only received 3 comments here. So sad.

  142. The attitude of Americans toward birth control is far different from their attitudes toward abortion. Only 4% oppose birth control. I would call that a lunatic fringe. The number of employers known to have sought to end their birth control insurance since Hobby Lobby was decided is 71, according to Mother Jones. Trump's policies are odious. But he repeatedly fails to accomplish big things. Women should not be left with the impression that their birth control insurance is likely to be discontinued unless they work at one of the 71 companies Mother Jones lists. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-sebelius-contrac...

  143. Ha! Religion. When the vast majority of half the adult population needs a prescription to prevent starting their own '19 kids and counting', employer resistance comes down to cold hard cash. Employers don't want to pay for it, so they lobby to get out of it under the guise of "religious beliefs". Since those in charge of business or politics (or, cynically, both) can afford abortions for their mistresses and the pill for their wives, the legislation they push simply advantages their pocketbooks.

  144. The Trump Regime is filled with self-righteous right wingers. Expect more ideological impositions that are contrary to what most Americans believe and/or want. They believe that they must move our country back to the 1950's. And if most Americans don't want to well that's tough. 260 days into the Trump Regime. I couldn't have imagined what is unfolding. I wonder when they will try to make abortion illegal outright. And re-criminalize Marijuana. America is going it alone. Thumbing our nose at our allies. Inviting Iran to re-start it's nuclear program. Proving that America's commitment to treaty agreements are worth the paper that they're written on. Even the majority of American people aren't on board with these fool's agendas.

  145. When religious rights trump civil rights it's one giant step toward theocracy.

  146. Compensation of an employee is not a form religious expression.

  147. Spot on, Gail! If one opposes abortions, then also opposing the most effective way of preventing abortions - contraception to prevent pregnancy - makes no sense. Unless you don't want people to have sex, and think the risk of pregnancy and the social shame that you believe should accompany it, is how to achieve that goal. Of course all of human history can attest to how well that works. If you oppose both abortion and birth control on moral grounds, fine. No one is forcing you to have an abortion or use contraceptives. If you believe everyone should adopt your moral point of view, fine. Convince everyone to convert. Making birth control harder to get as part of an anti-abortion policy is just insane.

  148. American Life League? Why not report on every wack job group in the country? I'm starting one to protect the life of four leaf clover because every life is sacred.

  149. It takes two..... Why is it only one who needs to be responsible? This hurts everyone.

  150. How can this possibly be legal? It is simply another appalling example of Trumpery. Time for another Women's March. Boycott Hobby Lobby and any other business that shows such swinish disregard for women's rights. I never dreamed I would live in a country that has become so backward that even Ireland looks progressive compared with us now.

  151. From a pure profit perspective, funding birth control reduces maternity leave expense, eh Smithers. Someone should be handing out the pills in the lunch room.

  152. In medical speak a miscarriage is called a spontaneous AB, AB being the short form of the word, abortion. These can occur any time from conception to 8+ months into the pregnancy. They just happen, often without any discernible cause. That's why they're called spontaneous. Weird fact: spontaneous ABs outnumber induced abortions. Since Republicans and Right to Life proponents don't believe in science and nature, these "spontaneous" occurrences must have an initiating cause. That being the case, who or what is that cause? Mom didn't do anything; she didn't even know she was pregnant in the earliest stages. Her period came and went, more or less on time, maybe with a bit more bleeding than usual, but nothing more than that. Hard to pin the blame on the dad or on anyone else, Planned Parenthood included. Why, if a dozen cells, give or take, is a human being, are the Republicans not up in arms about all these "deaths." "God works in mysterious ways" fails to convince. That is just a cop out. If you're going to punish the woman for getting pregnant against her wishes, why aren't you denouncing God for failing her when her wanted pregnancy is aborted by him?

  153. As Tim Murphy so well demonstrates, GOPers are having sex with women (certainly, some also with men, despite the GOP's simmering homophobia, but that's another column). Since we women aren't getting our money's worth from the federal government - no equity in health care, sexual discrimination in employment, wage disparity of 77 cents on the dollar - it seems to be time for the Lysistrata technique. Might even make #45 take notice.