The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan. UPDATED.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

As most everyone now knows, the bill was withdrawn before a vote. Yes, be happy. That said, go ahead and read all the following, and remember. Remember just what they wanted to do, and still want to do. We cannot afford to forget.

 
This post brought to you with a leaden heart sinking in a simultaneous sea of fury and despair. It’s going to be a roundup, because I just can’t. I can’t.

Trump budget boss: If you want insurance to cover maternity care, lobby your state legislature. Trumpcare: Giving you the freedom to purchase health insurance that covers nothing.

On Thursday, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus tentatively worked out a deal: Trump would agree to remove mandatory coverage of “essential services” from his health care bill in order to win the far-right caucus’ support for it.

Essential services include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, emergency services, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drug coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, every health insurance plan sold in the US must cover them.

White House says maternity care won’t be more expensive for women —if they’re on a family plan: A story of male priorities on women’s health care, in two acts.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that women wouldn’t have to worry about paying more for maternity care under Trumpcare, as long as they’re on a family plan.

The exchange came as a reporter pressed Spicer on reports that the GOP is considering repealing Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits mandate — a requirement that all insurance plans cover services such as hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

Spicer called the furor over these benefits a “philosophical discussion,” and argued that repealing them was a way to bring premiums down.

The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill: Several official Twitter accounts lobbied Congress in support of the AHCA bill.

On Thursday morning, as the Trump administration frantically tried to save its deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act replacement bill, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted out a message to Trump’s dwindling pool of supporters urging them to call their congressperson in support of the American Health Care Act.

Hours later, similarly worded tweets were sent from the official @POTUS account and Donald Trump’s personal account.

But as some people were quick to note, directly lobbying Congress in support of (or opposition to) a bill using federal dollars—including White House staff who earn federal salaries—is strictly forbidden under 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

The Trump White House seems confused about how pregnancy works: Let me teach you about the birds and the bees.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that, if a faction of the most conservative House Republicans gets its way, will eliminate the requirement that insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits. These benefits include maternity care, a fact that the Trump White House views as an opportunity to pit men against women.

It’s a common joke among the Affordable Care Act’s opponents. Why should a man pay for women’s health care? Hilarious!

At least with respect to maternity care, however, there’s a very simple answer to this question. Because of the unusual nature of pregnancy, either everyone must pay for pregnancy coverage, or no one will have pregnancy coverage.

The reason why is a problem known as “adverse selection.”

In last ditch effort for votes, Trump says goal of Trumpcare is to end Planned Parenthood: Trump quite literally plays politics with women’s health.

A photo of the House Freedom Caucus and Mike Pence went viral on Thursday, and for good reason — it showed that in a discussion over the future of women’s health insurance plans, the only people in the room were white men.

In a bid to get the far-right Freedom Caucus on board, President Trump and GOP leadership (again, all men) offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates that health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

According to reports, however, the Freedom Caucus still doesn’t think the bill goes far enough. And on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to levy one more threat at its members, dangling women’s health coverage in front of them as bait:


The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

There’s many ways in which Trumpcare would disproportionately affect women. It would price abortion care out of reach for many women, even some on employee-sponsored plans. It would roll back Medicaid and charge seniors more for health insurance, hurting two populations that are predominately female. With the new revisions, it will roll back maternity coverage.

And, as Trump alludes to, it would federally defund Planned Parenthood —which in practice, actually means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Trump knows this.

Oh, the Stupid. Too Much.

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

See that list in the photo? Those are all things we are about to lose here behind The Gold Curtain. America the Fucked Up. CNN tackled Spicer, who was going with full out bluster, in an attempt to defend this monstrousness. I’m just going to remark on a bit of the stupid, I’m close to overdosing on it already today.

According to Spicer, “older men, older women” who had “gotten passed [sic] maternity age” were being forced to pay for maternity care, driving up the overall cost of insurance.

When, exactly, do men get past maternity age? There are men in their 70s who have very young children, under the age of 5. Also, a lot of women don’t have children until they are in their 40s, so can we at least define this “passed the maternity age” business? Then, if you don’t mind, would you answer as to why you think any of this is your fucking business? Also, y’know, lot of people out there, older ones, who have children who are now having children, and they have a vested interest in them having good healthcare. That sort of thing is called family. You should look it up.

“People who were at the younger end of the age scale were buying end-of-life benefits,” he added.

What, I wonder, do you mean by that one? It’s not in the least uncommon for younger people to make plans for the end of their life, that would be why people make wills, have insurance, and so on, you stupid dipstick of an idiot. What in the fuckety fuck makes you think being younger automatically rules out catastrophic health problems? Accidents? Terminal illness? Not everyone dies at the age of 100something. Most of us won’t make it that far. At your age, Mr. Spicer, I’d think you’d know just how fast it flashes past, and before you know it, you aren’t 25 anymore. Trying to have some safety nets laid out in front of you is one way to prepare, so you can have a good life that isn’t completely wiped out by one unforeseen complication.

The people in charge of the Fuck You Care Plan, now with added Fuck. You.!

Via Raw Story.

ETA: In the comments, I included a link to yet another callous rethuglican, who made a very nasty remark about mammograms. The tweetstream following his notpology is very long, and a good many people brought up a very important point: men also have breasts, and yes, they can get breast cancer too. This is not brought up enough, and men, seriously, if you find you have a lump, get your self to a doctor, immediately! Ignoring such a thing leads to one place: death. Also, manhandle your breasts every month, have a check for anything suspicious. If you have a partner, it can be fun to check each other!

The Male Breast Cancer Coalition.

The Christian God: An Ideal Sociopath.

Oklahoma State Rep. George Faught (Facebook).

Oklahoma State Rep. George Faught (Facebook).

Christians. The more you know about them, the more certain you become that this barbaric and disgusting religion has no place at all in any society which deems itself civilised. Not that I’d go so far as to describe America as civilised, it isn’t, especially when you line it up next to actually civilised countries. However, the bloodthirsty, empathy-free hatred practiced by Christians, too many of them infesting the Regime, does not speak well, even in a nation more barbaric than most.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House met to discuss engrossment of its controversial House Bill-1549, which would prohibit anyone from seeking an abortion in the case of a genetic abnormality.

Oklahoma State Rep. Cory Williams (D) asked Rep. George Faught — who authored the bill — if rape is the “will of God.”

“Well, you know, if you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple circumstances where that happened,” Faught began. “The Lord uses all circumstances. I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality unfortunately,” he said.

Williams followed up, asking if incest is the “will of God.”

“Same answer. Doesn’t deal with this bill,” Faught said. Williams argued that the questions matter to the legislation, given that Faught was unwilling to make exceptions in the case of rape or incest. “You are proffering a divine intervention as the reason why you won’t do that and so I think it is very important.”

Well, Faught is correct that the bible, an incredibly disgusting pastiche of tales, has rape and incest in it. More than just a couple of circumstances. There’s actually a fucktonne of rape in the bible, quite a lot of it is commanded by that ideal sociopath worshiped by Christians, Jehovah. Jehovah doesn’t have the slightest issue with rape, thinks it’s rather dandy. If you actually read the bible, which most Christians don’t, the sheer amount of rape in the bible is damn near overwhelming. Incest isn’t looked down on much, either. Of course it depends, many of the stories in the bible have more than one version, most of them contradictory. Jehovah didn’t think it was a bad thing to slaughter or sacrifice children, either. I suppose we should all count ourselves lucky none of the Christian sociopaths are trying to find a way to legislate that one.

 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Numbers 31: 17, 18.

Nice, ennit? That’s said by that wonderful hero Moses, by the way.

“This body wants to know — and myself personally — whether you believe rape and incest are actually the will of God,” Williams questioned.

“It’s a great question to ask,” said Faught. “And, obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened, but — so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life and can’t use anything and everything in someone’s life and I disagree with that.”

If it’s such a great question to ask, why don’t you just come right out with an answer? Easy enough: yes. Because that’s what you mean, but you don’t want to come right out and say it. Even Christians know this shit is disgusting, repugnant, and barbaric, which is why the little dance all around the question. They know they are deliberately backward people, who find any reason to indulge in monstrous behaviour.

And yes, you know, I fully understand just how aghast many Christians would be at the thought of saying rape and incest is okey dokey and “God” approved, but when it comes right down to it, you aren’t aghast enough, because the question involved is a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, and that’s where most all Christians screech to a halt. “Well, I don’t think that rape and incest stuff is right, but abortion, well, that’s wrong, and…” So, in the end, some Christians might find it in themselves to be oh so charitable and provide a rape or incest exception, but still be just fine with grinding women into the dirt when it comes to viewing them as full human beings who have every right to make their own medical decisions.

So many Christians just love to rail against people of other religious beliefs, one in particular these days, and often cite their horrendous treatment of women. Ah, that special blindness. Why in the fuck would a Christian think they treat women any better? A pox on all of you.

Via Raw Story.

The ‘Working for Women’ Award Goes To…

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Mike Pence! Aww, here ya go, you walking meatsack of sexism and hate:

star.001

…Naturally, he’s being honored with a “Working for Women” award by the “Independent Women’s Forum,” a conservative non-profit for which Kellyanne Conway is a board member. Ah, it all makes sense now.

A press release sent to the Cut describes the…honor…thusly:

“The award recognizes an individual who values free markets, works to create a more dynamic and innovative work world, and celebrates the valuable contributions women make to society.”

According to its website, the mission of the IWF is to “improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty.” Just to be clear, an award from a group that celebrates “personal liberty” is going to a man who is working feverishly to curtail the rights of women to control their own bodies. This is like giving Idi Amin a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian efforts.

Jesus Christ. Every time I think they just really couldn’t sink any lower, they manage it. Pence is someone who has spent his whole career trying to destroy women. He certainly has no use at all for them as actual autonomous, thinking human beings. Of course, this “award” is coming from a group which does not view other women as full human beings either. It scares me to think of the near to insane level of cognitive dissonance ringing in the brains of women like Carrie Lukas and Kellyanne Conway. That might explain the inability to actually think, that ringing has got to be awfully loud.

Via Jezebel.

The Fake News Pandemic of 1942.

Library of Congress.

Library of Congress.

Politico has an excellent article up about a previous fake news pandemic. It would be good if we could all learn a lesson from the past.

Seventy-five years ago, tens of thousands of white Southerners responded with agitated concern when they learned both by word of mouth and in some regional newspapers that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was traveling widely throughout the former Confederate states, quietly organizing black women into secret “Eleanor Clubs.” The club motto, “A white woman in the kitchen by 1943,” portended a dangerous inversion of the region’s longstanding racial patterns.

It was already widely believed in the South that black men had been brazenly stockpiling ice picks, pistols, rifles and explosives in anticipation of a larger race riot. With millions of white men now serving in the armed forces and stationed away from their families, the story went, white communities were vulnerable to an impending assault. When that day came, black women—many of whom worked in domestic service—intended to force their white employers to cook and clean for them. “Eleanor Clubs are stirring up trouble that never should have arisen,” a white North Carolinian observed with worry. “Clubs are making the Negroes discontented, making them question their status.”

Of course, not a word of this was true. But that didn’t make these race rumors less vivid in the minds of many ordinary white Southerners.

[…]

The parallels between 1942 and today stand out. In both cases, a country undergoing profound demographic and economic change has proven hospitable to many of the same general types of rumors. In 1942, black men allegedly plotted a violent (and sexually violent) coup against white Americans. In more recent times, a Kenyan-born Muslim managed to capture the presidency, and encouraged violent Mexican criminals to vote illegally. Eleanor Roosevelt, a powerful first lady who did in fact champion black civil rights, was allegedly complicit in prompting a race war. Hillary Clinton, a powerful former first lady and would-be president, allegedly trafficked young girls through the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.

In both eras, for many white Americans—particularly many white men experiencing a decline in economic and political power—these rumors were and are a way to protest a world in which women and people of color demanded greater privilege.

Highly Recommended Reading. Good lessons for us all.

Dudebro Is As Dudebro Does.

Via Twitter.

Via Twitter.

A wall street dudebro was caught on camera, humping the little girl statue facing down the wall street bull. Real nice, dude, getting happily rapey on a statue. I definitely don’t want to know what this asshole does with people. As The Mary Sue notes, the little girl statue was not universally liked by any means, but it seems dudebro was sufficiently threatened by an infantilized representation of women that it was necessary to do a hump grind.

…And yet, thanks to this Wall Street jerk, I find myself reevaluating the statue. Clearly, his masculinity was so threatened by the presence of this corporate-sponsored, deliberately infantilized depiction of female autonomy that he had to immediately establish disgusting dominance over it. Is this actually making Wall Street bros uncomfortable? Does it frighten them with a suggestion that women will one day overwhelm and unseat them from their positions of power? I mean, I can get behind that sort of thing!

More seriously, though, this statue and incident illustrate two equally essential requirements: we must demand and expect better from our feminism, while also anticipating and preparing for the worst from our patriarchal world.

The Mary Sue has the full story.

The Fascists of Silicon Valley.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Before Gamergate, Larry, the Google software engineer, was “a standard Democrat straight-voting person,” as he puts it. But reading about the movement in the tech press and on pro-Gamergate websites “did highlight some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies with positions on the left,” he says. A comment in a Gamergate thread led Larry to the Unz Review, a website run by Palo Alto tech entrepreneur and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz. There, Larry says he was exposed to treatises on “human biological diversity” expounding on the supposed cognitive differences between intellectually superior and inferior races.

Human biological diversity has also gained currency in the Valley through computer scientist Curtis Yarvin, who writes under the pseudonym Mencius Moldbug. Starting in 2007, in series of blog posts often cited by alt-right followers, Yarvin laid out a political philosophy known as neoreaction or the “Dark Enlightenment.” Combining a technocratic sensibility with reactionary political thought, neoreaction rejects Enlightenment concepts—such as democracy and equality of the races and sexes—and instead advocates something much closer to authoritarianism. Yarvin believes government would work much better if run like a tech company and helmed by an all-powerful CEO president. He spoke admiringly Napoleon, whom he considers to be “kind of the Steve Jobs of France.”

Yarvin’s blog combines dorky programmer lingo with dense references to obscure, proto-fascist political texts. “When I started blogging 10 years ago, the availability of completely unorthodox written content [online] was mostly confined to the pre-1923 corpus, which Google did such a nice job scanning,” Yarvin told me in an email. He believes that software programmers are attracted to his writings because they “are always looking for something to do with their restless, fidgety brains. Especially if it’s weird and doesn’t involve dealing with physical humans.”

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who reportedly gave Trump more than $1 million during the campaign and was an adviser on Trump’s transition team, has circled neoreactionary ideas. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” he wrote on the Cato Institute’s blog in 2009, adding that women and “welfare beneficiaries” have through their voting habits “rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron” (He clarified two weeks later that he supports women’s suffrage and redirected blame for the supposed demise of democracy on “unelected technocratic agencies.”)

That’s just part of an in-depth article on all the dyed-in-wool bigots infesting the tech sector. I’m sure this wouldn’t come as news to anyone who works in the industry, and certainly not news to women and people of colour. Recommended Reading.

“Why Should Men Pay For It?”

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

At a hearing markup on Wednesday, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) suggested that one reason Republicans object to Obamacare is that men have to pay for plans that cover maternity services, such as prenatal care.

The heated exchange happened during a lengthy markup session for the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Shimkus was responding to a question from Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), who asked a different colleague which mandates in Obamacare he took issue with.

“What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?” Doyle asked. “Certainly not with pre-existing conditions, or caps on benefits or letting your child stay on the policy until 26, so I’m curious what is it we’re mandating?”

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus butted in. “Is that not correct? And should they?”

Here’s a thought, you dimwitted dipstick – men are involved with the process of pregnancy. If you’re truly deadset on not paying for prenatal care, then perhaps you should propose a healthy penis penalty – everyone who is using one has to pay into a healthcare fund for reproductive care, including parental leave. After all, if you’re not going to pay attention to where you’re shooting that tarse, and refuse to take responsibility, I don’t see why women should have to bear the full cost. While you’re at it, increase that penis penalty by another ten percent – this can go into a fund providing accessible and affordable contraception, something else that really cuts down on costs, but you manage to be against that one, too. Oh, let’s tack on another ten percent – it could go to opt in sexual education classes, for everyone!

The fact that prenatal care, which results in healthy women and infants, is an excellent preventative act, and it’s certainly much cheaper to practice than the catastrophic costs involved when there is no care, and things go very wrong, doesn’t seem to matter to republicans. The most obvious practicalities can’t seem to penetrate the density of their ignorance and entitlement.

You can read about the whole mess, in-depth, at Think Progress.

Men Say The Stupidest Things.

urkey President Recep Tayyip, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, and President Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Adam Peck.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, and President Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Adam Peck.

Think Progress has a rundown on the misogynistic stupidity many world leaders spew all over the place. It’s a timely and fitting reminder of just who comprises the worst of obstacles when it comes to equality. I’ll just include the opener here, which is the Tiny Tyrant. You might want to avoid many of the videos, including the one of the Tiny Tyrant. It’s nauseating in the extreme to see people cheering on such open misogyny.

There are few universal truths, but one thing is for certain: women around the globe are still governed by leaders who think less of them. You would guess that lawmakers would be more educated about half of the world’s population, or, at the very least, set their biases aside while leading.

That is not the case.

As women around the world strike in solidarity in honor of International Women’s Day, here is a glimpse of some of the ridiculous, misogynistic comments that presidents and other influential legislators have openly made about women in the past year (in no particular order):

President Donald Trump, USA

We don’t even need to talk about THAT video from 2005. There is plenty of recent material to choose from.

There was that time he called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman,” and that time he said nobody would vote for Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina because of her face, or that other time he slut-shamed and commented on Miss Universe contestant Alicia Machado’s weight. We’ll just go with this:

The full rundown on stupid, misogynistic men in power is here.

A Planned, Personal Thank You.

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Pastor Greg Locke.

Tennessee Pastor Greg Locke is well known for his spittle-flecked invectives over most everything, but mostly over…women. Everyone knows everything is the fault of women, right? One woman made a donation to Planned Parenthood in Mr. Locke’s name, and he had a meltdown over it. He really, really doesn’t want anyone to ever do this again, so…

In the video below, he howls about the fact this thank you card was sent to him and wants to make it crystal clear that he doesn’t in anyway support women’s health care at Planned Parenthood. He warned that such donations in his name are a waste of time and he’ll deposit any thank you cards in the trash. So, whatever you do, don’t waste your time donating to the Planned Parenthood clinic closest to Greg Locke’s church—Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee—and don’t waste your time making sure a thank you card gets mailed to him at:

Greg Locke
c/o Global Vision Bible Church
2060 Old Lebanon Dirt Rd
Mt Juliet, TN 37122

Via Daily Kos.

Abusive Assholes Might Have A Change of Heart.

Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson (YouTube).

Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson (YouTube).

Domestic violence as grounds for divorce? No, no, those abusive asses might have a change of heart, y’know. Could happen, right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That said, Rep. Andy Gipson really thinks marriage ought to be a prison for abused spouses.

The Republican chair of the Mississippi House Judiciary B Committee this week killed a bill that would have made domestic violence grounds for divorce.

According to Mississippi Today, Republican Chairman Andy Gipson said that he would not take up Senate Bill 2703 before a Tuesday deadline, effectively allowing the bill to die.

The bill would have amended Mississippi law “to create domestic violence as additional grounds for fault divorce.”

[…]

Gipson, who is a Baptist pastor, has said that laws should encourage people to stay married.

“At a time I think we need to be adopting policies that promote marriage and people sticking together, I have some serious concerns about opening the floodgates any more than they already are,” the lawmaker explained. “I think the floodgates are already open and this just tears the dam down.”

“We need to have policies that strengthen marriage,” Gipson added. “If a person is abusive, they need to have a change in behavior and change of heart.”

Jesus fuckin’ Christ. You know what I think, Mr. Gipson? I think being christian ought to be a legal bar to being a politician. Especially asshole christians like yourself.

Via Raw Story.

Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one…

A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. CREDIT: AP /Rich Pedroncelli.

A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. CREDIT: AP /Rich Pedroncelli.

The Trump administration may weaken or eliminate the provision for full coverage of contraception in the Affordable Care Act, experts say, and it may not require any action from Republican allies in Congress.

The provision that allows women to receive full coverage for birth control — including insertion and removal of an IUD — could be eliminated or at least weakened through regulations, guidance, or law. Reproductive rights advocates are also waiting to see whether the Trump administration will continue to defend the mandate in the courts on Tuesday.

Newly minted Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has a record of dismissing women’s need for full coverage of birth control. In an interview with Think Progress in 2012, Price said, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one … The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”

During his confirmation hearing, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) asked Price about his 2012 statement on birth control because her constituents say birth control without a co-pay is essential to their health care. Price refused to commit to full coverage of birth control.

“There are avenues in the heath care system that doctors and hospitals take to make sure people can get the health care they need,” Price answered.

Price seems to think contraception is like having a doctor fill up a bag with pharmaceutical samples of something or other, to help out patients who can’t afford prescriptions. That sort of thing is usually done for a one time treatment. Contraception doesn’t work like that. As a former physician, I’m sure Mr. Price is aware of that, but that’s not as important as preventing people from having healthcare, especially those awful women. The way Price and his fellow travelers feel about it, contraception is a lifestyle choice, not a health issue.

Planned Parenthood clinics told NPR that, since the election of President Donald Trump, they have received more calls than usual from women interested in booking appointments for IUDs. An IUD is one of the most effective methods of birth control, since it is more than 99 percent effective. Without coverage provided by the mandate, a woman who works full time at minimum wage may have to pay a month’s salary for the cost of getting an IUD, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Women who use contraceptives consistently and correctly only account for 5 percent of all unintended pregnancies. But with financial barriers to access — especially access to effective but costly methods such as IUDs — women’s ability to prevent unintended pregnancies is significantly hampered.

41 years ago, I got an IUD through planned parenthood. At that time, I was a paid member, so it didn’t cost me a thing. I don’t remember the membership cost, but it was around 25 or 35 dollars. Way back then, people in general were favorable towards accessible, inexpensive birth control. There was still a very heavy stigma attached to single parenthood, and it was still considered to be shameful to be pregnant out of wedlock. The stigma was starting to fade in 1975, but it was still strong enough that the reasoning was contraception and pregnancy prevention was better than a bunch of single mothers. It was also easy  and hassle free to obtain an abortion back then. How things have changed.

In addition to what is happening in the courts, it is possible that an executive order could greatly expand exemptions for companies with religious or moral objections. A leaked draft of an executive order, first obtained by The Nation and Reveal earlier this month, would significantly weaken the contraception guarantee.

The order would appear to exempt any “closely held for-profit corporations” with moral or religious objections to meeting the requirements of the provision and lets them exclude coverage for contraception. Under the Obama administration’s religious accommodation, insurance companies have to provide separate coverage to women at no additional cost. Kinsey Hasstedt, senior policy manager for the Guttmacher Institute, said the draft is cause for concern, even though an official order has not been released.

“The leaked draft executive order would expand accommodations so it would be simpler for employers to reject some or all birth control options,” Hasstedt said. “It would be a dramatic expansion of exemptions.”

This draft uses broad terms to define religious freedom and requires the Department of Justice to defend “religious freedom.” It does specifically mention objections to abortion, contraception, and premarital sex, however.

The Religious Reich Republicans have been salivating for ages over the chance to kill off accessible, affordable contraception, and it looks like that chance has arrived. Think Progress has the in-depth coverage on this issue.

Real Men and Real Women…

Walt Unks, Winston-Salem Journal.

Walt Unks, Winston-Salem Journal.

A billboard between Winston-Salem and Greensboro has caught the eye — and the ire — of some who think it is a slam on gender equality. The sign reads, “Real men provide, Real women appreciate it.”

The billboard belongs to Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising, a company operated by Bill Whiteheart. He is a former Republican member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and was known for being socially and fiscally conservative, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The billboard was purchased by a company that wishes to remain nameless, Whiteheart said. It went up Friday and will remain for about 30 days.

A Whiteheart billboard costs about $2,000, he said.

Whiteheart said his company’s job is to convey a message, not to take sides on it.

[…]

The owner of a Winston-Salem women’s boutique called Kleur has organized a demonstration against the billboard’s message for Sunday at 11 a.m.

“We are NOT protesting that the sign is capable of existing, or the people who put it up, or the ad agency, or the right to put it up. We are protesting patriarchy and sexism, and that this antiquated way of thinking about women exists at all,” the group’s Facebook page said.

The protest takes place at the billboard’s location on I-40 West, headed into Winston -Salem from Kernersville. It is about 85 miles northeast of Charlotte.

Via News Observer and Charlotte Observer.