The Rise of the ‘Traditionalist International’.

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Right Wing Watch has in in-depth, disturbing look at the rise of Traditionalist International, or, the three way love affair going on between White Supremacists, the Religious Right, and Russia, or more specifically, Putin. From the Introduction:

Following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, two American contingents appeared to stand ascendant in the U.S.: white nationalists and the Religious Right. The former, ideological descendants of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow-era legislators, would like to return white supremacy to both state and federal law—or, barring that, break off part of the U.S. to form a white ethno-state wholesale. The latter, meanwhile, would allow Christian fundamentalism to become the U.S.’s de jure national religion, with attendant legislation targeting LGBT and minority religious communities alike. Both white nationalists and the Religious Right tossed vociferous support behind Trump’s candidacy during the recent presidential election, and both contingents thrilled at Trump’s unexpected victory, as well as the authoritarian bent he’s quickly brought to the executive branch.

However, Trump is not the sole leader that both of these cohorts vocally support. Indeed, for America’s white nationalists and for many within the Religious Right, there is only one country, and one leader, worth emulating. Rather than model their goals solely on a glorified Confederate past or lavish praise only on defeated fascist regimes in Europe, the figureheads of America’s far-right have found a new lodestar in Moscow.

From much later in the article:

While white nationalists continue to pile praise on Putin’s policies, so too has the U.S.’s Religious Right heaped approval on Moscow. Indeed, at some point over the past few years, Russia stopped being one of the primary importers of legislation inspired by the American Religious Right, and has instead begun exporting both rhetorical support and model legislation for social conservatives throughout the world. “We’ve seen an interesting crystallization in Putin’s third term of this kind of … nationalizing the culture wars—in part an American export—and then re-exporting them,” said Christopher Stroop, a postdoctoral scholar with the University of South Florida, who has researched Russia’s links with the American Religious Right. “Russia has begun explicitly branding itself as leader of the global right.”

As Stroop found, ties between Moscow and the U.S. Religious Right predate Putin’s presidency. In a 2016 article for Political Research Associates, Stroop traced the burgeoning links among “right-wing fellow travelers” in Russia and the U.S. to the initial days of post-Soviet independence.

Which president is the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values? Those, ladies and gentlemen, are quotes from Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. -Bryan Fischer, Oct. 2013, praising Putin’s piety.

The whole article is well worth reading, even if it is barely palatable. Recommended Reading.

Imprecatory Mutterings Against Nazgul Judges.

Lou Engle speaking at POTUS Shield Heartbeat Ohio conference, March 10, 2017.

Lou Engle speaking at POTUS Shield Heartbeat Ohio conference, March 10, 2017.

A whole lot of Christians, and much of Christianity is ineffably daft, you only need to read the bible to confirm it, or listen to people like Lou Engle, who seems to have a bit of trouble differentiating between the book of myths and the Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien. Ah well, they’re close enough, right? If you don’t know, imprecatory prayer is a specific type of prayer – basically, it’s asking ol’ Jehovah to go full court psycho on someone you don’t like, or view as an enemy. Psalms is stuffed full of ugly, gruesome imprecatory prayers, like so:

Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth … let them be as cut in pieces. … The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Psalm 58:6-10

Okay, onto the ineffable batshit daftness of Engle, who has set his sights on federal judges.

Dominionist Lou Engle, taking part in multi-day Ohio gathering of the Religious Right group POTUS Shield called on Friday for God to “sweep away” Supreme Court justices and federal judges who would uphold Roe v. Wade, suggesting that God could do so by converting them or killing them.

POTUS Shield is an operation launched by self-proclaimed apostles and prophets, many affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation, to pray for the Trump administration. The group is holding a multi-day prayer rally at Frank Amedia’s Touch Heaven Ministries Church in Canfield, Ohio, this week. Amedia was a prominentsupporter of Donald Trump, who campaigned at a worship event alongside Amedia, and for a time served as the Trump campaign’s volunteer “liaison of Christian policy.” On Friday morning, Lou Engle took the microphone and began to talk about abortion and the federal courts.

Engle said that during a recent five-day fast, he had a dream about women gathering to hear the book of Esther taught. Someone in the dream said that there are two words in the book of Esther that mean “Nazgul,” which Engle stated is the name of “the Witch King” of the ringwraiths in the Lord of the Rings, the “most powerful being of darkness and death” who could be killed by no man, but who is defeated by the King’s daughter as she proclaimed, “I am no man.” Engle said the dream means that God is raising up an Esther movement of conservative women. “We decree it,” shouted Engle. “The voice of Esther is coming to take out the Nazgul, the principalities of witchcraft and death that demand bloodshed for the fueling of the agenda of darkness.”

My first thought is that perhaps a five day fast is a day or two too much for Mr. Engle. Not that I altogether believe he did one in the first place. A number of christians have interesting rules when it comes to fasting, rules which allow drinks other than water, and certain foodstuffs. That said, telling your congregants you did a five day fast lends some sort of holy credence to your declarations, no matter how utterly batshit they may be, and there’s a load of guano in that, uh, dream. It’s interesting how often references to Tolkien come up in christian batshittery, it’s easy to get the idea they’d love to co-opt it into the bible somehow. Okay, so, conservative anti-choice women are going to…what, start murdering judges, or medical personnel, or women who might be coming out of a clinic? Hard to tell exactly who they think is responsible for the ‘bloodshed’ (abortion) fueling the agenda of darkness.

It’s always an agenda to these people, everyone has an agenda except them.

“God sweep away the judges,” Engle prayed. “Sweep away the Nazgul, the Haman spirit of death. We decree, God, the sweeping of the Supreme Court.”

Oh. Judges it is, then! Odd, calling imprecation down on the Supreme Court, as most of the justices are conservatives asses. I guess it doesn’t matter, Jehovah had better curse someone, so why not them? Will Jehovah understand the desired target? I don’t recall there being a godly message wherein Jehovah talked about reading Tolkien. Oh, the Haman business? Haman is the antagonist in the Esther story.

As we noted earlier this week, Engle called for a three-day Esther Fast to protect Trump from witchcraft; he said women around the world are praying for the reversal of Roe v. Wade and asking God, “pull down these Hamans, remove ‘em, either—” and there he stopped mid-sentence to make a point to those who might be squeamish about his rhetoric:

There’s video at the main link.

I tell you, the church can’t be humanistic right now. I feel this in my spirit. We’re so concerned about these Hamans that we’re not concerned about the millions of babies! I say that we believe that Donald Trump, President Trump, is a Jehu as well as a Cyrus. And I’ve been praying, ‘remove the house of Ahab.’ “We need to begin to pray to sweep away the House of Ahab,” Engle said.

Jehovah commanded Jehu to perform a series of mass murders, killing all of Ahab’s relatives who had ever pissed against a wall.  2 Kings 9:6-8 / 2 Kings 10:30 / 2 Chronicles 22:7 – but, Jehovah also condemned the genocide: Hosea 1:4.

“We declare that you are the God of the reversal of Haman’s decrees,” he said. “We declare the reversal of the decree of ’73, Roe v Wade … We declare the reversal of Roe v. Wade. The powers of Nazgul, witchcraft and death are being reversed now over this nation.”

At this point, there’s a whole lot about Engle going on about how Jehovah destroyed the Politburo. After that, Engle and Amedia get back on track, talking in particular about Justice Sotomayer, who they seem to find particularly problematic:

It turns out that both Amedia and Engle have been praying specifically for Justice Sonia Sotomayor to have “an encounter with the living God” so “that she would see things from the mind of Christ, no longer from darkness, but from light, and that she would judge from light.” Engle, who said (wrongly) that Sotomayor’s name means “greater salvation,” prayed that God would “invade her with a dream” and return her to her Catholic roots. “Give us that soul, Lord,” he prayed.

At one point Engle said, “no one wants anybody to die” and that he prays that they get converted, but that when God starts to work he raises up kings and brings them down. Said Amedia, “He can haunt them in the middle of the night.” Amedia talked about his own dream, in which a broom went up one side of the Supreme Court and down the other, but this was not just a house-cleaning broom, but a broom “that brings destruction.”

“The Lord showed me the entire federal court system was getting shook and cleaned,” said Amedia, praising legislation designed to break up the 9th circuit–which he called a “fruitcake court”—and create a new circuit court whose judges Trump would get to appoint.

Amedia said there are 110 federal court vacancies on the federal courts, enough, Engle said, to create “the possibility of shifting the justice system for years.”

Right, they don’t want anyone to die, they are just praying that Jehovah kills them. There’s more blather, then the ending:

It’s not just judges who Engle thinks are asking for God’s judgment. Engle had a warning for “those who are funding anarchy.” God is slow to anger, Engle said, but when His time comes, He will “seize the initiative.”

So, not just judges. Everyone, be sure to listen for Jehovah knockin’ at your door. Sure it will happen right away. Or it might be a Ringwraith, who knows?

Via RWW.

“I Can’t Wait For The Liberal Genocide to Begin.”

AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA.

AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA.

“I just want to let them know that I can’t wait for the liberal genocide to begin,” an Oath Keeper shouted at a small group of protesters.

“That’s the way to make America great again,” he later told Cohen. “Liberals are destroying the country.”

Right. And still, liberal apologists are aghast at people like myself, who are not interested in crying tears over Trumpholes. You can read all the details here. There’s also video at the link. I’m going to wander off for the evening, and pretend this isn’t happening.

MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!!

Housing a Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaks to HUD employees in Washington on Monday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh,

Housing a Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaks to HUD employees in Washington on Monday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

Ben Carson’s assertion that slaves were immigrants did not go unnoticed, by anyone.

“This is as offensive a remark as it gets,” said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.

The remarks sparked outrage on Twitter, including from the actor Samuel L. Jackson. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also criticized Carson.

Samuel L. Jackson: OK!! Ben Carson…I can’t! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!! #dickheadedtom.

A HUD spokesman later called the tempest “the most cynical interpretation of the secretary’s remarks to an army of welcoming HUD employees. No one honestly believes he equates voluntary immigration with involuntary servitude.”

“Involuntary servitude.” Even the mealy-mouthed spokesman can’t manage to say the word slavery. Carson probably thinks drapetomania is sound medical theory.

Carson was well received by the hundreds of HUD employees in the room and got a standing ovation at the close of his remarks.

And there are still people soundly denying the boot stomp of white nationalism. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only problem with Carson, who holds a number of seriously problematic views, especially when it comes to civil rights. Carson views a fair amount of rights to be “extras”, and he has no use for those at all, no. Primarily, this has to do with LGBT discrimination, and in his new position, it’s fair to surmise that bigotry will rule the day when it comes to fair housing.

It is common for conservatives to refer to “extras” as assistance for people in poverty, but Carson has used the word “extras” before when referring to LGBTQ protections.

“It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the movement,” Carson said to Fusion’s Jorge Ramos in 2015. “I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights — extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else.”

Via Raw Story and Think Progress.

Sunday Facepalm.

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Pennsylvania Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone held a rally in Harrisburg earlier this week where he announced that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. next year.

If anyone could be said to be the very embodiment of evil, fanatical conservatism, it’s Saccone, who often drapes himself in American flag clothing, totes a bible, and is most seriously pro-gun. Now Saccone is claiming to be the very important representative of one ‘god’ to rule all.

In the radio interview, Saccone said that if Christians “don’t get involved in government, the government will get involved in you, and you won’t like the results. The government will run over you and you won’t have any say it. So Christians have to stand up and make sure that they have a say in their government and that they’re protecting their rights and our religious liberties which are being trampled on every day across this nation. If we don’t speak out, those liberties will be taken away. You can see it day after day, case after case.”

Right, much better to have our rights trampled by fanatical christians! It will be a more righteous kind of slavery, you’ll see!

“God has set out a plan for us,” he continued. “He wants godly men and women in all aspects of life. He wants people who will rule with the fear of God in them to rule over us. And if they don’t, then the evil side will take over and the government will control and run over the good people and so they have to stand up, that’s just part of it. If you don’t have good people in government, then you’ll have bad people in government—and when bad people are reigning over us, the people will not be happy.”

Well, you got part of that right. Yes, we have bad people in government, you would be one of them, dipshit. All those bad people in government do indeed make me unhappy, and that’s an understatement. There are no fucking gods, but if you want to delude yourself, fine. Keep your delusion to yourself, please. It has zero business intruding into my life, at any level. Decent people of Pennsylvania, I think you know what to do. Make sure this wannabe Sauron is smacked down, hard.

Via RWW.

Today we have a bonus near-fatal eyeroll, from Lance Wallnau, of course.

“A lot of us don’t watch the Academy Awards because it’s so irritating with the politics,” Wallnau said. “All night they’re bashing Trump, all night they set up this imaginary Donald Trump figure and beat him like a pinata. And then when it comes time for them to do the best picture, they screw it up, they have the wrong envelope. Hollywood evidently knows enough to lecture the president and the rest of the country on what the president’s policy should be, but they don’t know enough to find their own envelopes.”

“All night long they’re beating up on Donald Trump and the headlines the next day [are] how screwed up the Academy Awards was,” Wallnau continued. “I don’t know how long this grace is going to be on Donald Trump but, I’ll tell you what, there’s an anointing on that guy and God literally makes his enemies look foolish.”

This is what your puny god has? And you’re…bragging about that? Holy shit, dude, that’s flat out embarrassing. You should be having a chat with ol’ Jehovah, let it know that it really needs to step up its game.

Via RWW.

Texas: Wrongful Births Bill.

(Monkey Business Images/ Shutterstock).

(Monkey Business Images/ Shutterstock).

The Texas GOP introduced yet another anti-abortion bill that would give doctors the right to lie to their patients about their pregnancies. Texas Senate Bill 25, also known as the “wrongful births bill” has made its way to the Texas Senate floor, and would prevent lawsuits against doctors if a baby is born with a disability.

In reality, the bill allows doctors to withhold information about the risk of a disability from the parents, particularly in cases when the doctor thinks the individual might decide to have an abortion if provided with the information.

[…]

The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs passed the bill — which would legislate how much information a woman is allowed to receive about her own pregnancy — to the full Senate on Monday morning.

Right, because why on earth should a woman have the right to know exactly what’s going on in her body? Golly, there are men out there who can decide what’s important, don’t worry your cute little pink brains, women! It might be a good idea for women to find out just how religious their doctor might be, as that might have one hell of an impact on you at some point.

Full story here.

Religious Right Myths.

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The myths of the Religious Right, they never, ever die, just keep being recycled in order to shore up claims of christian persecution.

Earlier this week, James Dobson interviewed Kelly Shackleford and Jeremy Dys of the First Liberty Institute about what they see as the vital need for President Trump to protect the religious liberty of Christians in this nation.

Dobson, Dys and Shackleford insisted that conservative Christians are under relentless attack in America and facing increasing persecution, so much so that now even five-year-old girls are being told they cannot pray before eating their lunch at school.

“The attacks are not just increasing, they’re increasing at an exponential level,” Shackleford asserted. “So we’re seeing a lot more attacks, [including] a little five-year-old girl we represented who was actually stopped from paying over her meal and told—quote—’It’s not good to pray in school’.”

“You’re not making that up,” Dobson responded, to which Shackleford replied that this was indeed one of the “real cases that are occurring all over the country.”

Later in the program, when Dys brought up the incident again, Dobson still couldn’t believe that “that’s a real story,” but Dys assured him that it was, saying that he was personally in the room when the young girl was asked to identify the teacher who allegedly told her that she was not allowed to pray because “it’s not good.”

“These are real stories,” Dys insisted.

Okay, everyone counted all the “really trulys” and “real stories!”, right? For sure, absolutely real, the truth, you know, because he was actually there, right there in the room!

If this story sounds familiar, that might be because we covered it back in 2014 after Fox News commentator Todd Starnes wrote about it in one of his columns while conveniently failing to mention that the young girl in question just so happened to be the daughter of the man who was the vice president of sales at the Christian publishing house that was publishing Starnes’ forthcoming book, that just so happened to be about how Christians in America were under attack.

As we noted back then, the school district launched an investigation into the allegations and concluded that there was “no proof whatsoever” that this young girl had ever been told to stop praying. The teacher identified by the student, according to the school, wasn’t even in the cafeteria at the time the event supposedly occurred:

School officials said Wednesday that they can’t find any evidence to suggest that a kindergartner was told not to pray in a Seminole County elementary lunchroom.

But the school district apologized anyway, and a lawyer for the girl’s parents said they are satisfied with the outcome.

“We found zero evidence an incident ever occurred,” said district spokesman Mike Lawrence. “There’s no proof whatsoever.”

As for the identified staffer, a school-district investigator has concluded that “there is no way possible that person was anywhere near the lunchroom” that kindergartners and first-graders use. In addition to the student and her family, the district has interviewed staffers, the accused adult and Gabriella’s classmates, Lawrence said.

If there’s one truth the Religious Right does demonstrate, repeatedly, it’s their absolute willingness to lie, because they know there are a whole bunch of smug assholes out there who are so desperate for power over others, they’ll promote whatever shit they are told to swallow.

Via RWW.

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.

Free People! God Given Liberty! No Healthcare!

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) wants to ensure that no part of Obamacare is “left behind.” CREDIT: CNN.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) wants to ensure that no part of Obamacare is “left behind.” CREDIT: CNN.

The shameful, craven republicans aren’t even attempting to hid behind their various cowardly excuses anymore. They simply want to repeal ACA, they don’t want to replace it at all. Of course, this is hardly news to people who have been paying attention.

Last week, CNN obtained a draft Congressional Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan that would replace subsidies with smaller tax credits, allow insurance to charge senior citizens more, decimate Medicaid, and cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage altogether.

On Monday and Tuesday, however, a trio of prominent House Republicans made it clear that even this bill was not conservative enough for them. While the bill would mean the loss of health insurance for millions of Americans, they object to provisions in the bill that would help some people remain covered.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who chairs the House Freedom Caucus (a group of a few dozen of the most conservative Republicans in Congress), announced on Monday that he could not support that proposal because included refundable tax credits to help people pay for health insurance and some tax increases. “A new Republican president signs a new entitlement and a new tax increase as his first major piece of legislation? I don’t know how you support that — do you?” he asked, adding that many members of his caucus would be willing to vote against the leaked draft.

Rep. Mark Walker, another North Carolina Republican and chair of the Republican Study Committee (a group that calls itself the “conservative caucus of House Republicans” and includes more than 170 of the 238-member GOP majority), followed suit soon after.

“The draft legislation, which was leaked last week, risks continuing major Obamacare entitlement expansions and delays any reforms,” Walker said, adding that the proposal “kicks the can down the road in the hope that a future Congress will have the political will and fiscal discipline to reduce spending that this Congress apparently lacks.” He said he would urge colleagues to oppose the proposal.

On Tuesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), joined the pile-on. He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he presumed the leaked plan did not include entirely “hard facts,” but said the he wants to see only “a full, 100% repeal of Obamacare.” “I don’t want any of it left behind,” he explained, because “a free people that are the recipients of God-given liberty… have had our health taken over by the federal government.”

Think Progress has the full story, and video, if you can stand to watch the smug and stupid King.

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.