Yesterday, the Senate narrowly avoided another political attack on women's health when they voted 51 to 48 against the Blunt Amendment. Even though Republicans tried to assure everyone that this bill wasn't actually contributing to their war on women, (just their war on citizens who believe in the separation between church and state), it would have allowed employers to refuse to cover any health care service for their employees, and only have to cite "moral reasons."
So it's not like these super-moral people would mostly single out 1) women having premarital sex (even though, you know, young women on birth control are "sluts" and "prostitutes" according to Rush Limbaugh), 2) single mothers in need of prenatal care or mammograms, and 3) the children of single mothers. But at least we have people like Jon Stewart to point out the absurdity of these bills as well as the general debate over contraception/women's health/morals. Because...seriously? When did politicians become morality consultants?
Stewart was especially excited about this episode of the Daily Show, because he got to talk almost exclusively about his "two favorite systems: political and reproductive!" During the first half of the show, Stewart railed against the aforementioned bill, saying, "It's called the Blunt Amendment -- after how high you'd have to be to think you're going to pass this fucking thing!" (Although he then acknowledged that the name of the senator who sponsored the bill, Roy Blunt, might also have something to do with it.)
But more importantly, Stewart addressed the Republican claim that the Blunt Amendment had nothing to do with contraception. Nebraskan Senator Mike Johannis proved what an internet n00b he was when he said that he found a random open letter to the president on the internetz supporting the bill, signed by women -- and then he actually requested that they enter it into the record. So Stewart's team dug up the letter from Congressional record, and guess what! It did indeed mention contraception. Even the supporters of Republican morality bills are supporting them because of the attacks on contraception they include.
What's most troubling about the 2012 campaign, hence, is Republicans taking something like women's health and making it an issue about religion. So the second half of the show is especially interesting -- Stewart interviews Cathleen Kaveny, a professor of law and theology at Notre Dame, and asks her a lot of pertinent questions: like why she thinks birth control is being attacked under the guise of immorality, but not Viagra. Watch the full episode here.
Image source Holytaco
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