Women's health activists [translation: people who think women's health is all about killing babies] are fist-bumping each other over Obama's slam-dunk win, and they're hoping that he'll reverse some of the policies put in place by Bush. Yesterday, I had a chance to catch up with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards in between her strategy meetings and blogging for the Huffington Post. She predicted seven things that would change in the new administration.
1. No more federal funds for abstinence-only education. Two years ago Obama told a conservative Christian audience that abstinence-only education was not enough to prevent teen pregnancy and that he "respectfully but unequivocally" disagrees with those who oppose condom distribution to prevent HIV transmission, [because God--oh, excuse me, Saul Alinsky--forbid that children should ever learn about morality or virtue in school, or be taught in any way that doesn't assume they're all the moral equivalent of prostitutes and gigolos] according to the reproductive health blog Reality Check. He's also an original co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, [does anybody remember hearing about this during the election season, from either the mainstream media or from prObama Catholics? Nope, me neither.] which mandates that all federal sex-education programs be medically accurate and include information about contraception. That legislation could be resurrected in the new Congress.
2. No more global gag rule. On Bush's first day in office in 2001, he reinstituted the "global gag rule" that restricted federally funded health clinics in foreign countries from performing abortions or even providing referrals or medical counseling on abortion. "We think there's going to be a change in that approach and that these clinics will be allowed once again to offer a full range of family planning services," Richards says. [Translation: there are too many poor people in the world, so let's kill as many as we can in utero, and decrease the surplus population before they start to interfere with our hedonistic selfish consumeristic morally depraved lifestyles.]
3. Better coverage for contraception and pregnancy. While Richards says women's health activists had to "battle the current administration to get emergency contraception approved over the counter," they're now hoping that Obama's proposed health plan will make contraception more affordable to women. [Cause if America isn't the land of the cheap pill and the quickie abortion, then what is it? My goodness, without cheapie contraceptives people might have to go back to behaving with moral decency--and we can't have that.] It could force drug plans to cover birth control pills as they would any other drug. (Many still do not.) [Because forcing people who don't believe in contraception for religious or moral reasons to help pay for it may be reprehensible, but we'll do it anyway.] And it could include more comprehensive prenatal coverage; some women shell out $5,000 or more to have a baby. [Obligatory lip service paid to the notion that some people actually don't kill the little critters.] I'm also curious to see whether Obama reverses a Medicaid rule that last year stopped allowing discounted birth control pills to be dispensed on college campuses. [Yes, by all means, let's up the male and female slut factor at colleges across our nation. Why don't we just import cheap pills from China? They may be risky for women, but in the goal of making sure everybody's a tramp no price is too high to pay.]
4. Reversal of the "conscience" regulation that threatens women's access to birth control. Obama will probably reverse a new rule, opposed by most medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, that's slated to be enacted in the next few weeks by the Department of Health and Human Services. It allows doctors and other healthcare workers to opt out of certain practices that some of them find morally objectionable—like prescribing birth control pills, inserting IUDs, or dispensing emergency contraception (a.k.a. the morning-after pill) to rape victims—without fear of losing their jobs. Read more about this here. [And this is the big one, and some of us Catholic bloggers, big, small, and tiny-insignificant, have been warning about this from day one. It's not a "token gesture" for the Republicans to want to protect pro-life doctors and nurses and pharmacists from being forced to kill babies--and it's truly frightening to live in a country where pretty soon "medical professional" will mean "someone who assists in killing babies whether he wants to or not." But that's what Richards and her ilk want--and what Obama has promised to do.]
5. Increases in funding for reproductive health clinics serving uninsured. While Title X federal funds were recently increased for Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics, Richards hopes an Obama administration will provide further increases. "We're currently meeting the needs of 3 million women," she says, "but an additional 14 million who need our services aren't getting them." [In other words, your tax dollars and mine must pay for women to kill their babies or commit the sin of contraception. Our beliefs are unimportant: it's seen as a public good to fund such things.]
6. Fixing gender disparities in health insurance premiums. While Obama's proposed health plan is probably a pipedream in this economic climate, it could (if ever enacted) ensure that women who buy individual policies aren't discriminated against because of their gender. A recent analysis of 3,500 health plans from the National Women's Law Center found that insurers charged 40-year-old women anywhere from 4 percent to 48 percent more than they charged men of the same age. "The average woman uses healthcare more because she spends an average of 5 years getting pregnant and 30 years trying not to," explains Richards. "It's certainly not fair that she pays more, and this is the kind of issue that Obama wants to address." [Of course, feminists like Richards have only themselves to blame for convincing insurance companies that pregnancy is a disease. And abstinence is cheap: one reason why money-hungry PP hates it so much.]
7. Improved access to morning after pills and abortions for U.S. military women serving overseas. Women who become pregnant while serving overseas are immediately shipped home. They aren't allowed to get surgical abortions in military hospitals, nor do they have access to medical abortions early in the pregnancy using Mifeprex, a combination of two medications. [Because of course a woman who is in the military must want to kill her child; surely they're all rampant die-hard feminists just waiting to be allowed to go into combat, which Richards also probably hopes Obama will allow.] Obama's health plan includes coverage for abortions, and he could join with the Democrat-led Congress to enact legislation that ensures that soldiers get the same health benefits [Because killing your baby is a health benefit--though not for the baby, of course, for whom it's just a form of execution] as the rest of us.
Catholics like myself who did not vote for Obama knew that all of this was coming; we expected that this sort of thing was what his followers wanted, and what they would demand that he do. But Catholics who voted for Obama--prObama Catholics, I've started calling them--assured us that none of this would really happen, or if it did, it wouldn't be that meaningful, or that Obama's solutions to war and poverty would shrink abortion almost into oblivion. They claimed, in effect, that Obama would not increase abortions. It's pretty hard to read that list of the seven things Cecile Richards expects to see and keep making that argument with a straight face.