An alternate headline might be this: “Bill O’Reilly Admits Only Drunk Women Have Sex with Him.” You have to wonder where his “knowledge” comes from, after all. Amusing as such thoughts are, they miss the point altogether. He says he is basing his conclusions on a study about 1 in 5 people binge-drinking. But binge-drinking isn’t the same thing as sex – for most of us:
“[M]any women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex and [are] not going to use birth control anyway.”
That’s hardly true: you don’t have to put in an IUD yourself before you step out with your girlfriends. The Young Turks had some fun with Bill-O’s point of view:
All joking aside (and Bill O’Reilly is certainly a joke) the Center for Reproductive Rights points to the importance of this issue:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said that she will decide whether the new healthcare law will cover contraception without co-pay by August 1st.
The simple fact is that the Republicans don’t want abortions but they also don’t want to take the measures necessary to prevent unwanted births. The first thing George W. Bush did was with his first budget to Congress (April 9, 2001), strip out the provision requiring insurance companies to include contraceptives for 9 million federal employees as part of their coverage Republicans consistently vote against tax-payer funded contraceptives. They don’t want us to have them, they don’t want them going overseas as part of foreign aid.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which Kaiser Health calls “an independent and well-respected research organization” was asked by the Department of Health and Human Services “to advise what services should be considered essential.”
Turns out that IOM’s recommendation was that all American women should be able to get birth control for free. And that is what has Bill-O all riled up. Who is going to pay for that, he asks? The government, he answers. But Republicans don’t like any kind of health care or health insurance, as we know. For the GOP, having a hospital down the street is adequate healthcare. The people who really deserve it will be able to afford to go, and that’s all that matters.
IOM’s full list of recommendations included,
- improved screening for cervical cancer, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, and counseling and screening for HIV;
- a fuller range of contraceptive education, counseling, methods, and services so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes;
- services for pregnant women including screening for gestational diabetes and lactation counseling and equipment to help women who choose to breastfeed do so successfully;
- at least one well-woman preventive care visit annually for women to receive comprehensive services; and
- screening and counseling for all women and adolescent girls for interpersonal and domestic violence in a culturally sensitive and supportive manner.
We’ve already seen cancer screenings take a hit with the Republican crusade against Planned Parenthood.
What the GOP doesn’t understand is that preventative medicine, as the name suggests, will prevent problems down the road and therefore save money and lives. We know they don’t care about the lives but they do care a great deal about money. But here their false morality gets in the way; they don’t like sex, they don’t want people to have sex or to have an excuse to have sex and contraception is just an invitation to sin. As the American Life League says, “The practice of contraception is intrinsically evil.”
Republicans want abstinence instead, despite such well-publicized failures as Bristol Palin. But as a study released by the Sexuality Information & Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) on June 22, 2004 says, federally funded abstinence-only education programs don’t prevent teens from having sex.
So we have a choice between a measure (contraception) that works and a measure (abstinence) which doesn’t, and neither of them is free. Of course, one obvious difference is that abstinence only programs are run by religious groups, so guess who gets the funding then?
So instead of meaningful changes that would improve the healthcare received by women, we get misogynist jokes from Republican pundits because in the end, as the forger who wrote 1 Timothy argued, women should be “silent, submissive, and pregnant.” And that is what the GOP wants to legislate – not healthcare, but their deranged ideas about morality which reduces women to the role of sex slaves for a Christian patriarchy.