Republican lawmakers are once again scoffing at the first amendment while simultaneously overstepping their bounds. When the District of Columbia passed a law prohibiting discrimination against women for using birth control or terminating a pregnancy, the champions of “small government” decided they had no choice but to puff out their chests and pander to the Christian right.
While DC has its own lawmaking body, it ultimately falls under the purview of the federal government. With a Monday deadline to repeal the anti-discrimination law, Republicans are poised to enact a seldom-used tactic, filing a “resolution of disapproval,” a measure that hasn’t been used in decades.
The law in question was signed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in January, but has since come under fire by religious zealots who obviously have framed portraits of Hobby Lobby executives on their walls.
Rep Bill Flores of Texas, who recently blamed the situation in Baltimore on gay marriage, said in a statement:
The upcoming House vote on the resolution to disapprove of the D.C. Council’s encroachment on religious liberty is a direct result of the persistent efforts of Republican Study Committee members. We first flagged this issue when the D.C. Council passed the law and have been resolute in our belief that Congress has the right and the responsibility to act in defense of our constitutional freedom of belief. This is not about one city, but rather about preserving the First Amendment right to religious liberty for all Americans.
The law is about discrimination based on the religious beliefs of an employer. To veil that behind the first amendment is a convoluted effort to bring yet more Christianity into government.
One major problem with measures like this is that they completely ignore the facts about birth control. A study by the Guttmacher Institute shows that 58% of women on birth control take them for medical reasons other than or in addition to contraception:
The study—based on U.S government data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)—revealed that after pregnancy prevention (86%), the most common reasons women use the pill include reducing cramps or menstrual pain (31%); menstrual regulation, which for some women may help prevent migraines and other painful “side effects” of menstruation (28%); treatment of acne (14%); and treatment of endometriosis (4%). Additionally, it found that some 762,000 women who have never had sex use the pill, and they do so almost exclusively (99%) for noncontraceptive reasons.
Whether or not women use birth control for contraception is a great argument against the kind of stupidity Republicans love to legislate, but in the end it is truly and utterly irrelevant. Women are prescribed birth control by a doctor in a private setting that is absolutely not subject to the scrutiny of any government, employer or Supreme Court Justice.
The entire issue of “religious freedom” has been twisted into nothing other than protecting the archaic beliefs of Christian extremists, allowing them to invoke God whenever they want to discriminate against women, gay people and minorities.
Dozens of founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.
Sign the petition and let Republicans know we won’t stand for discrimination HERE.
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