House GOP Thinks Use of Birth Control Should Be Grounds for Firing

Because of its unique status of being a city that isn’t in a state, Washington, DC has little control over itself. Congress can veto anything the city government does and the latest thing they decided to veto was a law that forbid employers from firing women if they use birth control. Because freedom, dontchaknow.

The House passed a joint resolution to reject the law by a 228-192 vote. All but three of the yes votes were from Republicans and all but 13 of the no votes were from Democrats.

I witnessed testimony from Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a combat veteran whose radiation exposure made it difficult to conceive a child. The Congresswoman recently gave birth; she believes in vitro fertility treatments made conception possible for her. H.J.Res. 43, if enacted, would mean a boss who disagrees with in vitro fertilization could fire an employee for getting pregnant that way.

Also on the floor last night, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dubbed H.J.Res. 43 “Hobby Lobby on steroids,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called for D.C. statehood from the house floor, and numerous Republicans defended “religious freedom.”

Pelosi is right. This goes far beyond the claim that the employers shouldn’t have to provide contraception in its group health insurance policies, this would allow them to actually fire someone for using an IUD or the pill. It now goes to the Senate and if it passes there, President Obama will not have the chance to veto it because the Constitution gives Congress control over Washington, DC, not the president.

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  • dingojack

    And, of course, men could be fired for using condoms – right?

    @@ Dingo

  • ‘smee

    It’s only religious freedom if it’s FOR their god and in favor of owners. If an employee needs an accomodation – tough shit !

    Unless of course the employee is a government slave yoked to the wheel of socialist servitude. In that case, the employee can, of course, demand an accomodation for their deeply held religious freedomschristian bigotry.

  • raven

    Acceptance of birth control in the USA runs around 90%. Use of birth control in relevant cohorts of women runs around 99%.

    1. So who in the hell votes for the GOP, the party of 18th century morality?

    2. And just how in Cthulhu’s name is the employer supposed to find out who uses birth control and who doesn’t? It is none of their business.

    3. And where is the birth control police anyway? Is this going to be the new mission for the FBI, NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security? More horror from the party of small government.

    4. This is BTW, a favorite of the christofascist GOP. Forced child bearing is not freedom. It’s slavery.

    Orwell had it right.

    War is peace

    Freedom is Slavery

  • Ellie

    I wrote to my Congressperson, Chris Collins, asking for an explanation as to why he voted this way and why BC (used by women) is a threat to religious freedom. I don’t expect a reasonable response.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    DingoJack wins the Internet. Again.

  • raven

    Needless to say, there is a huge amount of hypocrisy here.

    If you look at the fundie xian leaders and GOP politicians, virtually all of them have small families, which is the US norm.

    Ted Cruz has two kids, Dobson one biological, Bush 2, and so on.

    They don’t want to randomly reproduce like rabbits. They have better things to do with their time and money. They want you (plural) to do it instead.

    As many have pointed out, this doesn’t necessarily mean they use artificial birth control though. They could simply be using their charming personalities and great wits as a method of birth control.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    raven “2. And just how in Cthulhu’s name is the employer supposed to find out who uses birth control and who doesn’t?”

    “Good morning, Linda.”

    “Morning, boss.”

    “And when is the due date?”

    “Due date?”

    “Looking at your health insurance forms, you did go to the ladyparts doctor last month, didn’t you?”

    “Yes. But I’m not pregnant.”

    “Ahhh. That explains the monthly expense for ‘pharmacy’. Clean out your desk and get out, slut.”

     

    “It is none of their business.”

    Hardly. We need Small Government so that the Job Creators have enough room up in there.

  • dingojack

    cycleninja (#5) –

    ‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

    ‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, ‘so I can’t take more.’ “

    Dingo

  • karmacat

    Ah, yes, another example of the GOP’s laser-like focus on the economy. Actually, I was wondering if they are doing this to pander to their voting base.

  • moarscienceplz

    So when Democrats work to get medical care for the citizenry, it’s tyranny, but when the Republicans work to take medical care away from the citizenry, it’s freedom. OK, I think I understand now.

  • laurentweppe

    So who in the hell votes for the GOP, the party of 18th century morality?

    People who think that it is in their interest to remain submissive toward parasitic oligarchs

    ***

    And where is the birth control police anyway? Is this going to be the new mission for the FBI, NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security?

    No need: unverifiable anonymous denunciations will suffice.

  • zenlike

    There is no war on women. I repeat: There is no war on women. I repeat: There is no war on women. I repeat:…

    Since Hobby Lobby it has become clear that the religious freedom of employers is more important than the religious freedom of employees. How the hell that is consistent with every American being equal in the eyes of the law I don’t know. The judges who ruled this way and the legislators who voted for this law should be ashamed of themselves. They won’t be, but hopefully history will remember them for the regressive theocrats that they are.

  • DaveL

    Once again, Republicans demonstrate that their idea of “freedom” is the freedom of plantation owners to discipline their slaves as they see fit.

  • cptdoom

    The good news is that the Senate did not act in time and the act became law yesterday, I believe.

  • eric

    The way each Congresscritter treats DC is an object lesson as to how they would govern if they didn’t need to be accountable/responsive to voters. Here’s what they really want to do, but don’t think they can get away with in their home states.

  • Chiroptera

    It now goes to the Senate and if it passes there, President Obama will not have the chance to veto it because the Constitution gives Congress control over Washington, DC, not the president.

    US Constitution, Article 1, Section 7:

    Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

    Bolding is mine.

    If something requires passage of both Houses of Congress, then it also requires the President’s signature.

    There may be some obscure point of Constitutional law about DC of which I’m not aware, but I suspect that some people are being confused by the wording of Article !, Section 8 where the general authority of the US government is worded “Congress shall have the power to….”

  • http://ahcuah.wordpress.com/ ahcuah

    Chiroptera,

    Is this one of those things in which a law was passed and signed by the President (long ago) giving DC home rule, but that Congress could disapprove via Joint Resolution? That would allow this to go through without the President’s signature. In researching it, that is exactly what the District of Columbia Home Rule Act says:

    For the purpose of this section, “resolution” means only a joint resolution, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: “That the . . . . . . . . . . approves/disapproves of the action of the District of Columbia Council described as follows: . . . . . . . . . .”, the blank spaces therein being appropriately filled, and either approval or disapproval being appropriately indicated; but does not include a resolution which specifies more than 1 action.

  • Chiroptera

    ahcuah #6:

    Thanks for the information.

  • congenital cynic

    So, the GOP doesn’t want anyone to be literally fucking, but they are happy to figuratively fuck anyone and everyone.

  • blf

    I was wondering if they are doing this to pander to their voting base.

    Is there some racism is the action? DC proper (the bit Congress has dictatorial control over) is c.50% Black or African-American.

  • eric

    @20: I don’t think its racism so much as it is just pure authoritarianism: these are exactly the sorts of laws Republican Congresscritters would pass if people didn’t get to vote on them. They pass such laws in D.C. but not in their home states precisely because (a) this is the sort of law they like and (b) D.C. is filled with people who can’t vote against them for passing it.