What are the Republicans thinking on contraception?

So first, the religious right rallies to support Catholic employers who think their religious beliefs should exempt them from following the law. Then Rush Limbaugh called a woman a “slut” for thinking contraception should be covered by health insurance. Oh, and one of the current leading Republican Presidential candidates right now is Rick Santorum, one of the minority of Catholics who backs the Church’s position on contraception. It’s as if the entire GOP has made up its mind to be anti-contraception. Now what I want to know is: what the hell are they thinking?

I think Dan Savage summarized the issue pretty well:

I have been appalled and fascinated by the GOP’s efforts to commit suicide by attacking what even people on the right were saying settled issues around access to contraception. 98% of American women use contraception. And the thing that bothers me about that stat, everybody throws that out, 98% of American women use contraception, as if American men aren’t therefore using contraception too. 98% American women who use contraception are not using contraception with their lesbian lovers. They’re using contraception with their male partners. So the vast and overwhelming majority of American men use contraception, including, presumably, Rush Limbaugh, who’s been married four times, I don’t believe has any children, and has not been celibate, I believe, between his marriages…

Maureen Dowd in her column a couple weeks ago quoted a Republican (female) strategist, a vagina-haver, who said that she just couldn’t believe that the Republican party was going to run against sex, because sex is popular. Unlike Mitt Romney whose negatives are skyrocketing, sex is popular, and the GOP is running against sex. The GOP is running against American women. The GOP is running against your vagina…

Though you can ask similar questions about how anyone can ever be against premarital sex in 21st century America, given that an overwhelming majority of Americans have had premarital sex. One explanation I’ve heard is that what people do is have premarital sex before they’re married, and then get older and married and conveniently switch to thinking premarital sex is wrong then.

This can’t exactly be the reason for the GOP’s contraception-related hijinks, but maybe some older, reasonably well-off people manage to convince themselves that because it doesn’t matter much to them whether their contraception is covered by insurance or not, it must be that only a slut could care about that. Even though they themselves use contraception. So when issues come up like whether Catholic employers should be required to provide insurance coverage that includes birth control, they feel like they can side with the creepy old men against the sluts.

Is that it?


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