State Senator Missy Irvin, in a tough fight with the reform minded Zac White, decided last week that instead of spending time in her district she should be speaking at a “religious freedom” rally in Little Rock, “religious freedom” meaning that these poor religious folks are being denied their right to use their religious beliefs to deny women access to basic health care like contraception. Not being able to use your religious beliefs to discriminate against and deny rights to other people means to these folks that they are the victims….Yeah I know it’s messed up, but it’s the Religious Right, what do you expect?
Anyway, Senator Irvin got up at this rally to preach to the choir about the evils of making insurance companies provide access to contraception which would not only prevent those abortions that they claim to be so opposed to in the first place but also provides a lot of other potentially life saving medical benefits to women. But you know, we the taxpayers actually provide a nice little health insurance plan to our state legislators. So I decided to check with one of my sources in the legislature and find out if the plan available to Senator Irvin provided contraception. My source replied:
Yes birth control is covered…..
So Senator Irvin was at that rally, firing up the faithful about denying women across the country access to basic medical care that she herself has available to her because we taxpayers pay for it. And no, that won’t change if the contraception mandate they were protesting Friday is repealed.
Hypocrisy of course is kind of a trademark of Senator Irvin’s. It wasn’t too long ago she was advocating for programs that prevent child abuse while slashing their funding. She has also been an advocate for cutting Medicaid services to the people in her district rather than changing the payment formula to doctors like her husband. So yeah, this isn’t totally surprising coming from her. Or from anyone speaking at that rally really, considering the track record of prominent figures in the Religious Right.
To state the obvious before some idiot misreads this-I’m glad Senator Irvin and the other members of the state legislature enjoy access to basic, potentially life saving, medical care that shouldn’t be the least bit controversial. All women should have this available to them, and that’s why we now have the contraception mandate that requires insurance companies-private companies that are licensed by the states to provide a service to the public-to offer it. Religious nonprofits, charities, etc. that don’t want to pay for it for their employees don’t have to-the cost is shifted to the insurance company. And yeah, I’m all for religious freedom, but these folks wouldn’t know what that was if it bit them on the ass. Their idea of “freedom” is them running the show, being able to infringe on everybody else’s rights and use their religion as an excuse to do so. It’s not freedom they want, it’s a theocracy. And no, I’m not saying that Senator Irvin used contraception-it’s no one’s business if she or any other woman has or hasn’t, for whatever reason. I’m just saying that, in addition to being in the wrong for trying to deny other women the ability to make their own medical decisions, that it’s just kind of lousy that she would be trying to deny them something that they pay for her to have access to.
One funny thought though before we’re done: Everyone of those dutifully religious people at that rally all fired up about making sure that women couldn’t get birth control? They paid for one of the speakers at their little get together to have access to the the same right they are trying to deny to millions of other women across the country. That’s going to be my little happy thought for the day.