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  • The War on Women's Freedom

    Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

    Isn’t religious freedom for women too? So why did Representative Carolyn Maloney (D–NY) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D–DC) walk out of a committee hearing on the subject, claiming it was disregarding women?

    On Thursday, House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Darrell Issa (R–CA) held a hearing on a topic that has deeply concerned many Americans in recent weeks: Obamacare’s trampling of religious liberty. But some committee members seemed more interested in engaging in political theater than complying with required committee hearing process so that a serious constitutional issue could get some due consideration.

    Disregarding committee rules, Maloney and Norton called at the outset of the hearing for the immediate seating of a female law student alongside the clergy on the first panel. As Issa explained, the proposed witness (who came prepared with testimony about a friend’s serious health problem) did not have the relevant credentials or appropriate contribution requested for the hearing’s focus on religious liberty. Nor was her name submitted for the panel in keeping with the committee’s requirement for advance notice, according to Issa: “I cannot, and will not, arbitrarily take a majority or minority witness if they do not have the appropriate credentials…and if we cannot vet them in a timely fashion.”

    The opening challenges (“Where are the women?”) and later press interviews by Maloney and Norton obscured the fact that women indeed testified at the hearing.

    Maloney told MSNBC that there were “so few women there—practically zero.” With two female witnesses among 10 total, however, that can hardly be excused as a rounding error. (See testimony of Allison Dabbs Garrett, senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University, and Laura Champion, M.D., medical director and physician at Calvin College.)

    Let’s be clear: Liberals are fighting to force religious employers to provide health insurance coverage for “no-cost” abortion-inducing drugs and contraception even if it conflicts with their beliefs. Violation of religious liberty is the central problem—and it’s just the latest in the list of Americans’ grievances against Obamacare.

    Particularly offensive is the requirement that religious hospitals, charities, and schools must provide and pay for insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs—including the morning-after pill and the week-after drug, ella. Demand for these so-called “emergency contraceptives” is fueled in part by the casual sex culture of hooking up—sexual encounters outside the context of commitment, sometimes between complete strangers or mere acquaintances.

    It’s not a scene that empowers women, contrary to what feminists might like to argue. Former Washington Post journalist Laura Sessions Stepp chronicled the sad experiences of young women in the hook-up culture in her 2008 book Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both.

    Young women today, she writes, “are trying to make sense of what is arguably the most confusing sexual landscape any generation has ever faced.” They’re not getting much help. Most sex education pushes young women into this chaos and tells them that contraception will provide adequate protection. This puts incredible pressure on those who have the most at risk in the casual-sex scene.

    That makes it particularly hard to understand why Maloney and Norton protested at the sight of male religious leaders testifying along with women Thursday about the need to protect religious beliefs—including beliefs concerned with creating a culture in which women do not face such a negative environment when it comes to their health and relationships. These same religious beliefs teach the equal dignity of all human life, male and female, a basis that feminists would be loathe to abandon if they thought seriously about the consequences.

    Religious liberty has been called our first freedom—and that goes for women, too. If it begins to erode, the whole framework of liberty is in danger. That’s why Obamacare’s unholy trinity of attacks on freedom—the free exercise of religion, free enterprise, and individual freedom, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out this week—is a war on freedom that should concern all Americans, and particularly women.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to The War on Women's Freedom

    1. carolyn olson says:

      The news media who are actually covering this, if we can call it—"injustice", usually only call it a problem for contraception. The abortion facts of this mandate need to be shouted from the rooftop! How often does Heritage get to go on any main stream media?

    2. cam9999 says:

      Imposing your religious beliefs on women regardless of their religious affiliation sounds like the American Taliban and an attempt to undo all of the rights women have fought for and won in this country. This writer should be ashamed of herself for trying to spread political propaganda that marginalized women's rights in this country. I can't believe that any thinking woman could position herself against t her own choices made about her body.

      • Angelhelen47 says:

        Real freedom is allowing each woman to make her own choice of whether to use birth control or not. I thought there was supposed to be a separation of church and Government! Why is the Church making such a big deal about this subject. If a woman is in a certain religion then she won't use it , period. I believe it should be available to the women who want and need it.
        How many of the so called religouse men, use VIAGRA? You did not make any noise about that being paid for by the insurence companies, religous or not. So why all the noise about something where a woman can protect herself from becoming pregnant by all those men full of VIAGRA? Answer that one.

      • ontarget says:

        ok… one more time. No one is trying to refuse treatment or choice of treatment to women. They are trying to exercise their own individual right not to be required to provide a benefit for their employees which to them is morally repugnant. The woman can still get the care if she wants it, but no employer should be REQUIRED to provide it for free if such care violates their conscience. And no doctor, nurse, or facility should be required to provide such care either. That is a violation of their rights. It's not like there aren't plenty of opportunities for women to get whatever care they need. But not everyone has to provide it. It is plentifully available. Low cost reproductive medicine has been easily available in this country for many years now. Only now the government is trying to force individual doctors to provide such services, even ones that they may have moral or religious objections to, along with individual business owners being forced to provide such coverage in spite of their beliefs. That is not freedom, it is tyranny.

    3. Stan Chaz says:

      In this Holy War on Religion, of Religion, and by Religion, I’ve had enough! I’m a lover, not a fighter: I’m surrendering! Instead… I’m gonna start my OWN religion, and get in on the good stuff: tax exemptions, and lots of taxpayer money to do what I want, in the name of religious liberty. Most definitely! Hey Newt -wanna join? We’re gonna have open marriages and multiple wives and all sorts of neat stuff that you’re just gonna LOVE! But don’t you worry Newt : NO nasty stoning of adulterers. I Promise! As for Santorum- he’ll make us a real fine preacher…in fact, we’ll make him Saint Santorum. And fix his Google search results. As for Mr. Obama,  obviously, we’ll need to demonize him even further. “Severely!” And his dog too. Last but not least: Mitt? and Ron, hey, just for you guys: we’ll insist on no taxes AT ALL for church members…and human sacrifice of illegal aliens. Televised. Whoooppee! What a country! :-)
      By the way, please don’t mention the REASON that Mitt Romney’s dad was born in Mexico (i.e. the fact that Mitt’s Mormon grand-dad LEFT the United States in the 1880’s and went to Mexico because laws against polygamy were passed in the U.S. ; Being a Mormon back then, Mitt’s grand-dad wanted to keep his multiple wives. Hey, who wouldn’t?) Bottom line: if we follow the “logic” of the people crying crocodile tears about a non-existent “war on religion”, then the U.S. should have allowed polygamy (and who knows what else) just because a particular religion claimed it as their belief. GIVE ME A BREAK!
      Absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches or places of worship and trying to tell parishioners what to believe…or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to continue running businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no "faith" at all- THEN they must play by the same rules and rights that other workers enjoy…especially if their businesses use our tax dollars (and skip paying taxes) in the process. This is not a “war on religion”. It’s a war on women and men who simply want to plan their families and control their future.

    4. pantaloon says:

      The most honest and thoughtful presentation of the case for chastity is Lauren Winner, Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity (Brazos Press, 2006), written by one who knows of what she speaks. Often found on reading lists in evangelical Protestant seminaries, it deserves a much wider audience at this cultural moment.

    5. Outlawcajun says:

      Aah yes,Christian women are under attack. Maybe even Hindu and Buddhists. The left is targeting non muslim women. This is about islam that is accelerating its presence and sharia where women are propery things.

    6. Mark Johnson says:

      Don't be fooled by the spin on this from the liberal left or their media lackeys!

    7. If women use contraception and their Religion forbids it is directly between them and God.If the Government tries to tred on Religious Freedoms is directly between the Government and the American Voters.The Constituation cannot be trampled on as we see it happening today.Thinki very seriously about this.

    8. The belief in something, anything, must be protected according to the constitution. by your argument, however, we will soon be a non nation, in which anyone with any belief system that opposes the secular state can opt out of that state's laws. in fact, by insisting on a religious basis for rejecting secular law, we are that much closer to being forced to live under, among other things, sharia law. we now have precedent, for anyone who does not wish to follow the law of the land because of religious objection, to opt out of that law, unilaterally.

      thus religion will potentially destroy the Republic, even while the religious will claim that it is the secular state that is doing so.

    9. Mrs Carol Peaslee says:

      Really Maloney/Norton
      Mr Issa,thank you for sticking to the action that you took. I for one do not like feminism practices because of abortion that they advocate. Religion is sacred it is in the hearts of people,it makes life sustainable and we do listen to our religious leaders no one else.This obamacare is a demon among most people and then tell people of faith that they must buy this junk.This whole subject upsets me big time and brings back the things learned in school about Germany.

    10. greg says:

      Isn't it ironic that the very things that Eleanor Norton support (ie. abortion, free condoms,…) are destroying more of the black population in Washington, DC than any other thing, including crime. Where is their outrage? Her actions make a mockery of the Constitution and our laws, which are supposed to protect ALL Americans.

    11. Joanne says:

      Women who want birth control covered by their insurance DO NOT HAVE TO WORK FOR A CATHOLIC AGENCY, THEY CAN WORK ANYWHERE THEY WANT. So if you are pro abortion don't work for an employer that is pro life. Simple enough?

    12. Bobbie says:

      This is just terrible for highly paid government people to promote government dependency for women! Most of our battle is to live independently under our own reasoning without turning to government control, exposure and exploitation. Government control defining "rights" regarding issues that are self governing, defeats the purpose of our individual freedom and independence and those paid women that promote government dependency over the independence of self governing women are fakes, phonies and frauds!

      What empowers women is knowing our inalienable rights through the logic and respects of civil law, without having them insultingly and overpoweringly spelt out by highly paid government tools weaving our independence and individual freedom into government control and dependency looking everywhere outside of their constitutional business to accommodate us when our own minds ability serves us well. Government representing women is not representing the strengths and courage of women. Government dependency does the opposite.

      Any person or program involved with government, is a promoter of dependents and sympathy targeting to trap those the government seeks as the most feeble and vulnerable. WOMEN, IMMIGRANTS AND GAYS off the backs of the truly vulnerable, the innocent! Get the government out of everyone's private livelihoods holding everyone accountable to their own, PLEASE!

    13. Ellen says:

      I almost posted this as an endorsement. However, the opinion applied as fact about the sexual environment of women today was too ridiculous. Unhealthy sexual relationships and attitudes have plagued women for centuries. We are made to hate our bodies while men objectify them. The real issue is being bypassed and that is advertising/marketing of female sexuality has bad versus a guy getting laid as awesome. We continue to express conflicting information and it gets muddled in entertainment. The Purity Myth is incredibly slanted but you need to watch it before suggesting that religious organizations some how promote an equal footing for women. These "documentary" focuses purely on an extreme part of religion but has tentacles that reach out. My biggest objection to it is that it failed to lambast entertainment and marketing for its roll, laying all the blame on a small percentage of religious extremists. But check out purity balls and tell, are women on equal footing in religion as a rule? What about female deacons, pastors, teachers? If someone wants to be a stay-at-home mom she should be celebrated. If she wants a career, she should be celebrated.

    14. Elizabeth Sapp says:

      OMG! You just go on and on and the article is so filled w/inaccuracies and down rightwingnut lies! Our President is a Christian and is still going to make sure ALL women have health coverage to get birth control, and other reasons that b.c. is needed for. The "women" you mentioned were 1 Christians 2 not heard by the American people. There is an attempt to trample our religious rights..coming directly from you and others of your ilk. It is not going to happen women are a majority in this country, and the Stepford wives of the rightwing are a little-bitty minority. You underestimate the general population, your misinformation is obvious and futile.

    15. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Religious freedom is the FIRST thing mentioned in the articles of Confederation, Most of the early settlers came here for the right to worship as they thought fit with out the King threatening them or worse throwing them in the tower. It is and it shoul be, a decision on Birth control, made between a husband and wife and if against the teachings of the church, with their Pastor. The more we let the Goverment tell us how to live, the more it will tell us, soon they will say where you can live, what you can eat (almost there) and wat you can wear, then will be what kind of job you can hold down. Sound like Communis Russia?? that's what is being forced dwn our throats, COMMUNISM

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