Friday, March 01, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #97 - Part 3

Clown Award: OK state Rep. wants to ban insurance coverage of contraceptives

The Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity.

I had so many aspirants for the big red nose this week that I was having trouble choosing - and some will be held over for consideration next week. But then I came across this. So the winners this week are Oklahoma state Sen. Clark Jolley and self-declared "women’s health researcher," Dr. Dominic Pedulla of Oklahoma City.

The state of Oklahoma already bars insurance plans from covering abortions, forcing women to purchase a separate rider. But that's not enough for this pair. Jolley has introduced legislation saying “no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees.” [Emphasis obviously added.] First, the fact that making it harder for women to get contraceptive services will increase the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore the number of abortions seems lost on him, which itself would be enough to get the award. But wait, there's more!

Jolley said he introduced the measure as the result of a request from Pedulla who says he is morally opposed to birth control and complained of the difficulty of finding a cheap group plan that didn't cover it.

In fact, Pedulla says women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and radically contradicts who they are. You see, “Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother.” So apparently women who have gone through menopause have stopped being women. But, even so, I suppose those woman who are no longer women still have it better than those women on birth control, who are "poisoning their bodies” in their radically contradictory efforts to avoid being baby factories.

What actually makes this less amusing is that the bill passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on a 9-0 vote with no debate.

On the other hand, what makes it more amusing is that Jolley's bill opens with the phrase "Notwithstanding any other provision of state or federal law." Apparently, Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution, which says that the Constitution and federal laws are "the supreme law of the land" and states are bound by them, has not penetrated the hallowed halls of the legislature of Oklahoma.


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