Anyone paying attention to GOP race will note that, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, the other three GOP candidates are falling over each pandering to the GOP’s extreme conservative religious right. Each claims to be more religiously devout and more socially conservative than the other two.
The Roman Catholic church, as well as some ultra-religious evangelical sects, actively disapproves of all forms of birth control except the “rhythm method“, a partial-abstinence methodology that seemingly works reasonably (though not infallibly) for priests and nuns. However, a 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization working for the advancement of reproductive health, found the following statistics (which do not include the “rhythm method” as a form of contraception):
* Among all sexually active women in the USA, 99% have used contraception, while 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used contraception.
* Among sexually active women of all denominations wishing to avoid pregnancy, 69% are using a highly effective method (i.e., sterilization, the pill or another hormonal method, or the IUD).
* 68% of Catholic women, 73% of Mainline Protestants and 74% of Evangelicals use a highly effective method as described above.
* More than 40% of Evangelicals rely on male or female sterilization, which is higher than other religious groups.
Thus it can be said that the vast overwhelming majority of American woman, as well as a vast overwhelming majority of Catholic women and evangelical women ignore the teachings of either the Catholic Church or the most extremist fanatical evangelical churches.
That’s important because this past week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began requiring all employers’ health insurance – including religious institutions such as schools and hospitals (but not churches) – to cover contraceptives including the birth control pill and so-called Plan B pill, as well other highly effective methods such as those described above (within an implementation period of one year).
Of course, Romney, Gingrich and Santorum, who are all trying to out-pander the other for the ultra-religious voters, screamed about the evils of Obama’s health care reform and how it’s an unholy “war on religion” because of the HHS requirement on Catholic school and hospitals. They claim it’s an attack on the Catholic institutions’ religious freedom.
But let’s examine some important facts:
1. No one is forcing any Roman Catholic church (or any other church) or institution to either start handing out or using birth control. The private for-profit health insurance companies are the ones providing the employer-based health insurance, and the mandate applies to those private insurance companies, to now cover the cost of birth control IF (and only if) a woman seeks it, regardless of her place of employment (except in a church itself). The religious institutions can and will continue to preach whatever they want, and 98% to 99% of all women the USA will continue to ignore them, just as they do now.
2. Religious institutions such as schools and hospitals generally employ people of any religion, not just the sponsoring religion of institution. Do the churches or evangelicals and these hypocritical GOP contenders really think that the anti-contraception churches have a right to impose their particular religious beliefs on people of other religions, just because of where they work? Is that what they consider “religious freedom”…forced imposition of one religion’s belief on others?? What about the religious freedom of the employees/victims of these employers?
Maybe the GOP’ers think that only those who share their beliefs have religious freedom, but no one else does. Kind of a First amendment freedom but only for our special “club.
Interestingly, Romney has five children, all born between 1970 and 1981. Unless he and his wife haven’t had sex (with each other) in 31 years, they must use a highly effective form of contraception. Gingrich has had more wives than he has children (2, born almost 50 years ago), so you KNOW he and his multiple sex partners have used highly effective contraception.
Santorum is the only one who might qualify as a bonafide ultra-religious-right-wing-nut. His wife was a human factory product eight offspring! Additionally, while in the US senate he tried to make the teaching of religious creationism mandatory in US public schools. He opposes contraception (ergo, eight kids!), hates a woman’s right to choose, opposes gay rights, and disagrees with the principal of a distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, as espoused by President John F. Kennedy. Instead, he embraces religious imposition.
Though he may be the least hypocritical of the three noted GOP candidates when it comes to these issue, he is also quite possibly the most dangerous candidate regarding women’s rights and freedoms.
The other two are simply telling the religious right wing-nuts what they want to hear, whether they believe it or not.
Especially Romney…..who has been for everything… until he was against everything.