The ‘OB’ of the GOP

With all this talk recently about birth control and the miracle of life, the news that Jersey Shore star and resident New Yorker Snooki is pregnant should make the Rush Limbaughs of the world very happy.

This is part of a series from political blogger and cartoonist Rob Tornoe.

With all this talk recently about birth control and the miracle of life, the news that Jersey Shore star and resident New Yorker Snooki is pregnant should make the Rush Limbaughs of the world very happy.

I’m just waiting for John McCain’s congratulatory tweet.

In a world whose population has blown past 7 billion, it’s important to think about pregnancy and procreation in terms of sustainability. We no longer have to deal with the black plague or the rickets when birthing offspring, so birth control and pre-natal care are vital to the sustainability of the planet and its resources, at least in my view.

But conservatives complain about birth control as if it’s the 13th century, and think not enough women are following in the footsteps of Michelle Duggar, who along with her husband Jim Bob are up to 19 children. Michelle used to take birth control, but explained they “decided to allow God to determine the number of children” they would have.

It’s important to note that Jim Bob is the breadwinner of the family, while Michelle literally spends all her time barefoot and pregnant. In the days before contraception, men were able to rule the world while women where forced into domestic duty. During that time, women were greatly outnumbered by men in college, the world of business, in Congress – pretty much everywhere except the kitchen. Or as Republicans call the good’ol days.

“They’re portraying it once again, pregnancy as a disease,” El Rushbo said on his radio program, referring to a Georgetown law student as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for daring to ask for coverage for contraception. It took numerous advertisers pulling out for Rush to issue an apology. Who’s the slut now? 

But it’s not just Rush Limbaugh’s wacky view about birth control. As Democratic strategist James Carville noted on Bill Maher’s show, Republicans no longer just listen to Rush Limbaugh – they’ve become Rush Limbaugh.

A quick look at the GOP’s presidential candidates and their thoughts on birth control speaks louder than a cigar-chomping hypocrite with a taste for Viagra and increasingly younger wives.

Rick Santorum, who once equated homosexuality to bestiality, is not a believer in birth control, and has gone so far to say it’s harmful to women and harmful to our society. He also didn’t think it was something women needed insurance for because it only “costs a few dollars” and is only a “minor expense” for women – like buying sweater vests at Kohls.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich called the policy guaranteeing insurance coverage of birth control “the most outrageous assault on religious freedom in American history.” Apparently it takes a man of faith to discuss divorcing your wife while she lies in a hospital bed recovering from tumor surgery.

Even Mitt Romney, who has largely avoided this birth control debate, supported Sen. Roy Blunt’s contraception plan along with Santorum and Gingrich. The amendment (to a highway spending bill) would have given all bosses – including yours – the ability to refuse coverage of any type of health care they considered amoral.

Conservatives think it’s evil when the government gets involved in the health care debate, but when businesses make decisions that potentially harm their employees, it’s just what the founders intended. Just think about your boss for a second – could you imagine if they had complete control of your health care choices?

At least Ron Paul, trained as an obstetrician-gynecologist, had the good sense to call this whole debate “silly.” But then again, he would let an uninsured patient who couldn’t afford treatment die, so that says a lot about the moderation of the Republican presidential candidates.

So let’s recap: Snooki is pregnant, birth control is amoral and Republicans want your supervisor to check off on your gynecological needs. Maybe the Mayans were onto something about the world ending in 2012.


Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonists and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at, and follow him on Twitter @RobTornoe.

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