Cindy Bass: GOP Presidential candidates distorting contraception rule

As the Republican spin cycle around contraception being offered by religious institutions’ health plans (a week after the President offered a compromise) continues, the GOP has now taken the dialogue to the lowest of lows. By questioning our President’s morality and religion, and responding to what they see as a ‘war on religion’, it is apparent to me that Republicans haven’t thought out their own defensive strategy as women, such as myself, have now declared war on them. And by them, I mean those who think I should not have access to contraception as preventive healthcare, because of who my employer is. And those who think I don’t have a right to prenatal testing, because I just might be an informed patient. And those who think that marriage is the end all, be all of women’s happiness–of course with a pregnancy soon after–because they think that is what is best for me.

Republicans, who repeatedly decry “big government,” seem to feel quite comfortable making decisions that affect millions of women, while (literally) not having our voice at the table! What entitles them to direct me and others as they see fit, while living lives that have a considerable layer of hypocrisy on the surface?

In preparation for this war, I ask that women of all political parties and religious faiths stand tall and fight back with our votes. It’s time to teach a lesson to those who disrespect, marginalize, and ridicule women. It’s time we declare war. It’s time to register our youth, our friends, neighbors and our casual acquaintances to vote, and then make sure that they do. It’s time that we vote like our lives depend on it, because they do. It’s time to send a stinging rebuke of ignorant statements and ridiculous policies so that those that thinking of running for office and including such nonsense into critical public policy debates think twice and quickly change course.

The absurdity of the arguments we’re hearing around contraception and women’s health lately is like conversing with a fool (quickly you would ask yourself, “Why am I talking to him?”). And yet we’re having the same discussion over and over. The only change is that it is becoming more and more bizarre with each news interview these ‘candidates’ give. Spewing misinformation that gives the impression that individuals are either forced to take birth control or even that they are encouraged to do so is an outright lie, and it is time reveal the ever so thinly veiled liars that are attached to such philosophies.

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The danger of electing any of the Republican candidates to the Presidency should now be crystal clear, particularly to women. If there was ever any uncertainty as to whether or not the remaining four, Santorum, Romney, Gingrich and Paul, could offer thoughtful and meaningful dialogue on a topic as private and difficult for women and their partners as contraception, well, we now have clarity without a doubt. Not that any of them has changed their position on this matter (except Romney, of course) but now, as a woman, I have a plethora of information to consider when I step into the voting booth, when I discuss the candidates with my family and friends, and when asked to make recommendations by voters.

The moment is upon us, and this war, this fight for equality should consume our attention. We cannot hope for the results we want. We will send a message that we won’t play childish games when it comes to our contraception and our healthcare.

NewsWorks wants to know whether you think Republicans Presidential candidates are distorting how the Obama contraception rule would work? (fyi: The compromise Obama has offered would require health insurers, and not church-affiliated charities, to pay for contraceptives for employees)

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