By Gaetana Drake
Representative Mike Kelly (R-Fl), stated “I know in your mind you can think of two times America was attacked. The first was December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor Day. The second was 9/11, the day we were attacked by terrorists. I want you to remember August 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom – that is a ‘day that will live in infamy’ along with the other dates”. Representative Kelly believes America has been attacked because of the following:
Several aspects of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act went into effect on August 1, 2012. They include:
Pap smears, mammograms, STD screenings, well-woman check-ups, HPV testing, HIV screening, gestational diabetes screening, breast-feeding supplies and assistance, domestic violence screenings and counseling, and the now infamous birth control coverage, being provided to women with insurance with no co-pay and no deductible. This does not mean the services are free – the women are still paying for their insurance coverage. The only change is that there will be no co-pay or deductible for these preventive services. Private insurances are now required to include birth control coverage if they didn’t already.
On July 31, 2012, the eve of these great changes (which will benefit millions of American women) taking effect, the Republicans voted for the 34th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Believe me, there is a war on women, as they have shown for the 34th time.
Representative Kelly believes that providing American women access to affordable birth control is an attack on America. There is already an exemption in the Affordable Care Act for employers whose primary purpose is the promotion of their religious beliefs, such as churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and so on. Apparently requiring other non-religious employers to cover birth control is an attack on their religious freedom. No one will EVER force a woman to use birth control if she doesn’t want to. No one will EVER force a woman to have an abortion if she doesn’t want to. But it is wrong to allow non-religious organizations to suddenly claim they have a moral or religious objection to this very basic, very important part of a woman’s health care. At this point, their religious freedom is impacting the personal freedom of American women to have access to health care.
Opponents to the Affordable Care Act have said that insurance premiums will go up. One year ago, another part of the ACA took effect, which says that if your insurance company spends less than 80 – 85% of your premiums on your health care, you must be refunded the difference! Now, a year after this provision took effect, refund checks are being mailed to businesses and individuals. Checks that will total $1.1 billion dollars! That’s $1.1 billion that will go back into our economy as people getting refunds use the money to buy a car, to help pay for their child’s education, to help make their mortgage payment, or even just to buy groceries. This is money that goes back to the people and businesses who paid for the insurance, instead of going to a $50 million dollar bonus for the CEO of an insurance company.
Now, back to the comment about “a day that will live in infamy”. Does Representative Kelly understand how insulting comparing birth control coverage to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 is? Does he realize he just insulted every service man and woman, past, present and future, who have died and those who continue to risk their lives for us? My father served in the Navy during WWII, one of my uncles stormed the beach at Normandy, and my great-great-grandfather fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Kelly has just insulted each of them. Shame on you, Mr. Kelly. You are no American.
A last thought about birth control – my grandson made an observation yesterday when we were discussing this. He wondered, “why do men even get to vote on this?” A good point…why are men getting to control the reproductive lives of all American women?