The politics of women's health

 |  NCR Today

Like many of you, I have been deluged this week with Facebook posts and links pro and con about two women's reproductive health issues: the HHS decision to mandate contraceptive insurance coverage and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation's decision to cut breast cancer screening funding to Planned Parenthood, which it just reversed.

That reversal, I think, says something about the politics of both decisions.

A number of Catholic commentators, from all over the political spectrum, have predicted an Obama loss in 2012 because of the decision to require some religious institutions to include contraceptive coverage in their health insurance for employees. To me, that seemed like wishful thinking on the part of conservatives and overstatement on the part of liberals and moderates.

I assume the Komen Foundation took the pulse of its donors and the rest of the culture before reversing its decision, finally concluding that the majority is more moderate about these issues, especially when the connection is weaker. Yes, Planned Parenthood is connected to abortion, but that's not all they do. And the grants were specifically for breast cancer screening.

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

(As an aside: Why don't some pro-life groups start opening clinics to offer free breast cancer screenings to poor women so they don't have to go to Planned Parenthood?)

It's already been established that the majority of Catholics approve of contraception, not to mention the majority of Americans. The bishops have done a good job of framing this as "religious liberty" issue, but even that is a stretch. They're not being asked to provide contraception, just offer what's become the standard in employee insurance.

My guess is that Obama also took the pulse of the church and country before the HHS decision, too.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017