Boxer Labels Shutdown a "War on Women"

Sarah Jean Seman

10/1/2013 2:17:00 PM - Sarah Jean Seman

Republicans obsessed with stopping the Affordable Care Act displayed their ongoing war on women by allowing the government to shutdown, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) accused Monday.

The Republican-run House pushed a continuing resolution back to the Senate this weekend with an amended “conscience clause.” The provision would allow employers and insurance companies to opt out of offering preventative health care due to a moral objection.

Without such a clause, people as far ranging as the CEO of Hobby Lobby to a Roman Catholic order would be forced to compromise their faith and provide employees birth control, sterilization and abortifacients in obedience to the Obamacare mandate.

Boxer didn’t see the amendment in quite the same light:

“I want to tell you what those benefits are that they are stopping. Guaranteed affordable birth control, screenings for cervical cancer, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, screenings for pregnancy-related diabetes, screening for domestic violence and breast feeding counseling and supplies.”

Lawmakers unwilling to negotiate on Obamacare forced the nation into a losing game, she said.

Hill Blog contributor Dana Singiser — and coincidental vice president for Public Policy with Planned Parenthood Federation of America — decried the clause for stripping women of a basic health care need:

“They know that birth control is basic health care – and it’s a key economic issue for women and their families. More than a third of women say they’ve struggled to afford to pay for their birth control, and as a result, haven’t used it consistently….The idea that an employer could deny women access to basic preventive health care, or refuse to cover a prescription medication just because they disagree with one of its uses – that’s unacceptable.”

The repulsive “idea” is not only acceptable, it is a basic right protected in the First Amendment.