About a month ago, in one of several culture-war television ads, the Romney campaign went after President Obama over contraception access. After asking which candidate “shares your values,” the Republican spot said the contraception issue represents a “war on religion.”
We haven’t heard too much about this since – Team Romney continues to experiment with different issues and messages – but access to birth control remains an important focus.
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sees no place for the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.
At a Saturday campaign event in Orlando, Fla., the Associated Press reports that Ryan was asked about whether he would press Vice President and fellow Catholic Joe Biden on his views in relation to the 2012 Democratic Party platform.
Ryan’s answer turned straight to the piece of Obamacare providing birth control access. He vowed to remove that requirement for insurance providers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, on “day one.”
“It will be gone,” Ryan told onlookers at the University of Central Florida. “I can guarantee you that.”
Let’s not lose sight of the policy on the table. Under federal law, insurance companies must now make preventive care available without copays. It was up to the Obama administration to establish what counts as “preventive care,” and officials chose a variety of common-sense policies, including mammograms, HIV screenings, immunizations, and contraception.
No one will be required to have any of these services; they’ll simply be available. In terms of finances, the Obama administration exempts churches and other houses of worship from financing care they may find objectionable, and the White House also created a compromise in which religiously-affiliated employers wouldn’t have to pay for contraception directly.
And according to Paul Ryan, a Romney administration would be so opposed to expanded contraception access, they’d get rid of it on their very first day in office. (This is the same Paul Ryan who worked with Todd Akin to redefine “rape.”)
President Obama recently told supporters, “[W]hen it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.” Ryan is apparently eager to prove Obama right.