A Congressman representing Pennsylvania today in a U.S. House of Representatives committee hearing told Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius that contraception is not about science, it’s about religion. Republican Tim Murphy “accused Sebelius of lying about the administration’s rule requiring employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans and falsely insisted that religious organizations would be required to provide ‘abortifacient’ drugs,” according to Igor Volsky at Think Progress:
SEBELIUS: There also is no abortifacient drug that is part of the FDA approved contraception. What the rule for preventive care…
MURPHY: Ma’m that is not true…Is the morning after pill or something like that an abortifacient drug?
SEBELIUS: It is a contraceptive drug, not an abortifacient… It does not interfere with a pregnancy. If the morning pill were taken, and a female were pregnant, the pregnancy is not interrupted. That’s the definition of abortifation.
MURPHY: Ma’m that is your interpretation, and I appreciate that’s your interpretation.
SEBELIUS: That’s what the scientists and doctors…
MURPHY: We’re not talking about scientists. Ma’m we’re not talking about scientists here, we’re talking about religious belief. Ma’m, I’m asking you about a religious belief. In a religious belief, that is a violation of a religious belief.
When Sebelius went on to explain that the administration’s contraception rule “upholds religious liberty” by exempting houses of worship, religious nonprofits that primarily serve people of the same faith, and even religiously-affiliated hospitals and colleges from providing birth control, Murphy exclaimed, “Ma’m, ma’m, NO! NO! You’re Wrong!” “You’re setting up a rule that not even Jesus and his apostles could adhere too.”
Clearly, this exemplifies the danger of having men and politicians debate this intimate and personal issue.
For the record, an explanation of “abortifacient” can be found here.
In case you were wondering, Murphy has voted three times in favor of anti-gay marriage bills, including support in gritting discrimination directly into the constitution by constitutionally banning same-sex marriage. Murphy voted against DADT repeal. He has voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.He has a 0% rating from NARAL and HRC.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.