by Whitney Pitcher
On Fox and Friends earlier this week, Governor Palin spoke about the Obama administration’s contraception mandate which requires religious institutions, or any employers for that matter, to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, even if it violates their consciences. Governor Palin responds with a perspective that few other politicians provide (emphasis added) Click here for video:
[President Obama is] underestimating the wisdom of women. Because women understand there is access to preventative care and contraception out there, and we don’t need government to tell our employers that they must provide that for us.
Truly, it is a war on our religious liberties and that violation of conscience that he would mandate that is un-American because it violates our First Amendment in our Constitution.
Governor Palin is indeed right. A recent CNN poll shows that approval of President Obama’s contraception mandate among women is only at 47% (46% of women opposed it, 7% have no opinion). While there is a 1% difference between approval and disapproval, this is within the 4.5% margin of error. In other words, not even a majority of women approve of the mandate, even though 85% surveyed in the poll approve of the use of contraception.The issue is not contraception; it’s the mandate. Governor Palin, who is not opposed to the use of contraception, recognizes the real issue at stake is individual liberty. Is it any wonder that our Founders not only placed the freedom of religion in the first amendment, they listed it first among the rights described in the first amendment? Would it not seem ludicrous if the federal government began to mandate Muslim grocers to sell pork or orthodox Jews to sell food that wasn’t kosher? Yet, this is the same principle that is being applied to the Catholic Church. President Obama’s supposed compromise puts the burden on insurance companies if an institution is opposed to contraception, but it is unsure how this affects many Catholic hospitals that self-insure. The head of the Catholic hospital system that governs the Catholic hospital in Springfield, Illinois has still “questions and concerns” about how this “compromise” will work.
The Independent Women’s Forum notes, if this mandate were to be overturned, it would change nothing from how things currently operate where employers have the freedom to choose insurance plan options for their employees. As I argued earlier this week, if we had a health insurance system divorced from employment and based on the free market, it would provide the vehicle for individual freedom in general and religious freedom specifically. Is it any wonder why Governor Palin has been recently juxtaposing the 2012 political debate as one between the party of freedom vs. the party of government?
Governor Palin is not the only conservative politician who realizes what is truly at stake. Last week, Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to the mandate:
Today, during the Congressional hearing regarding the mandate, Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle noted:
“I really find it so objectionable,” Buerkle said at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “This is a fundamental assault on all religions. It is an affront to each and every American…This is a fundamental assault on our First Amendment rights.”
Contrary to Nancy Pelosi’s false assertions, there were female panelists who appeared during this hearing. What the GOP needs to realize is that they are winning the ideological battle, but they are struggling to win the messaging battle. Governor Palin has artfully framed the debate as a battle between freedom and government. Senator Ayotte and Rep. Buerkle have also realized the freedoms that is at stake. The Republican party would do well to realize that President Obama indeed does not recognize the wisdom of women, but a few ladies in their party are quite wise and should serve as messengers of freedom.
4 responses to “President Obama and GOP: Don’t Underestimate the Wisdom of Women”
Congresswoman Buerkle made the issue very clear. You don’t need any comment from me, it is very simple. My personal feelings are, that I am very worried about the path that the leadership in Washington is taking. Why we have to fight for freedom all over again scares me.
Ayotte is not great conservative. I saw her picture and had to set the record straight.
She supported Sotomayor and only was against Kagan because she lacked experience, not because she’s a radical Marxist!
Ayotte was against the Castle Docrtrine in NH and as AG helped the Democrat Gov. John Lynch raid thousands from a private doctors medical malpractice fund to try to balance the budget.
Palin should not have endosed Ayotte in the NH primary, it was one of the few bad moves Palin has made.
Santorum is the reason Ayotte had the chance to vote for Sotomayor in the first place. Santorum went against the Republicans and voted to confirm her for the appellate court.
Sadly, once a nominee for the Supreme court is chosen, it’s all over but the formality. Republicans always make a show of it, but it’s a forgone conclusion that they will confirm the nominee. Democrats on the other hand are not so accommodating.
I’ll have to take your word on the rest.
Thanks for your comments, NH Conservative. Perhaps describing Ayotte as a Republican, rather than a conservative would have been more descriptive, although we all have personal definitions who would be considered “conservative”. While Senator Ayotte has been liberal in her decisions and votes in other matters, she was the first (and as far as I know) only woman in the Senate to speak against the contraceptive mandate. The picture, when it is clicked on, is a video of her on the Senate floor speaking against the mandate as an assault on religious freedom. While she may be wrong on many things, she is right on this. The GOP would do well to have women front and center speaking against this issue.