Q.Q Harder, Miter Mafia. Your Tears Are Delicious.

Or, How Many Condescending and Belittling Synonyms for "complain" Do I Have In My Vocabulary?*

The Miter Mafia (which is what I'll be using to refer to the Catholic hierarchy from now on, to distinguish between my ire at the Church as a sociopolitical corporation as opposed to blaming the Catholic faithful as a whole) has submitted 21 pages (PDF) of crying about the fact that the government wants to make contraception available to people who want it, to the HHS's official notice of rule change regarding the the "contraception compromise".  Remember, the shitty insurance-company workaround the Obama administration offered to salve the Miter Mafia's hurt fee-fees when they threw their shit fit and held whole cis-male-only Congressional panels to discuss how the idea of people being able to access low-cost or free contraception was making their boners very sad?

Basically, they're still whining about the fact that contraception was not completely removed from the list of mandated preventative services.  (They also include "education and counseling" as part of contraceptive services.  So not only do they want to deny us access to ways to control our fertility, they want to keep us completely in the dark about the fact that said options exist and how they work!)

Failing that, they're stomping their little feetses because the exemption criteria weren't reworked to their specifications.  (Never has there been an organization in this world with more hubris than the Miter Mafia, truly.  In a country with an explicit separation of church and state, where you are far from the only religious organization, what on earth could possibly make you think you get to be the one to dictate the terms of exemption or inclusion from religiously-referential regulations??)  They believe that restricting the exemption to religious organizations is too narrow.  They want any person, or organization headed by a person, who believes that birth control is dirtybadwrong to be able to deny their employees coverage for it.  This is, of course, perfectly in line with their ongoing attempts to widen "conscience clause" protections to an absurd extreme such that bus drivers can refuse to continue their route if they believe a passenger is going to an abortion clinic, nurses can refuse to interact in any way with abortion patients even for mundane things like processing paperwork or checking vitals after the fact, and pharmacists can deny medication to stop bleeding if they think it's because the person had an abortion: they really do believe that nobody should ever have to do anything even tenuously connected with Teh Badz (abortion and b/c), even if that thing is extremely indirect AND within the bounds of something they have consciously chosen to do.  Like, say, being a pharmacist, or a nurse, or a bus driver, or owning/running a company that employs people who may or may not share your beliefs.

And then there's the pouting that the compromise is just Not Good Enough Anyway So You Should Just Rescind The Rule Completely, because it still allows employees to access contraception, even in a way that bypasses the employer, because the employer-provided insurance plan acts as the "conduit" by which access is gained, and thus the employer is tainted by association or some bullshit like that.

It is literally not enough, and will literally never be enough, for them, until they are able to make completely certain that every single person who needs contraceptive services has to go to completely independent third-party agencies for it, and pay full price out of pocket.  And I would not be particularly surprised if they argued against even that, on the basis that the out-of-pocket cost was paid out of wages earned from an employer, so the employer should be able to veto an employee's decision to use their money that way if that employer doesn't want their wages to go to such things.

And of course, they want to force us all to rely on third-party services and pay out-of-pocket while we're still in the middle of a recession, as they oversee giant cuts and defunding efforts to the sorts of places that offer that kind of care.

This is nothing more nor less than an attempt to forcibly impose their moral beliefs on contraception on the entire country, with a series of targeted workarounds that don't directly challenge established law and precedent, but which would have the effect they want anyway.  (Sound familiar?)  Restrict access to contraception on employer-provided health plans --> Expand conscience protections so any employer anywhere for any reason can choose to bar access --> Defund the organizations that help subsidize those (expensive) costs for those who don't have money to burn --> Millions of people completely unable to access contraception and therefore forced to live by the moral dictates of a religion they may or may not subscribe to which teaches that all contraception is bad --> Continue/increase the Church's immense power over the secular world and nonbelievers --> Profit!

(Oh and for bonus fuckery points they describe birth control as "not health care" because it "[disrupts] the healthy functioning of the human reproductive system".  So if you're not conceiving, it ain't healthy.  MOAR BABIES FOR EVERYONE!  I wonder how they can describe as "healthy functioning" the pregnancies that endanger people's lives?)


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