Oklahoma State Senate Bill: Employers Ain't Gotta Insure Contraceptives Because Women Are Meant To Be Mommies


Oh, hey, here's a new twist on an old story! You already know how having to pay for insurance coverage for birth control is a violation of an employer's sacred right to tell employees how to live, but a genius state Senator in Oklahoma, Clark Jolley (R-Not All That Jolly) has just placed himself in the race for Wonkette Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year by introducing yet another bill that that would allow employers to opt out of covering slut pills.

The opt-out isn't a new idea, but the justification is truly novel: Jolley says he introduced the bill at the request of a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, of Oklahoma City. Pedulla is a cardiologist, but bills himself as "a natural family planning medical consultant and women's health researcher" and contends that contraception "suppresses and disables" women's true nature:

"Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother," Pedulla said. "They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn't bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies."

We know we are somewhat stepping on the line of regular commenter Callyson here, but, Oh, for fuck's sake.

Dr. Pedulla complained to Sen. Jolley after he found that all small group health plans in Oklahoma required coverage for contraception and sterilization. Rather than pointing out to Pedulla that the insurance plans did not require that he personally get sterilized, despite the obvious benefits to the state and humanity, Jolley instead said, hey, you know what? People with dumb religious convictions should be allowed to make their employees suffer for them! So he introduced this idiotic bill, which passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee without debate last week, and will now go to the full state Senate.

In a masterful stroke of Wingnut Logic, Pedulla presented as evidence the argument that "Studies show that women using contraceptives consider pregnancy more unwanted than wanted," which is clearly a result of The Pill making ladies think crazy anti-pregnancy thoughts, not merely the sort of thing that a person who already doesn't want to have a baby might say.

Critics of the legislation pointed out that women who have a harder time getting access to birth control are probablyu more likely to experience unwanted pregnancies and thus seek abortions, and then, realizing that they were saying this in goddamned Oklahoma, decided to just drink and pound their heads against their desks.

[Tulsa World via DailyKos]

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Update: RAICES is also holding a "what you can do" webinar this Thursday:

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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Don't take for granted that the institutions you love will always be there, like democracy, and Wonkette. Click to save at least one of them!


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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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