Some Livingston County groups that help women deal with unplanned pregnancies are planning a rally against making sure birth control is easily accessible to all women.
If that sounds backwards, it's because it is.
Common sense would say that if you really were concerned about the impact of unplanned pregnancies, you would help women avoid unplanned pregnancies in the first place.
But not Life Force Livingston and Pregnancy Helpline.
An application by the groups to use the grounds of the Livingston County Historic Courthouse in Howell for a "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally at noon on March 23has been filed with the Livingston County Commission, according to the agenda for the commission's meeting on Monday night (March 5, 2012). The application states that the event will be a "peaceful informative rally lead (sic) by local religious leaders speaking on the HHS mandate."
The HHS mandate, apparently, is the requirement by the Department of Health and Human Services that insurance companies offer free birth control under their policies, even those offered by Catholic-run schools, hospitals, and universities -- but not churches. The requirement has the bishops up in arms, demanding that they should be able to block even non-Catholic employees from having easy access to birth control on the grounds that the bishops' religious freedom trumps that of their employees.
The bishops' absurd position has turned into a nightmare for Republicans, after Rush Limbaugh attacked a Georgetown law school student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" and demanded that she post videos on line of herself having sex because she dared to stand up for women's right to have access to birth control. Limbaugh ignored the fact that Sandra Fluke wasn't even talking about the use of birth control for avoiding pregnancy, but for treating medical conditions such as ovarian cysts.
The local groups did not mention who their speakers will be, but Life Force Livingston involves representatives of many Catholic churches in the area, according to minutes of Life Force Livingston's meetings posted on its website. Pregnancy Helpline's attitude toward birth control is pretty clear from its website, too. If offers "abstinence education" and says its goal is to "empower women."
Seems like policies opposing access to birth control and pushing "just say no" will keep crisis pregnancy phone lines ringing for years into the future.