If there was anyone this week who did their darndest to insert themselves into the personal and private medical decisions best left up to women, it was Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Late Saturday night, anti-women’s health lawmakers proposed a continuing resolution (C.R.) to continue funding the government under one condition: they defund Obamacare. Defunding Obamacare would mean reverting back to the days when insurance companies could discriminate and charge women higher premiums (sometimes up to 150% more), and denying access to insurance because of “pre-existing conditions” like pregnancy or being a survivor of domestic violence.
But Blackburn went further; she attached a provisionthat would allow any employer to deny women access to preventive care based on a “moral” objection. That means that employers and insurance companies could refuse to cover women’s preventive care like birth control, HPV testing, breastfeeding services, and even counseling for domestic violence. The kicker: this provision only applies to women; employers wouldn’t be able to morally object to men’s health care.
Not only is this wrong, it’s also unpopular. Seven in 10 Americans believe health insurance companies should cover the full cost of birth control just as they do for other preventive services, and already 27 million women across the country have been able to receive preventive health care with no copay. Once the full law takes effect, an estimated 47 million will benefit, but Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn wants to take all that away.
This isn’t the first time that Marsha Blackburn has curiously championed positions harmful to women while falsely claiming they are popular. Just this spring, she spoke out against pay equity laws, because “women don’t want the decisions made in Washington.” Well, apparently her principles only apply to pay equity because when it comes to women’s health, Blackburn has no problem making decisions for us in Washington.
So, for supporting a provision that would allow your boss to decide whether you get access to preventive health care or not, we’re giving Congresswoman Blackburn the dubious title of Gynotician of the Week.