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Duly Noted

Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011, 8:27 am

Obama May Capitulate on Birth Control Coverage This Weekend

By Lindsay Beyerstein

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Brains in the head, Creative Commons.

Jodi Jacobson of Reproductive Health Realitycheck has some ominous news about the fate of contraceptive coverage under health care reform. It seems President Obama is confused about who his real friends are:

Women's groups working to save coverage of women's health care under health reform are concerned that President Obama will cave as early as this weekend to demands by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (all 271 men) to eliminate coverage of birth control without a co-pay.

The reason? The President thinks he "owes" the Bishops for help with passage of health reform.

Really?  See... I thought this President was elected primarily by the hard work and support of women, Latinos, African Americans, and young people.  And the data back me up.  Young voters and Latinos were credited with giving Obama a "commanding victory" in 2008 and, according to post-election analysis, unmarried women were an "even greater source of support."

And, unlike the bishops, unmarried women didn't initially threaten to destroy health care reform.

Birth control is part of health care. Eliminating birth control coverage is a tax on women, a malicious, misogynist, shortsighted tax that will cost the system money. The American taxpayer shouldn't be subsidizing the bishops' anti-contraceptive ideology.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (, a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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