Darrell Issa’s all-male contraception panel

Andrew Sullivan thinks that it’s ”hard to believe that the GOP has become so isolated from the American mainstream that they could not find and would not allow a single woman to testify in the Issa hearings today on contraception and religious freedom.” But is it? Is it really?

We’ve all been watching the Republican party deteriorate lo these past five, ten, twenty years. Should anything surprise us anymore?

I share Andrew’s flabbergastedness, even though I probably shouldn’t. One would think that after The Daily Show so effectively outed Sean Hannity’s own all-male contraception and religious freedom panel that the GOP leadership would be quick to change course but…well, let’s just say that women’s issues are not really the Republican Party’s forte. Best leave these things to the men.

Andrew writes:

Added to Santorum’s chief financial backer’s simply staggering and disgustingly sexist recommendation that the only birth control a woman should have is crossing her legs – with the implication that straight men have no responsibility for the matter – and we have really returned to the 1950s, as TPM has pointed out. But that’s who they are now backing: Santorum, the man who wants gays back in the closet and women in their 1950s reproductive place: beneath men without a condom, and denied an abortion thereafter.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

And of course, it will get worse before it gets better. All across the country, women’s access to healthcare is being threatened in one form or another. Virginia is just the latest in a long string of absurd moves by the right to expand government into the bedroom. Because government is only too big if it’s giving poor kids chicken nuggets. When it’s forcing women to have an ultrasound whether or not she wants one it’s no big deal at all.

This is not the right way to go about decreasing the rate of abortions. Universal access to healthcare, prioritizing education, and working toward prosperity for everyone will all lead to fewer abortions in the long run. Cultural and economic forces, not more prying authoritarianism, and yes contraception are more likely to slow the rate of abortion than forced ultrasounds.

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the editor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.