It has been widely remarked that last week's discussions about the Affordable Health Care Act's mandate that insurers provide women with free birth control was a little heavy on men and religious figures and awfully light on women and health care experts.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) held a hearing on Capitol Hill about the issue, but declined to feature any women on the panel or hear testimony from female witnesses, prompting a walk-out by Reps. Carolyn Mahoney (D-NY) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
We at Raw Story have some suggestions for people the news media might reach out to next time questions of women and their access to contraception arise.
1. Dr. Regina Benjamin (Surgeon General of the U.S.)
Who better to discuss an important public health issue than the most powerful public health official in the country? She, unlike most of the people interviewed on the topic, is a doctor and a woman, and has an extensive background in rural health care and understands the difficulties faced by women and families in need.
2. Working moms
One of the revolutionary aspects of the arrival of the birth control pill was that it allowed women to work outside the home. Within the last half-century our society has changed from one where one parent, the mother, was expected to remain at home engaged in child care and homemaking, into a society where stay-at-home parenting is the exception, not the norm. Some doctors and historians would say that the availability of safe and reliable birth control has been an integral part of that transformation.
3. Sarah Palin
Only because her grasp of the English language is so tenuous and fraught with peril that every time she opens her mouth, whatever cause she is advocating gets set back twenty years. Nobody tosses a word salad with quite the mindless aplomb of half-term ex-Governor Sarah Palin. Let's not forget her hilarious mangling of the Paul Revere story.
4. A junkie
It is a sad fact of drug addiction that many female addicts are ultimately forced by their addiction to trade sex for drugs. According to one Vanderbilt University study, approximately 350,000 babies are born already addicted to drugs each year. Many drug addicts spend all of their available resources on their habit, putting tertiary concerns like birth control out of reach. Providing these women with free birth control could save our health care system money in the long run, and simplify the already complicated lives of a vulnerable class of people.
5. Loretta Lynn
Simply on the basis of this great song.
6. Kathy Griffin
The actress and comedian has spoken eloquently about her Catholic faith, and has famously gone a few rounds with professional scold Bill Donohue and the "Catholic League" in the past. Pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is hilarious, regardless, and she's much less stomach-turning to listen to on topics of sex, marriage, and reproduction than, say, Newt Gingrich.
How about you? Is there anyone you believe got short shrift in our national tug of war over women's right to manage their own bodies? Let us know in the comments.