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Oklahoma May Deny Women Affordable Birth Control Because It ‘Poisons Their Bodies’

Oklahoma already prevents women from using their insurance plans to help cover abortion services, but Republicans aren't stopping there. One state lawmaker wants to continue stripping insurance coverage for reproductive health services, advancing a measure that would allow employers to refuse to cover birth control for any reason — based solely on the fact that one of his constituents believes it "poisons women’s bodies."

Under State Sen. Clark Jolley (R)'s measure, "no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees." According to the Tulsa World, Jolley's inspiration for his bill came from one of his male constituents who is morally opposed to birth control, and wanted to find a small group insurance plan for himself and his family that didn't include coverage for those services:

Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women's health researcher. [...]

Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.

"Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother," Pedulla said. "They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies."

The bill has already cleared a Senate Health committee and now makes it way to Oklahoma's full Senate. It is unlikely that either Jolley and Pedulla themselves rely on insurance coverage for hormonal contraceptive services — but if the measure becomes law, the two men could limit the health insurance options for the nearly two million women who live in Oklahoma.

Of course, contraception does not actually poison women. The FDA approved the first oral birth control pill in 1960, and that type of contraception is so safe that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends making it available without a prescription, as it is in most other countries around the world. Furthermore, considering that over 99 percent of women of reproductive age have used some form of birth control, the Oklahoma women who rely on insurance coverage for their contraception would likely disagree with Pedulla's assertion that it "suppresses and radically contradicts part of their own identity."

In reality, access to affordable birth control is a critical economic issue for women. When women have control over their reproductive choices, it allows them to achieve economic goals like completing their education, becoming financially independent, or keeping a job. But birth control can carry high out-of-pocket costs, and over half of young women say they haven’t used their contraceptive method as directed because of cost prohibitions. Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers have repeatedly pushed measures to allow employers to drop coverage for birth control.

by Anonymousreply 1702/23/2013

[quote]Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.

"Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother," Pedulla said.

OMFG! So they really do see women only as baby makers and are getting even more blatant about it.

Handmaid's Tale is here.

by Anonymousreply 102/23/2013

[quote] Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women's health researcher.

Wonder how much "Dr" Pedulla contributed to Jolley's campaign?

by Anonymousreply 202/23/2013

Figures, he studied "family planning" at a Catholic Jesuit university

[quote] Dominic Pedulla’s training started at Fordham University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and he pursued his postgraduate studies at the New York Medical College, where he obtained his Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Dominic Pedulla then went on to study family planning at Creighton University.

by Anonymousreply 302/23/2013

It's still boggles my mind that there are people who think that given the opportunity, these kooks wouldn't turn this country into a batshit theocracy rivaling Iran given the opportunity.

by Anonymousreply 402/23/2013

Who better to make decisions on behalf of women, than lunatic, insecure males?

by Anonymousreply 502/23/2013

Sorry, one too many "given the opportunity."

by Anonymousreply 602/23/2013

It's crap like this that's going to paint these assholes into a corner.

Pedulla sounds like some militant Catholic. I don't think he'll go over too well in Baptist Oklahoma. Baptists don't seem to have problems with birth control, do they?

by Anonymousreply 702/23/2013

A number to call is on one of the FB comments under the story. I would suggest sending this to all of your female friends and family members. Women need to start standing up to this shit.

by Anonymousreply 802/23/2013

Well, bearin' Jimmy Bob's youngins' poisons mah social life, so think agin you dago quack!

by Anonymousreply 902/23/2013

How the hell is it that OK, a state seemingly Neanderthal in its anti-gay, anti-women politics, can have one of the nation's best universal pre-K programs?

by Anonymousreply 1002/23/2013

Gotta keep the women pregnant. That's what they are put on earth for. White women, that is.

by Anonymousreply 1102/23/2013

why do we only hear about these stories on liberal sites or somewhere off the corners of the internet rather than on some network news? Why doesn't mainstream media cover these stories?

by Anonymousreply 1202/23/2013

So no more vasectomies, either? Isn't the possibility of becoming a father part of men's nature?

by Anonymousreply 1302/23/2013

[quote] Dominic Pedulla

MadonnaWhore complex

by Anonymousreply 1402/23/2013

He's actually right in that synthetic hormones are terrible for everyone. I still take it every day because it makes the endometriosis pain nearly non-existent and has stopped my ovaries from being cystic, but a better thing to be doing would be to actually fix my body's adrenal and cortisol production to naturally regulate my hormones rather than just treat the symptoms. However, doctors are only taught to treat symptoms rather than cure conditions because this way they can prescribe endless pills which make Big Pharma rich rich rich. For women trying not to get pregnant, it's usually the 2nd best option after a non-hormonal copper implant which should be offered free to any woman who wants one.

by Anonymousreply 1502/23/2013

Yes, Italian American Catholic males are just the ones who ought to be telling women what to do.

by Anonymousreply 1602/23/2013

R15 why don't you just stop taking them? Anything you take mimics and interferes with a natural physiological process - even aspirin. No one should be making that decision for you however and that's the point. I don't have a horse in this race because I'm a man, however people's individual rights are important to me and I would describe myself as a feminist anyway - however it's hard for me to have sympathy at times because these are elected officials that these people are voting for - if they don't like the way things are they have only themselves to thank. It's not like it's a big secret what is on their platform, they don't hide it, they campaign on it and these fools still march into the booths and pull the lever for people like this.

by Anonymousreply 1702/23/2013
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