by Ed Morrissey
The Washington Post headlines a piece by Ann Gerhart with the question, “Birth control as an election issue? Why?” It’s the wrong question, but first let’s see how Gerhart sets this up:
Decades ago, near the end of the Age of Aquarius, a Republican congressman from Texas argued passionately that the federal government should pay for birth control for poor women.
“We need to take sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program but, rather, are using it as a political stepping stone,” said George H.W. Bush. “If family planning is anything, it is a public health matter.”
Title X, the law he sponsored that still funds family planning for the poor, passed the House by a vote of 298 to 32. It passed the Senate unanimously. A Republican president, Richard Nixon, enthusiastically signed it.
That was 1970.
This is now: The issue of birth control has suddenly become an obsession of the 2012 presidential campaign. To many observers, it seems that the clock has indeed been turned back.
This, however true historically, is a false equivalence to the issue today. No one disputes the fact that government can spend tax money as Congress authorizes. No one today is arguing to end Title X or to ban or restrict the use of contraception at the federal or state level. In fact, the people who raised this issue want to maintain the status quo, not change it.
The real issue today is whether employers — any employers — should be forced by the federal government to supply contraception for free. Under what authority does the federal government have that power, and for what purpose?
Read entire article HERE.