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February 16 2012

Magazine: "Meet Obama's Nurse Ratched"

Charlotte Hays

National Review’s Kate O’Beirne wrote a book a few years ago with a marvelous title: Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports.

We’ve seen quite a few women who make the world worse in action over recent days, since the Obama administration began the process of ramming unpalatable policies down the throats of employers who don’t want to pay for insurance policies that they find morally objectionable.

What has come across so distinctly in many of these women leaders is that they are determined to impose their world view on the rest of us. If there is any sense of the philosophy of live-and-let-live among them, they're doing a good job of hiding it.

For example, the Weekly Standard recently asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi if Catholic employers should be required to pay for insurance that covers the morning-after pill and birth control, which the Catholic Church teaches are morally objectionable.

Here is how she responded:

Pelosi talked about the importance of women's health, and then said, "Yes, I think that all institutions who cover, who give, health insurance should cover the full range of health insurance issues for women."

That would be: You have no choice. Do what Nancy wants you to do.

Whatever you think about birth control or abortion, and we don’t take a position on abortion at IWF (and, frankly, the matter of contraception has never come up here), you should find Pelosi’s answer repelling. She is talking about a kind of government control that is unprecedented in our democracy.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is another woman who has been working hard to make the world worse. Robert Goldberg dubs her “Obama’s Nurse Ratched” in a piece in the American Spectator. Sebelius arguably has more power than Pelosi because Obamacare is littered with the words “The Secretary shall…” decide various policies that should have been made clear in the law. Instead the legislation handed over vast powers to the secretary of HHS:

Sebelius is using that power to promote a liberal agenda and Obama's re-election.

She pushed the contraception edict. Her staff wrote the rules that decided Catholic hospitals and charities are not religious institutions. And she was the one who came up the with the "accommodation" in response to resistance to the mandate: just make the health plans pay for it even if the customers of the plan don't want it.

It is clear Sebelius cares only about imposing a worldview and policies to win support for Obamacare. A reporter asked Sebelius: "If a Catholic nonprofit is paying for your insurance coverage, isn't it paying for contraception if you are getting the coverage through that same insurer?"

Sebelius: "The federal employees health plan… costed this as no cost, free, no cost, because adding contraception and having some employees take advantage of that coverage lowers the overall cost of the health plan."

This is the same dictatorial mindset that Pelosi displayed in the first quote. As Carrie pointed out earlier, these women are anything but pro-choice when it comes to imposing their views on those who might not share them. We are glad that some women do, however, balk at the extreme enforcer mentality. "The Maine twins," for example, are longtime supporters of health policies for federal workers that include free contraception. But both have expressed qualms over the narrowness of the religious exemption.

As I said, IWF has no position on abortion and certainly not on contraception. But we do have a stand on freedom and liberty—we’re for ‘em. It’s not surprising that Pelosi and Sebelius do have strong opinions on abortion and contraception, but it should be astonishing that they have so far forsaken the notions of liberty and freedom that they are willing to force people to pay for things they abhor.

I want to highlight a related phenomenon: Feminist shunning. I have no idea what Nancy Brinker of the embattled Susan G. Komen Foundation thinks about abortion. But it has been illuminating to watch the enforcers go after her in the wake of her decision (since rescinded) to cease funding Planned Parenthood.

Upon taking a position that was at odds with the enforcers, this formerly sacrosanct national figure, the woman behind the pink ribbons, suddenly found herself the target of a nasty public relations campaign. This included unflattering profiles in the Daily Beast and the Washington Post, both of which raised questions about Brinker's salary, expenses, and managerial style.

These are always legitimate questions when it comes to heads of nonprofits.

But these questions were never publicly raised until Brinker wandered off the liberal/feminist reservation. 

Message: Don't you dare disagree with us.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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