Day of Infamy

So the long-awaited HHS contraception coverage mandate goes into effect today, and GOP freshman House members held a press conference to draw attention to it. But one of them may have gotten a little carried away, per The Hill‘s Elise Viebeck:

“I know in your mind you can think of the times America was attacked,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), a freshman.

“One is December 7 — that is Pearl Harbor Day. Another was September 11 — that was the day of the terrorist attack.

“I want you to remember August 1, 2012 — the attack on our religious freedom. That is a date that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

Starting Wednesday, most employers will have to cover contraception in their health plans without a co-pay.

Now even acknowledging that some people (presumably including Kelly) think, or at least claim to think, the use of an IUD or Plan B contraception–and for all I know, maybe The Pill–is morally equivalent to pulling out a gun and shooting an infant, this is a pretty amazing analogy. For one thing, the treatment of post-fertilization contraceptives (or as anti-choicers prefer to call it, “abortifacients”) as “murder” remains a small minority position in America. For another, helping pay for insurance coverage for a procedure and performing it are two different things–a fact that seems to have been completely lost in all the hysteria about Catholics (or at least the minority of Catholics who actually agree with official church teachings on the subject) being forced to abandon their religious beliefs. And finally, the mandate was about as stealthy as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Other than all that, of course, it’s a perfect analogy, but so is pretty much every event under the sun.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.