New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said the Republican “men’s club” in the Senate wants women “barefoot and pregnant,” speaking out against a GOP effort to give employers the option not to offer contraception coverage in health insurance plans.
“It’s time to tell the Republicans to mind their own business,” Lautenberg said on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
“Our side believes that women should be able to choose the paths in life that’s best for them and that’s why President Obama wants to make birth control more affordable. Contraception is basic health care, and it’s essential for individuals to choose when they want to have a career and when they want to start a family.”
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer joined Lautenberg in blasting a Republican amendment to the Senate transportation bill that would allow employers not to include birth control in the health insurance plans they offer to their employees. In her remarks, Boxer mentioned an “idea” she got from comedian Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.”
“’If I believe as an employer that laughter is the best medicine, I can just call my sick employees and tell them jokes or call in some comedians to tell them jokes,’” she said quoting the comedian.
Boxer added that the amendment, proposed by Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt, is “dangerous to our people” and asked members on both sides of the aisle to “reject it.”
Lautenberg labeled the effort an “attack by the men’s club” in the Senate who “say they want to decide what’s best for women in this country.” Lautenberg also does not want “some rough neck” putting “his nose” in his family’s business.
“It has twenty sponsors and all but one of them is male,” he said.
“Senator Blunt as we’ve heard here wants to give employers and big insurance companies the power to take away health services on moral grounds but who makes the decision on what’s moral? That’s the question.”
The Catholic Church has publicly opposed a new directive stemming from the Obama health care law that would require religious institutions to provide health insurance plans to their employees that covers contraception.
President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership support the mandate.