Is an IUD or a diaphragm the same as a hijacked jetliner slamming into a skyscraper?
Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of the 3rd District in northwest Pennsylvania, made the analogy Wednesday, saying that the Obama administration’s newly implemented mandate that health insurers cover contraception will live in infamy like the attack on Pearl Harbor or the 9-11 terrorist strikes.
“I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is Dec. 7, that’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is Sept. 11, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack,” Kelly said during a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, when the regulation went into effect.
“I want you to remember August the First, 2012 – the attack on our religious freedom,” he said. “That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
Kelly, an auto dealer from Butler who won election in 2010, is a strong opponent of abortion rights. He and other critics of the insurance mandate say that it will force faith-based institutions to violate their moral beliefs to pay for birth control for their employees, infringing on the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.
Needless to say, Kelly’s choice of rhetoric has been controversial.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, of the 13th District of Pennsylvania, said it was “beyond stunning” that Kelly compared the birth-control mandate to violent attacks on U.S. soil
“To try and link women's health care to two of the most devastating, horrific days in America's history is beyond the pale and shows an utter lack of respect for all Americans who were affected by those tragedies,” Schwartz said in a statement. “I would hope that he would have the grace to apologize for his hateful rhetoric.”
Apparently, that’s not going to happen.
“We need to stop worrying about political correctness and worry about correcting the politics of Washington before our constitutional rights continue to erode before our eyes,” Kelly said in a statement.