Sometimes I am flabbergasted by what conservatives (particularly of the evangelical variety) get so worked up about. The stimulus is chocked full of a lot of porky goodness, but sharpshooting the contraceptive portion of it seems like an exercise in futility (especially when it's a mere drop in the bucket as far as funds are concerned). The GOP leadership is probably making a big stink about this to gratify the part of the base that thinks the Earth is only 5000 years old, but it seems as though there are bigger fish to fry IMHO. Here's House Minority Leader Boehner freaking out. From Politico:
“How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) asked after meeting with the president at the White House on Friday. “How does that stimulate the economy?”I understand his point that contraceptive and economic stimulus might have a tenuous connection besides a funny punchline (huh huh stimulus). But I believe there is a need for federal promotion of safe sex. Primarily, because AIDS is an ongoing public health emergency and education plus condom promotion are the best methods to prevent loss of life to this wretched disease. The GOP should recognize that some of the religious right were the nitwits that thought AIDS was divine intervention to kill sodomites (most notoriously Sen. Helms), and opposed any sort of federal response to this epidemic during its initial outbreak in the 1980s.
Waxman had included the funds as part of a $300 million package to slow the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The proposal aimed to reduce costs for the states by making it easier for states to pay for contraception for women who qualified under Medicaid and whose income was 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
This ideological, evangelical base opposed to any sort of science that continues to mix their religious beliefs with federal policy needs to quietly go away. Hopefully, if Steele wins RNC chairman, he might make that happen.