The last time I carried a sign in support of Birth control was in 1970 when Bill Baird was in jail. I was 19 at the time and astounded at the ignorance that prevailed on the issue of choice and birth control. That battle was, I thought, won and done. But here I am again in my 60's fighting the same fight confronting the same confounding ignorance.
New Hampshire has had a requirement on the books for 12 years that if an insurance policy offers prescription drug coverage it must include contraception. A company that doesn't want to offer contraception coverage to it's employees (the Catholic Hospital for example) can either self insure, choose a policy that doesn't include prescription drug coverage or not offer health insurance at all.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives today voted to remove that requirement for Insurance Companies and called it an issue of religious freedom. The House Chambers were full to over flowing with people who, like me, were motivated to bear witness to this travesty. Speaker O'Brien is a miserable person.
After the vote, they broke for lunch and I went with several of my friends to swing by the governors office to ask him to be sure to veto this bill if it arrives on his desk. It so happens that Speaker O'Brien was in this back hallway speaking with someone. I rather rudely, interrupted to ask if he was the Speaker. He looked up, said just a minute finished the conversation and turned to leave. I stopped him and said, I'm an 8th generation NH native, my grandfather was a deputy sheriff of Carrol County for 40 years and my grandmother always said "we are Republicans because we are fiscally conservative, socially responsible, protectors of the environment party of Lincoln" and that is why I'm a Democrat because of people like you. What you did today was a travesty and you should be ashamed. He was running off at this point and said over his shoulder ... she should have told you about the first amendment. What a jerk!
Of all the things I thought I would be doing in my 60's when I was in my 20's fighting this battle wasn't on the list. There was a fairly good turnout at the Capital but I think there should have been enough people to stop traffic...but there weren't.
Cross Posted at BlueHampshire