Friday, June 20, 2014

Gardner, Udall, the Affordable Care Act and "Personhood"

Colorado's Senate race between Senator Mark Udall and Congressional Rep Cory Gardner has focused so far on:

(a) criticism of Udall for supporting the contraception-for-women coverage in the ACA, with Gardner alleging in an editorial that Udall should be making contraception for women available over the counter.  He does not explain how this would work as all of the reliable methods of contraception for women require a doctor to fit the method to the woman for the method to work.

(b) criticism of Gardner for supporting state and federal constitutional amendments to define fertilized eggs and fetuses as "persons".

Gardner says in an editorial this week that "Sen. Udall should stop using the debate over women's medical care for his own political benefit and instead work with me to pursue health policies that make health care cheaper and easier for Colorado women."

What is really at issue here?

As I mentioned in this post regarding the ACA and this one regarding "personhood", there are problems with both men's positions that voters who believe children are the responsibility of both parents and/or who support shared earning/shared parenting families may want to ask the candidates. 

First, for Cory GardnerWhat does the definition of "person" and "citizen" in the Constitution mean?  Do women hold all the rights of "person" and "citizen" that men do?  What does the Supreme Court say about this? What about responsibilities of "person" and "citizen"?   What are these?  Who holds them?  Does a father have any responsibility to meet the needs of his child?   A mother?

And for UdallWhy does the ACA pretend that women are the only biological parents of children?  Why do the preventive care provisions cover nocopay "well woman" checkups and not nocopay "well man" checkups?  Why is there no reproductive health care for men in the preventive care list?   Some methods of male contraception, such as vasectomies, require a doctor's care, just as the female methods covered by the ACA do.  Also, the mental health and violence prevention provisions assume only women need these things; why is there this assumption?  Why is there no focus on development of additional methods for reversible and reliable male contraception, such as the male pill?  Why is there no paternity testing covered?