In this clip, Governor Brownback states that churches should not be forced to provide birth control to their female employees due to their particular religious convictions. This casts a far narrower net over a policy that in reality would affect millions of women across the nation, who either work for or are insured by a family member through a religiously owned hospital, university, school or organization. The Governor’s flippant comment suggesting these women “work somewhere else” is a verbal strike against women’s right to participate as equals in society and access a full range of preventive healthcare, while their male counterparts retain a full range of preventive care. This is healthcare that would, in fact, reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions across the nation. A “pro-life” Governor that signed five separate abortion restrictions last session should be cognizant of that.
It is also worth noting that sometimes women work for private employers whose businesses are bought out by religiously-affiliated institutions, such as the Via Christi acquisition of The Wichita Clinic. I know many women who were not happy about that acquisition and the loss of their contraception coverage, but due to decline in the job market they could not seek employment elsewhere. Bottom line is that women shouldn’t even be forced into such decision-making.