Fox “News” Tackles Women’s Health

I’m so glad Think Progress watches Fox News so I don’t have to! Apparently the TV voice of right wing craziness has been in an uproar this week because the Obama administration finally did something positive for women.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that health insurers will be required to cover contraception and other reproductive health care services without additional cost sharing, accepting most of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations. The administration did add an additional caveat that would allow “religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services.” “This regulation is modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception,” the agency notes. The services will include:

– well-woman visits;
– screening for gestational diabetes;
– human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
– sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
– human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
– FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
– breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
– domestic violence screening and counseling.

This decision was based on recommendations by scientists at the Institute of Medicine.

But that isn’t good enough for Fox “News,” which invited a so-called “expert” (actually a fanatical wingnut), Sandy Rios of Family Pac Federal, to debate the decision with Jehmu Greene, former president of the Women’s Media Center.

Greene offered the facts that support greater access to birth control. Namely, “50 percent of pregnancies in this country are unintended pregnancies” –the leading reason why women seek abortions — which costs the U.S. over $11 billion a year. Noting that contraception not only allows women to space out their pregnancies and commit to parenting, but also reduces the number of abortions, Greene determined the new policy to be a “text-book definition of win-win.”

Fox’s anti-birth control “expert,” Family PAC Federal Vice President Sandy Rios, however, found her own reasons to lambast the policy as “ridiculous.” Telling Greene that she lives in “la la land,” Rios offered the following “arguments” against the new policy and a woman’s right to use birth control, which are so ludicrous they’re worth listing:

– “Is the White House out of their mind? Does the West Wing not know what the left wing is doing? We’re $14 trillion in debt and now we’re going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?”

Watch it:

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According to Rios, providing counseling for women who have been beaten by their partners is analogous to paying for manicures and pedicures? WTF?!

But that’s not the worst of it. Jemu Greene also appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to debate the issue. According to Hannity, providing birth control for women is an outrage, but paying for Viagra for men is OK, because it’s a “medical problem.”

Piling on to the conservative apoplexia over the Obama administration’s recent ruling that insurance companies should cover birth control without co-pays, Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed the policy last night for encouraging “screwing around,” but defended coverage of Viagra. Taking a bold stance again reason, Hannity said, “I don’t care about the scientists” who recommended the move and insisted that the birth control is “not a women’s health issue.” Asked how he felt about insurance companies covering male enhancement medication, Hannity strongly defended the practice, saying, “That is a medical problem!”

Check it out:

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I’m speechless.