Contraceptive coverage and women’s health are “real issues,” contrary to Friess’ formulation, but they’re public health issues that should be addressed by expanding access to options that women are already choosing for themselves, when they can. Still, the administration moved on from this almost a week ago, defusing it for anyone persuadable when they announced their compromise. The only people keeping this issue in the news right now are Republicans vainly posturing on behalf of legislation that has no chance in the current climate. The only real question is, why? Can’t they read polls? Aren’t they aware of how much they’re playing into Obama’s hands by associating themselves with a position that Americans manifestly find extreme — with video, no less? We already know they’re completely unaware of how prohibitively expensive birth control access can be for the average American.
Most of all, Republicans seem intent on proving that pro-choicers are correct when they accuse them of being more obsessed with policing women’s sex lives than any actual policymaking. By the way, here’s how Mitchell responded to Friess: “Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that.” It is, in fact, breathtaking how incredibly divorced from reality this conversation has been.