Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Preexisting Condition

In the March 5 issue of National Review, James Lileks perfectly captures the absurdity of the Obama administration’s contraception mandate as only Mr. Lileks can, and he doesn’t even go anywhere near the denial of religious freedom that is at the heart of Catholic objections.

Let’s imagine a dockworker in 1948. He’s got a hot date with a fast chippy, but y’know, like they told him in the Army, the last thing a fella needs is a dose of the drip. So he goes to his boss, who’s in the office talking on the phone. “Give me a dollar out of petty cash,” the worker says. “I need to buy some French letters.”

The employer might have regarded the employee with confusion: I must have misunderstood. For what purpose do you require the loan?

“I need some rubbers. And it’s not a loan.”

This would have been unthinkable. But we’ve moved forward. We’ve grown! Now it’s assumed that your employer will defer the cost of zygote determent, because fertility is a preexisting condition. What’s more, free birth control protects women from the adverse impact of a strange, mysterious situation that affects millions every year: sudden-sex syndrome. We don’t fully understand how it works, or what the causes might be, but apparently there’s nothing you can do about it. All of a sudden you’re just having sex! There’s not a moment to exercise free will or consider the consequences; it’s just like being struck by lightning and lightning doesn’t call you afterwards for days either.

Hence the panic over letting employer decline to provide tools to cope with sudden-sex syndrome. They have to! Mommy, make the mean man give me my pills. All the people who wanted government out of their bedroom insist not only that it take a seat in the corner, but that it bring in business and compel it to leave its wallet on the nightstand.

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