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HHS MANDATE/ The true rights of women and men

President Obama and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, behind the HHS mandate President Obama and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, behind the HHS mandate

During a lengthy discussion on the MSNBC - TV program  co-host Mika Brzezinski took issue with the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan saying that the  Obama administration was “mischievously” misinforming the public on this issue. Noonan responded with a lesson on exactly how the White House and the Left are dishonestly twisting this subject for political gain.

Noonan then asked co-host Joe Scarborough, “Do you believe that at this point of this struggle, the White House and the National Abortion Action Rights League and Planned Parenthood have decided that mischievously and for political gain they will put this whole issue and imbroglio forward as simply a disagreement on contraception? (Do you think that) the Catholic Church is trying to take your contraception away from you? That those bad men are trying to mess up with your contraception?”

Scarborough responded, “Yeah.”

Noonan replied, “That is not what this issue is about. It is not what the struggle and the imbroglio has been about. But I think you are suggesting, tell me if I'm wrong, that the political reasons is going to muck up the waters in that way.”

A bit later, after a commercial break, Brzezinski took issue with this saying, "I do want to ask you about your choice of words, ‘mischievous.’ Come on, Peggy.”

“It is political mischief...” responded Noonan.

“What?” interrupted Brzezinski. “Trying to get contraceptives?”

“(It is political mischief) when you take a serious political issue and put it forward, break it apart in a way that is not true but may excite people who you think deep in your heart are sort of uninformed,” observed Noonan.

“If the White House is turning this into an argument about contraception so that normal people who, let's admit it, listen to the news peripherally and have real lives and are not necessarily engaged by the news,” continued Noonan, “if they start to think, ‘Wait a second, a bunch of creepy people are moving against my rights to go to my pharmacy and get contraceptives’ If that's what Joe is saying they mean to do, then that is sheer mischief."

And so it seems the conflict will be framed from now on: contraception vs women's rights. Although the bishops are right to insist on the issue of religious freedom, they should see in this clash an opportunity to show how the rejection of contraception is a step along the path to the true respect for and recognition of the full rights of all women, and men.

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