Darrell Issa: This Is About Overreach, not Birth Control

It was about First Amendment rights, not contraception, he argues

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 5, 2012 9:50 AM CST | Updated Mar 5, 2012 1:57 PM CST

(Newser) – Rep. Darrell Issa says he completely supports a woman's right to use birth control—it's the government overreach that would force a religious institution to pay for that birth control that Issa objects to. Issa's recent Congressional hearing on the controversial contraception mandate—which was slammed by Democrats for lacking a female voice—was "not about religious freedom versus contraception but about religious freedom versus unconstitutional mandates," he writes in a Roll Call op-ed.

The men (and women, he notes) who spoke at the hearing don't "share the same views on contraception or even abortion," he writes, but they do agree that the mandate violates their First Amendment rights. "The smoke screen of the left’s efforts to distort the conversation is designed to mask the legitimacy of efforts to protect freedom of religion and conscience," Issa writes. As a (female) college administrator explained at the hearing, "There is a vast difference between the right to make a purchase for oneself and requiring someone else to pay for it."

Darrell Issa speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, during the committee's hearing: Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State.
Darrell Issa speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, during the committee's hearing: "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State."   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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