Pennsylvania Rep. Says Contraception Mandate Is Like Pearl Harbor and 9/11

On the heels of his rousing floor speech last week that got picked up by conservative media, Republican US Representative Mike Kelly is in the spotlight today for likening the contraception mandate to the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks.

Yeah, you know? I’ve got nothing. Maybe he really believes in that equivalency. Maybe he thinks that the contraception mandate is a lot like an attack by a foreign power. Maybe when he sat down and thought, “What’s the appropriate image to show how irate I am about the contraception coverage mandate?” the first things that popped into his mind were bodies, death, fire, and smoking twists of metal. Maybe he thinks that the only people who have ever experienced a truly grievous affront to their agency and well-being are these three groups: 1) victims of the Pearl Harbor attack; 2) victims of the 9/11 attacks; and 3) the boss who thinks Unitarian Stella from accounting shouldn’t be using birth control and by gum he’s not going to pay for a policy that lets her do so without copay. Maybe the evidence that contraception improves women’s health does not enter into his analysis at all.

Or maybe he was just charmed by his own rhetoric. I don’t know. I honestly have no idea how to respond to this. It’s one thing for people to oppose the contraception mandate. It’s another thing to… do whatever Rep. Kelly thinks he’s doing. I give up. Here, have a video about Basenjis freaking out when a phone rings:

sarah.morice.brubaker@ptstulsa.edu'

Sarah Morice-Brubaker is an assistant professor of theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK. In addition to writing for RD, she’s also written for The Christian Century, Dialogic Magazine, and Faith and Leadership. She has a chapter in the forthcoming edited volume from Ashgate, Placing Nature on the Borders of Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics.