Quote of the Day

[Content Note: War on agency; rape culture; reproductive coercion.]

"All you have to do is walk into a 7-Eleven or any shop on any street in America and have access to [contraceptives]."—The archbishop of New York, and Aphra_Behn's BFF, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while discussing the Hobby Lobby case on CBS' Face the Nation yesterday.

As Steve Benen points out:
In case there's any lingering confusion, it may be worth clarifying that that there are different kinds of birth-control methods. An American consumer can, for example, buy condoms fairly easily, at a modest price, in plenty of locations. "Any shop on any street in America" is obviously an exaggeration, but access to condoms is, in reality, relatively straightforward.

What's more, emergency contraception – the "morning-after pill" – is also now available over the counter.

But that's not what the Hobby Lobby case is about, and given the context, it's not what Dolan was referring to yesterday. Rather, the ongoing political dispute is over access to oral, hormonal birth control, better known as "the pill," which is available by prescription.
The case Dolan is mounting is that Hobby Lobby should be allowed to refuse to pay for employees' birth control, because contraception is widely available. But if you are one of the millions of people who take hormonal birth control for reasons other than (or in addition to) pregnancy prevention, a condom is not even remotely a sufficient alternative.

Further, if you are a person who relies on hormonal birth control because you are unable to safely extricate yourself from a relationship in which you are sexually abused and/or subjected to reproductive coercion, Cardinal Dolan apparently imagines that asking your abusive partner to wear a condom is a practical solution for you.

It would really be nice if a passing familiarity with the basic realities of many women's lives were a requirement for being given a national platform to opine on issues primarily affecting women.

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