The debate actually centers on where the line between religious freedom and a citizens' secular obligations to society should be drawn. This is not a Constitutional issue, but a less glamorous and equally compelling statutory issue.
Long life and lots of experience have taught me that nobody ever changes their mind about abortion. But to put a face, or at least a name, on the subject, here's a story: Fifty-three years ago when I was 16, I had an abortion.
There is nothing in the mandate that forces the religious to take contraceptives or to condone contraception. It's a requirement that anti-contraception communities accept the practices of other communities, like the Amish having to accept that not everyone else travels in a horse-drawn buggy.
Picking and choosing moral grounds in the contraception debate without considering gender is like trying to eat ice cream without having it be cold. It's impossible to parse the two without denial or discrimination.
If not birth control, what are the options? Do we wish to regress to the rhythm method? If men can't even remember their anniversaries, how are they supposed to keep their partner's monthly ovulation calendar in their mind?
Members of Congress take an oath when they are sworn in as elected leaders. They swear to uphold the Constitution, and to defend it against all enemies. But nowhere in their oath of office are they required to protect the medical health and well-being of their constituents.
The current, senseless uproar has revealed a profound lack of understanding about contraception and how it actually works for real women. Most unsettling is that some of these men are opining about, and in some cases legislating for, changes that would harm women's health.
We are confident that Republican chairmen of the committees will not feature testimony from the millions of Americans who rely on birth control to survive -- financially and medically. Since we won't hear these important stories at the hearings today, we'll put their stories out here.