Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell came in to the office early today to talk birth control mandate on MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner.
As Lawrence pointed out, most people support birth control these days. "I think it has made America a very happy place to live since it was invented by men who desperately desperately desperately wanted to stop using that old fashioned rubberized contraception," he said.
O'Donnell told Wagner the argument is more political and more big picture: the government's involvement in your heath care and where voters live. He suggested President Obama, who is currently in reelection mode, would also pay specific attention to where voters against this mandate live. Should he rush to please if they wouldn't vote for him in the first place?
"You're not running for President of the United States," he said. "You're running for the President of Pennsylvania. You're running for the president of about eight states that matter." He added, "As someone running for president, you say, 'tell me where they are."
President Obama's health care reform law requires all employer health care plans to offer coverage for birth control. But, religious institutions, particularly those affiliated with the Catholic Church, are concerned this new law would forces them to violate their beliefs. (Constitutional expert David Boies called that B.S. from a legal standpoint).
Will the election dialogue shift away from the economy to cultural issues? Tweet me your response or drop me a line in the comment section below.
Constitutional expert David Boies said there's no basis for a constitutional fight with the birth control mandate. On The Last Word, he compared the current debate that's heating up in Washington to simple tax law or labor laws.
"There isn't a constitutional issue involved in this case," he told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday. "You don't exempt religious employers just because of their religion. You are not asking anybody in the Catholic church or any other church to do anything other than simply comply with a normal law that every employer has to comply with."
Boies, who represented Vice President Al Gore in Bush v. Gore, said "this case would have trouble getting to the court."
Pete Marovich/Getty Images
Speaker John Boehner discussing birth control on Capitol Hill last week.
The birth control mandate has been blowing up our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and comment sections on the blog.
The White House is reevaluating its health care policy that requires all employers to provide workers with coverage to birth control pills. Religious groups and many Republicans have been complaining that it violates their religious beliefs.
We've discussed it at length for the past two nights on the show, now we want to turn the tables on viewers. Our lovely intern Petra Vujaskovic compiled a round-up of your thoughts on the controversial topic...
Should religious schools and hospitals be exempt from the law that requires birth control to be included in employees' health care coverage? Take our Last Word poll now.
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell airs at 10pm ET, Monday through Thursday on MSNBC. The show channels O'Donnell's extensive background in politics and entertainment.
Sign up for SMS alerts on your phone. Text "LAST" to 622639 and you'll start getting messages from the show.
To stop the text messages, text STOP to 622639 to quit, or HELP for more info (must be in all caps). Message and data rates may apply. Check with your respective carrier for more details.
We're also on GetGlue. Download the app for your phone and start checking in to earn badges and major props from us.