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Huckabee flip-flops on birth control

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According to Merriam-Webster, “hypocrite” is defined as “a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.”

After a former Arkansas governor’s address on January 23, however, a new word may be more appropriate: Huck-pocrite.

Speaking to the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., Mike Huckabee claimed that the Democratic Party’s support for the Affordable Care Act is an insult to women because of its inclusion of prescription birth control medication in insurance coverage, and with no consumer copay.

If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.

Suggesting female voters align with Huckabee’s Republican Party instead, he concluded:

Women across America need to stand up and say ‘Enough of that nonsense.’

What Huckabee did not say at yesterday’s luncheon is that, while governor of Arkansas, he once enacted the same concept he attacked yesterday.

In April 2005 he signed into law a bill calling for all health insurance policies to include coverage of birth control medication, and without any variation in copay, co-insurance payment or fees different from coverage of other prescription medication.

The Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act, which had bilateral sponsorship, also applies to employee insurance offered by church-affiliated hospitals and colleges, as well.

Other “religious groups” of non-profit status whose tenets contrasted with birth control were excluded, however.

Huckabee’s not alone in this one-time stance of support. Five other Republican governors, including Massachusetts’ Mitt Romney in 2006, enacted laws for mandated coverage of contraceptives by insurance companies. Republicans in both U.S. congressional offices have sponsored bills for national coverage of birth control medication, as well.

The only true distinction between those Republican-supported policies and that detailed in the Affordable Care Act is that the latter covers the costs of birth control medication in full and without any co-pay.

This main difference could indicate another hypocrisy: Huckabee’s real argument might not be in actual defense of respect for women, but for the profits of insurance companies, instead.

Oral contraceptives have multiple medical uses, and are regularly prescribed to women to treat endometriosis, menorrhagia, and PMS, to provide estrogen for dermatological purposes, and even to prevent development of cancer.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases this year regarding complaints that inclusion of birth control in worker insurance policies violates religious beliefs of employers.

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