“So here’s the subject I advocate for, because no one dares to speak her name: It’s the 20-something unmarried heterosexual woman who wants to have sex, has sex, enjoys a good sex life with her boyfriend, and, in that sex life, uses birth control. Or, she accidentally gets pregnant.”
“I advocate for the slut who sleeps with lots of men, as well as the woman who sleeps with only one, ever. Promiscuously heterosexual, and happy about it? I’ve got your back.”
Haag's view may find little public support among “mainstream” backers of the president's contraception mandate.
The policy, which forces religious institutions to provide services they oppose, has been consistently defended on “women's health” grounds. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius referred to the concept 10 times during a Feb. 10 PBS NewsHour interview about the mandate.
There are surprising points of convergence, however, between Haag's perspective and that of the U.S. bishops – who have consistently argued that contraception is not health care, because fertility and pregnancy are not diseases.
In a July 2011 letter voicing early opposition to the contraception mandate, the bishops' pro-life chairmain Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo argued against its imposition – on the same grounds that Haag used to “gun it” in favor of “sexual liberty.”
“Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible,” the cardinal wrote in the letter.
In that same letter, the bishops' pro-life chairman also voiced suspicion about the real motives for the Institute of Medicine's decision to recommend mandatory contraception and sterilization coverage in all health plans.
“I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children,” he said in the July 19 statement.