Apologize? Why would anybody want Rep. John Shimkus to apologize for scoffing, during last week's debate over the GOP gutting of the Affordable Care Act, at the idea that men should be required to pay for prenatal care? The issue is, he said the next day, "simple."
He's right. It is simple. We should all thank him and I will, right now: Thank you Congressman Shimkus.
Because in this swirling political era where the chaos at the top of government sends out echoes of confusion, where today's baseless charge or policy enormity can barely be grasped before it is replaced by tomorrow's, Shimkus' question provides a simple moment of clarity, a line you can be either on this side of or that.
Why should a man be made to buy insurance that includes prenatal care when a man obviously cannot have children? Why is it his business?
You can see the thinking behind the question. It shows through like a tadpole's guts. Are we not free people, each caring for his own private affairs? Isn't suggesting otherwise just squishy liberal it-takes-a-village-collectivism?
It's a trick question, because it involves women, whose rights are so automatically trampled by society that we hardly notice. Bearing and raising children is women's work. Thank you Rep. Shimkus, Republican of Illinois. If we flipped that question around, and asked what business it is of any man whether a woman gets pregnant or not, or ends her pregnancy or doesn't, Shimkus' party would have a very different answer. Of course it's his business. It's everybody's business except, perhaps, the woman herself, who can't be trusted to make that moral choice.
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