I’ve become somewhat of an accidental feminist lately. I’ve struggled mightily with my religion’s stance on birth control and finally accepted that, well, I’m just a bad catholic. I always figure I’m about one step away from excommunication anyway, so there’s that, too. I bit my tongue recently (mostly) when FoxNews featured that Lizz Trotta when she said that women in the military should expect to be raped because we’re serving in close quarters with men. I fail to see how a reporter who has never served in the military (your little boondoggle to Vietnam doesn’t count), how has no current experience with the military and oh by the way, a so called news network that is allegedly pro military, can put this information out there. We should expect to be raped? Why because my brothers in uniform are such Neanderthal cave men that they can’t control themselves? Honey, we got over the women incite men to lust uncontrollably a long time ago. Fox News should be ashamed of themselves for slandering the men and women who wear the uniform they claim to support.

Hey, Fox News, you don’t get to have it both ways: you can’t say that women in the military are being raped too much (and is there ever really an appropriate amount of rape?) on the one hand and then complain when those same women who oh by the way volunteered to serve, want birth control so as not to be perceived as “getting pregnant to get out of war”.

But folks, this entire debate about birth control and religion has gone too far when the members of the House refuse to allow women to testify at a hearing on the Affordable Care Act and mandatory coverage of birth control by employers. This is not about religious freedom, either because no one is forcing anyone to take anything. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women who are covered by insurance can get birth control covered.

I am so sorry if your religious beliefs state that I should be in the home barefoot and pregnant. I am so deeply sorry if your religious beliefs are so archaic as to not keep up with actual SCIENCE and provide ethical and rational discussion on being a responsible human being and oh by the way, have children that you can provide for, love and care for.

I’ll even buy your argument that if you’re a man, you shouldn’t have to pay into a system that forces you to cover my birth control. Fine. Then you can pay into a system that covers thousands of births annually instead because oh by the way, you still have to participate in the whole making a baby thing. Having kids is expensive. I promise you, it is far cheaper to pay for a pack of little pills each month than to cover prenatal care, labor and delivery. That’s for healthy babies. And don’t get me started on denying emergency contraception to RAPE VICTIMS. Folks, I’ve got a little news for you: if someone reports to the emergency room and states they were raped, they probably were.

Oh and one more teeny little fact before you say that you shouldn’t be forced to pay into a system that you believe is covering abortions: According to the IRS, an abortion is a legitimate medical expense. That’s right, folks, your tax dollars are already subsidizing abortions whether you like it or not. So get over it.

Folks a basic tenant of equality in this country means that I can decide to get pregnant or not. That is my right as an equal citizen, just as any man. This is NOT about abortion. This is about preventing a pregnancy and being a responsible adult who is capable of more than the sum of her lady parts. If someone cannot afford birth control, how are they supposed to afford a child? Oh and let’s not forget that birth control is also used to treat disorders like ovarian cysts so the so called morality argument is bogus.

For members of Congress to hold a hearing on birth control and religious freedom and to refuse to allow ANY WOMEN to participate, to have NO FEMALE RELIGIOUS LEADERS involved in the discussion, and to actually consider passing legislation that treats women as second class citizens because of the potential that they may give birth is an outrage. For a presidential debate to honest to God be running on issues about birth control when our economy is in the tank, our education system is failing, our infrastructure is crumbling and our entitlement programs are out of control is a shame and we the people should be embarrassed that this national discourse is being held in our name.

And let’s not forget about a little war we’re still running over in Afghanistan and the more than 13% of OIF & OEF Veterans that are out of work.

Folks, I am tired of seeing these so called religious freedom debates taking over our national politics. Freedom of religion means that you are free to practice your religion and to NOT impose it on me. The right to swing your fist ends with someone else’s face.

The freedom to practice your religion ends when it infringes on my rights to be an equal and full citizen.