Tell Conservative Lawmaker that Birth Control is Not a National Tragedy

Target: Rep. Mike Kelly

Goal: Apologize for heinous and insensitive remarks that compared women’s access to contraception to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

Among the many opponents to the Affordable Care Act, few have gone so far as to declare the right to contraception a national tragedy on the scale of the worst attacks on American soil. But that’s exactly what Representative Mike Kelly (R – PA) did when he exclaimed that the day private insurers must cover birth control would go down in history alongside Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Not only is this outrageous analogy offensive to women who are being asked to consider their reproductive rights morally equivalent to attacks that took thousands of lives, but Kelly’s comments are also offensive to all family members who still mourn the victims of these national tragedies.

“I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked,” Rep. Kelly said during a recent press conference. “One is December 7, that’s Pearl Harbor Day. The other is September 11, and that’s the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember August 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

Women’s right to safe, affordable birth control can barely be considered an attack on religious freedom, let alone an attack on the very lives of Americans. The Supreme Court clearly ruled that all components of the Affordable Care Act, including the birth control provision, fell within the limits of the constitution. Rep. Kelly is merely playing at sensationalism to further shame women who have fought for their own reproductive rights. By comparing contraceptive access to 9/11, Rep. Kelly not only demonizes women, but also cheapens the suffering of those who lost loved ones in attacks on American soil.

Pearl Harbor and 9/11 should never be used as political pawns in an attempt to further rally conservatives against women’s rights. Tell Rep. Kelly that he should be ashamed of his statement and to issue an apology at once.


Dear Rep. Mike Kelly,

No elected representative in the United States should ever feel the need to refer to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor for shock value in unrelated political discourse. When you recently compared contraceptive access to these national tragedies in a press conference, you not only demonized women across the country, you also offended the families and friends who still mourn the victims of these attacks.

You should be ashamed of your inflammatory remarks. It’s possible to engage in intelligent discussion about health care, reproductive rights, and the first amendment without reverting to shock-speak and deliberately offensive statements. I ask that you issue an apology for your disgusting comments and refrain from ever again invoking national tragedies for your own political gain.


[Your Name Here]

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