Marcy Wheeler has done a nice bit of original research on the Blunt-Rubio Amendment senators, and seems be close to calling for action. Good on both counts.
First the rationale. Writing at her digs at emptywheel.net, she notes (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):
I confess. I’m contemplating calling all the Senators who voted for the Blunt Amendment yesterday to ask for a statement detailing:Then she offers the list she's compiled, and it's quite interesting. This is just a taste:
▪ What the Senators’ history of reproductive choice has been, including details on what kinds of birth control they’ve used and who paid for it
▪ Whether the Senators (or their spouses) have used erectile dysfunction drugs, and who paid for it
Mind you, I think such questions are inappropriate.
But given that 48 Senators–including 3 Democrats and 4 women–voted yesterday to say that employers should have really intrusive control over their employees’ healthcare decisions (including, but in no way limited, to reproductive health), it seems fair to at least inquire whether these men and women have been relying on birth control to plan their families, whether their use of birth control violates their religion’s stated doctrine, and whether taxpayers paid for birth control during their child-bearing years.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN): age 72, married 42 years, 4 children, Presbyterian, some federal and state employ during child-bearing yearsThe whole list is eye-opening. But just pick Susan Collins. Catholic, 59 years old, no children. Wikipedia lists no "spouse(s)". Was she celibate her whole life? Or did she "date" and use protection? (Oops, "sl-t" alert.) Someone should ask.
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): age 43, married, 2 children, Catholic, state employee during child-bearing years
Roy Blunt (R-MO): age 62, married 35 years, divorced and remarried, 3 children by first marriage plus one adopted child, Southern Baptist, county and state employ during child-bearing years
Scott Brown (R-MA): age 52, married 26 years, 2 children, Christian reform, National Guard during child-bearing years, though with private employ
Bob Casey (D-PA): age 52, married 27 years, 4 children, Catholic, state employ during late child-bearing years
Susan Collins (R-ME): age 59, engaged, Catholic, Federal employ during child-bearing years
John McCain (R-AZ): age 75, divorced, remarried, 3 adoptive and 4 biological children, Baptist, federal employ during entire life
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): age 54, married, 2 children, Catholic
Marco Rubio (R-FL): age 40, married, 4 children, Catholic, state employ during child-bearing years
It's a garden of delight, this list — if by "garden" you mean "swamp" and by "delight" you mean the opposite. Hypocrites all, it appears. Good work compiling it
Finally, I want to highlight the opportunity for action:
[C]onsider that the great majority of [these] Senators ... seem to have families that have been shaped by birth control.As noted above, she's thinking about "calling all the Senators who voted for the Blunt Amendment yesterday to ask for a statement" on her two bulleted items above — basically:
What birth control has your family used?
What erectile dysfunction drugs have your family used?
Who covered the cost?
As an action, this sounds nearly perfect — high-leverage and doable without a ton of organization. Plus the timing is perfect. Sounds like a Yes to me (but that's just me).
If she decides to go with it, you can probably offer your help at emptywheel.net.