The recent announcement that the Obama administration would require most employers to provide birth control caused immediate outrage throughout Fox News and the right-wing media. (Churches and other religious institutions are exempt.) Today on Fox News' Happening Now, Jon Scott explained to fellow Fox News host Chris Wallace that critics are calling "the birth control mandate an attack on religious freedom" while "supporters say it's about woman's access to family planning and health care." Chris Wallace -- supposedly part of the network's straight news division and anchor of Fox News Sunday -- decided that the supporters of the mandate were totally wrong.
Wallace said: "I don't think it's just about birth control. I really think this controversy is about government intrusion. There are a lot of people who aren't Catholics who are very upset about this because they think the government shouldn't be in the business of telling anybody in any religion what they have to do. And so it becomes a question of government limits or government intrusion in the lives of institutions or of people." Wallace also said: "This idea of mandates is something I think you don't have to be Catholic to be upset about."
Wallace's comments directly contradicted comments that Democratic senators had made about the contraception issue. For instance, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said: "We have news for Republican: This is about contraception. The attacks on women's rights never come without being disguised as something else."
And it's ridiculous to suggest that this isn't about access to contraception. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "[e]mployer-based coverage is the primary form of health insurance for 64% of women of reproductive age, but a sizable minority of women lack coverage for contraceptives." Notably, poorer and college-aged women are the ones who struggle the most with the cost of prescription birth control.
But that's Fox's straight news division for you: always ready to rebut the progressive position regardless of the facts.