Sen. Tom Harkin: Forcing Catholic Church to Pay For Abortions and Birth Control Is OK Because Women ‘Have Terrible Menstrual Cramps’

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), a pro-abortion Catholic, told reporters it was OK to force the Catholic Church to pay for abortions and birth control because women “have terrible menstrual cramps.”

CNS News reported, via Free Republic:

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) today justified what the Catholic bishops of the United States have unanimously called an “unjust and illegal mandate” that forces Catholic business owners to provide coverage for free sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs because, Harkin said, some women need birth control pills to deal with menstrual pain.

“There are many women who take birth control pills, for example, because they have terrible menstrual cramps once a month, some of them almost incapacitated, can’t work,” said Harkin. “I know of young women myself who, because of this, aren’t able to work and be productive, and it’s prescribed by their doctor.”

In an interview with, Harkin at no time contested that the regulation required Catholics to act against their faith. Instead, he likened forcing a Catholic to purchase health insurance that covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to forcing Quakers to pay taxes to cover a war.

Video below the fold——-

Via CNS News:

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  • Mike

    Finally someone more stupid than Harry Reid.

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  • bobdog

    My God! I had no IDEA! We should round up all women immediately and herd them together into government provided corrals for their own good. Perhaps soft music, free chocoloates and muted colors would help. We clearly need to fund a major study to find ways to spare women from this terrible burden. It’s the Christian Thing To Do.

    It may be that the best way to minimize this mass suffering is to breed them every year or two, since pregnancy stops this awful cycle of misery.

  • Diane Harvey

    Can’t compare to the cramping pain I endure that ANY Democrat has the ability to make law.

    That any Democrat is a legislator is such an indictment of the level of education and common sense among voters.

  • Adirondack Patriot

    And some boys suffer from painful spontaneous erections and the embarrassment that occurs when they are in high school.

    Does Harkin have a federal program for them too?

  • John

    It is NOT possible to be a “pro-abortion Catholic”, it is a contradiction in terms.

    I suggest that Senator Harkin is a pro-abortion man who attends a Catholic church but is hardly a Catholic.

    And if he accepts communion he is committing a mortal sin and his parish priest needs to refuse communion to protect his soul.

  • Spider

    The jokes just write themselves when you let dems talk about stuff.

  • Granny

    It is time for the good Senator to retire.

    BTW, I had “terrible menstrual cramps” for close on to 50 years. Nobody ever ONCE paid for birth control pills for me – or even part of the birth control pills.

  • ohme

    Very few women take birth control for cramps. Show me some numbers….We always just took a Midol. I know maybe one friend in all my life who has taken birth control for cramps and did it on the up and up.
    Athens-Clarke County, Ga. just voted for an Obama supporter 2008 now posing as a Republican . She misrepresented herself by speaking at a “Stand-Up Rally” on the 1st amendment during her campaign. Cleverly avoiding the Obamacare issue. Mrs. Quick supported late term abortion and fought vehemently against our 24 week cap on abortions in our state. The Bill passed anyway. She won the primary with 64 votes. I needed to vent on this! thanks for the article.

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  • dba…vagabond trader

    Gee, where was ole Tom when I needed his advice? My ibuprofen tab was ginormous back in the day. Don’t suppose he11care would’ve covered that huh?


  • xkaydet65

    I’ve been waiting for the Quaker DoD taxation argument for some time. I am surprised that it took this long and that it was a Dem dim bulb like Harkin to put it out there. The problem is that it’s a pretty good argument. Back in the day 40% of a Quakers personal federal income tax payment went to the DoD, even more during WW2.My guess is that the couner argument will be an examination of the doctrine of compelling state interest. The state has a compelling interest in its self defense and can require much of its citizens to that end. It is difficult to envision that it is a compelling interest of the state to see that all women are provided free of charge something that many do not need and that is readily available at modest cost. The other argument is that the Catholic Church is, as an institution, being forced to participate in what it believes as dogma to be grievous sin. One of the things I’ve been surprised is that relief for the Church from this mandate is not the goal of the bishops. It is relief from the mandate for the Faithful. That is a much larger and important issue.

  • the real wow

    Another poster child for term limits!!!

  • Mekan

    I don’t care if it is birth control or diapers…when did our government have the right to force any company or private citizen to buy or provide anything!! I guess providing birth control is a tax too.

  • Annoyed

    I’d rather be hated for who I am than liked for who I am not. –Kurt Cobain

  • Freddy

    Can ANYONE imagine what the outrage from the feminazi’s would be if they actually were non-partisan?

  • RKflorida

    Compared to this idiots brain farts, cramps are a minor thing.

  • PopeBama-da-Last

    54% of Catholics couldn’t get enough obama. So, THEY elected him——-Now he (obama) tells them “Pound Eucharistic Sand and Do It My Way, or Else!”

    Can you finally see the damage you’ve caused this country?

    Thanx, AGAIN !

    Get used to seeing this post—-It’s meant to “inspire”.


    Isn’t your Chief Justice a “practicing Catholic”, also ?

  • chuck in st paul

    ya just can’t make this stuff up, they beat you to it every time, all very naturally for them;
    what a moron-a-thon

  • dunce

    Menstrual cramps, headaches, i bet his wife has a dozen other excuses to explain her distress.

  • Patty

    Bam Bam is in a bit of a pickle and these people mean BUSINESS.

    Catholics, Jews, other pastors from other groups and now, Black pastors.


    Black Pastors Launch Anti-Obama Campaign to Convince African Americans to Withdraw Support for the President

    These conservative black pastors believe that a national campaign may be the answer to convincing African Americans that it is time to rethink their support for Obama. The Rev. Williams Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), is heading the campaign.

    They go on further to say he is half black and half white, abortion is also something they spoke about and how to fix the problems of the Black man in prison and how to help them go to college and be a father to their children.

    The conference and the questions they received were VERY interesting and you should watch. They are taking this nation wide. They also wouldn’t object to donations to help them further their work.

  • MrBlonde

    Well, I guess he would know, being a terrible menstrual cramp himself.

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  • Shaw Shaw

    We beed to hit neo liberals back with their own sensibilities

    A neo-liberal would be aghast to have their dairy at Whole Foods produced with hormones or antibiotics .

    Yet they fight to put much higher doses into their body to stop a completely natural function….their mentral cycle in order to have more sex with more partners that puts them at a far greater risk for STD’s of all sorts that would requre them to put antibiotics full strenght and course into their bodies.

    Where’s that healthy lifestyle I keep hearing them talk about?

  • Shaw Shaw


  • Economan

    Tom Harkin should be forced to pay for my graduate school because he’s a dumb ugly bastard.

  • Babsy

    Old Tom, being a dimmoCRAP, has menstrual cramps in his three cell brain. Bawhahahahaha!!!

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  • another example of teddy kennedyism. harkin may be a catholic but it is the party uber alles.

  • Yogurt

    There are no “pro-abortion Catholics”. If they are pro-abortion, they are not Catholic, in spite of them calling themselves one.

  • BarbaraS

    Hey, stupid one. Women don’t have menstrual cramps when pregnant. So what you are really saying is that all women should be pregnant all the time so they won’t have cramps. I don’t think that was the message you wanted to send. Why does Iowa keep sending this idiot to Washington? Does anyone else get the idea that politicians are basically sub mental?

  • BarbaraS

    I failed to remember the going meme is that birth control pills eleviate mentral cramps but the issue is if these women want relief with these pills, they can pay for them themselves.

  • Texas_Treeroach

    TRANSLATION: If you Catholics are serious about eliminating the potential of menstrual cramping, you’re going to need to surrender your religious beliefs and those of your family.

    Another frontal lobotomy in search of a Democrat has again been resolved, thanks to Tom Harkin.

  • dba…vagabond trader

    Talk about gaffes.


  • bigkahuna

    So if you dont like the benefits offered by you are company you are free to quit, leave or die.

    If they dont offer 5 weeks of paid vacation is that illegal ? What about dental? Eyecare ?

    If they dont give you stock options are they evil ?

    Where does the federal govenment get the right to tell any private business what coverage they have to provie ? Its not only illegal its insane.

    Should they all provide stop smoking coverage? drug rehab ? suicide prevention ? proper dietary classes ? How to use condom classes.

  • kato

    Long-time errand boy and left-wing screwball.

    Disregard the professorial appearance. This guy is a dimwit.

  • lizzy84

    No surprise…Harkin’s argument is completely bogus. For years, the Church has acknowledged that there’s NO controversy around providing birth control pills for medical conditions outside the fundamental faith beliefs on the issue:!

    What Harkin is setting up, though, is much more troubling: the justification that big government could use to force religious institutions to provide ‘free’ abortions–in order to prevent ‘labor pains.’

  • Geoff

    There is a valid medical diagnosis of dysmenorrhea (severe, potentially disabling cramps and related symptoms). The hormone combinations used for contraception help many women who have this condition. It’s hardly life-threatening but then a toothache is hardly life-threatening, yet people want to be treated for it.
    Thing is, many insurance policies do cover hormone treatment for dysmenorrhea when they may not cover routine contraception. The Roman Catholic Church has not, as far as I know, pronounced anathema on hormone treatment for dysmenorrhea — it’s not considered contraception, although it has that affect as well.
    Senator Harkin’s argument is therefore bogus. Even more bogus, though, is the idea that any level of government has any business dictating the services available for insurance coverage or prohibiting insurance from covering services. How about (gasp) the clients and the employers work out with the insurance companies what services will be covered and what services people will pay for on their own?

  • averagemelon

    Have sex with abandon: I’ll pay for all consequences.
    Take mind altering drugs to the brink of death: I’ll pay for all the consequences.
    Sit around and do nothing with your life including feeding yourself: I’ll pay for all your consequences.
    Smoke, drink, and overeat your body into abuse: I’ll pay for all the consequences.
    Don’t educate yourself: I’ll pay for all consequences.
    Resort to every form of violence to get whatever comes into your head: I’ll pay the consequences.
    Pity yourself because you are black, poor, Hispanic, blind, a mass murderer: I’ll pay the consequences.

    Who am I?
    The hard-working, Christian American business owner/individual.

    If Obama wins this next election we are going to be forced into slavery or caged. The Democrats will kill us if they can just muster up the nerve to call it something else.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    “There are many women who take birth control pills, for example, because they have terrible menstrual cramps once a month, some of them almost incapacitated, can’t work,” said Harkin.


    Does The Pill really stop menstruation? Or is this guy talking out his ass?

  • Jeannie

    I’m a very practicing anti-abortion Catholic and I was prepared to leap at this idiocy.

    But Y’all have done America proud.


  • Tee Dub

    Evidently, my fellow Iowans like to cover both sides of a bet. We keep re-electing this nincompoop excuse of a senator, but at the same time we also re-elect the capable and respectable Sen. Chuck Grassley (see the list against UN gun control in previous article).

  • Fuquay Steve

    I stand with the Catholic Church, if America doesn’t, I still will stand with the Catholic Church.

  • Geoff

    Re #40: Howdy, Blacque Jacques. Yes, the hormones used for oral contraception can actually stop periods; that’s why there’s a week of inert pills in the usual packaging. More to the point on dysmenorrhea, the hormones reduce the length of the menstrual period and reduce the symptoms that occur.

  • Mama Grizzly

    My guess is someone tried to put him up to this and he obeyed without knowing what he was talking about.

    Some women have Poly-Ovarian Syndrome which is intolerably painful (the Ob-Gyn who treated someone I know who had more than 20 on a single ovary said the pain of just one is like a guy putting his balls in a vice grip and squeezing it shut), and the only way to control it is with birth control pills. It’s life-threatening and has to be treated.

    That’s not what the O-Admin is trying to do, but under that medical condition it is imperative.

    Just sayin’.

  • Mama Grizzly

    I should have added that this pain comes around every month with the cycle unless treated.

  • FumigateOurWhiteHouse

    Where do they GET these idiots???? Who are the people that vote them in????? Pure idiocy.

  • Geoff

    Re #47: FOWH, I have the same question but no answer…
    As far as I know, the RC Church is not calling hormonal therapy a grievous sin but contraception, and they are not demanding that anyone else stop but only that the Church and its agencies not be compelled to take part.
    I happen to think the Church is wrong about contraception being sinful but I will defend the right of Catholics to live by their faith.

  • valerie

    #38 August 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    Geoff commented:

    In my view, the fundamental problem with adding birth control to health insurance coverage is that the price of birth control is going to go up, just as it did with glasses and dental care. It won’t be long until people will be paying $1,000 a year for $100 worth of benefit.

    #40 August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    Blacque Jacques Shellacque commented:

    Yes, The Pill stops menstruation. All a woman has to do is keep taking it, instead of stopping for a few days each month. Also, The Pill interferes with a woman’s normal (very variable) hormone production, and can have emotional side effects that just about drive her (not to mention the people around her) crazy. There may well be a lot of people who have PMS because they are on The Pill.

  • Flintstone F.

    Serious stuff. For the love of God, keep the women off the island of Guam. I’m just passing the word on from Hank Johnson.

  • Flintstone F.

    #45 Mama Grizzly

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

  • Charles Carroll

    Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), a pro-abortion Catholic, told reporters…..” A WHAT? There is no such a thing as a “pro abortion Catholic”

  • MaryW

    Somebody, quick, give this man a pill for his brain cramps!

    What a fool!!

  • stonedome

    isn’t this guy bowing out?

  • Susan Daniels

    What a jackass. He must have a whiny wife.