House Speaker O’Brien’s Over the Top Diatribe

When Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley blasted House Speaker Bill O’Brien over his attempts to allow the exclusion of birth control from prescription drug coverage, O’Brien responded with an extraordinary diatribe.

Cilley’s misguided, Ahab-like quest to implement ObamaCare in New Hampshire has reached an all-time, shocking low.

Commentators have described right-to-work as O’Brien’s white whale. In referring to Cilley having an “Ahab-like quest,” O’Brien is transferring his obsessiveness to her.

Asking Catholics to abandon their religion in favor of her leftist ideology is unnecessary, cynical, unconstitutional and completely contrary to the tenants [sic] this country was founded upon.

O’Brien makes a classic straw man argument in accusing Cilley of “asking Catholics to abandon their religion.” Including birth control with prescription drug coverage is "leftist ideology?" (He means "tenets", of course.)

Cilley should apologize to Catholics and reconsider her race for Governor. Her Obama tactics of dividing the voters by using vitriol and hatred is not the New Hampshire way and not what our citizens need.

O’Brien patronizes Cilley by offering “advice” and the state’s “citizens” by telling us what we need.

New Hampshire has a long and proud history of support for religious tolerance and there was a time not too long ago when this principle was not a partisan issue.

This is true. The New Hampshire state law requiring insurance companies to include birth control in prescription drug coverage was passed by the legislature in 1999 with overwhelmingly bipartisan majorities in both chambers.

In fact, it was the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who wrote that he believed in and would continue to advocate for a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field.

New Hampshire’s law was passed in 1999 and implemented without objection from churches or religious organizations.

Cilley’s attacks on Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker, who is both a war veteran and a nurse, were uncalled for and inappropriate. Rep. Blankenbeker has been a tremendous role model for women across New Hampshire in serving her constituents and her country.

Cilley’s so-called “attack” was to simply quote Blankenbeker saying women could avoid an unwanted or untimely pregnancy “with simple over-the-counter remedies such as abstinence or condoms.”

We can have an honest and full debate without needing to resort to distortions such as any allegation that this is about denying women’s health or is an anti-contraception issue and without denying our citizens their constitutional First Amendment right of freedom of religion.

An “honest and full debate” demands we discuss with impact of denying women access to contraception.