From Book Editor to Lawyer, a Gamble Pays Off
Judith McCarthy graduates from Rutgers School of Law-Newark with a position at a national firm....
Rutgers Computer Scientists Receive Google Grant to Develop Personalized Data Search System
Computer scientists Amelie Marian and Thu D. Nguyen received a grant from Google to develop a personal data search system that draws from social media pages, personal calendars, bank account information, email, Skype conversations and work documents, among other things.
- Health & Medicine / Public Health;
- Politics, Law and Public Policy;
- Politics, Law and Public Policy / Public Health Issues, Policy;
- Women's and Gender Studies
Hot Topic: The Birth Control Mandate, Religion, Women’s Rights and Politics
Rutgers Today: The debate over the birth control mandate has been framed by opponents as a battle over religious freedom, while supporters argue it’s an issue of women’s rights. What do you think the fight is about?
Daniels: In my opinion it’s not an issue about religious freedom, but about women’s rights and the state of our political climate that makes an issue out of contraception in the 21st century. I think President Obama has been assaulted by the developing strength of the right wing and their move not just to restrict access to contraception but also to push the right-to-life movement forward. It’s part of that bigger political game and part of a larger struggle over women’s rights to reproductive autonomy.
Rutgers Today: Why do you think this continues to be an issue after the president announced a compromise that would shift the cost of contraception coverage away from religiously affiliated institutions to insurance companies?
Daniels: I think President Obama could be commended for trying to engage in the politics of compromise when we seem to have a national climate that is bent on polarization. But the fact that we even have to be having this conversation is a sign of how regressive American politics and the American political culture have become. We are talking about access to contraception - we are not even talking about access to abortion.
I think sometimes the right wing movement ‘forgets’ that Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 legalized contraception. It’s very ironic that the same people who are anti-abortion are also anti-contraception. Clearly what they are trying to do is back us into a certain view of sexual morality that they want to impose on the rest of the population. I think that is the bigger political agenda, because if you are not for pregnancy prevention and you are not for pregnancy termination, than really what you are talking about is trying to enforce a conservative sexual morality on a majority of Americans.
Rutgers Today: What do you think are the political consequences of having a debate over access to contraception and who do you think stands to benefit?
Daniels: In the end its going to help Obama look like he is more reasonable, the more middle of the road mainstream political actor who is willing to compromise in the face of great polarization. I think it will probably work to his advantage long term. And who is it going to hurt him with? The more conservative wing of the American society is not going to vote for him no matter what he says or does.
Rutgers Today: What do you think about the amendment introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that would have allowed employers to deny insurance coverage for services such as contraception that are contrary to its “religious beliefs or moral convictions?”
Daniels: If we are going to be selective about what drugs are covered or not, based on politics, than we are going to pretty quickly enter into a system that is chaotic and not based on the real health care needs of the American public. After all, we use public funds to pay for viagra and I for one might question that, given that federal funds are blocked for essential women's health needs.
Media Contact: Andrea Alexander
732-932-7084 ext. 615