In reshaping the job of Attorney General, to work against rather than for the people of the state, Pam Bondi has struck again. She's mirroring the legislature and the governor when it comes to focusing on the real problems in Florida by making good on her threat to get in between women in Florida and their contraception coverage.
We need jobs and to boost the economy, so Rick Scott focuses on tax breaks for the rich while the legislature spends their time on cranking out anti-abortion bills.
While all but ignoring the BP oil spill and the foreclosure problem in Florida, Pam Bondi has filed not one but two lawsuits "on behalf of Floridians" at their own expense. One to take away their health care, and now a second one challenging contraceptive coverage.
She's either rewriting her job description or ignorant about the office she holds altogether. While the latter is doubtful, it wouldn't be all that surprising. After all Bondi isn't a fan of civics, as she never bothered to vote in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2002 or 2008. She was a Democrat until 2000 when she switched parties but couldn't "remember" why. Maybe like a hair style, she thought it was time for a change?
Regardless, she's more often than not working against Floridians, and as the Tampa Bay Times pointed out in an editorial yesterday, this latest lawsuit is a "needless crusade."
Attorney General Pam Bondi is dragging Florida into an unnecessary moral crusade. By signing on to a multistate federal lawsuit challenging the contraception coverage requirement in the health care reform law, Bondi is choosing the most narrow thinking in the Catholic Church over the rights of Florida women.
[Bondi claims she is standing for religious liberty by asserting that religiously affiliated employers such as hospitals and universities that are engaged in secular work should not have to offer health coverage that includes contraception. But she ignores the liberty of employees at those institutions who should not be subject to religious tenets as a condition of employment.]
Already, 28 states (but not Florida) mandate contraception coverage in prescription drug plans, with some states providing no religious exemptions at all. Catholic universities and hospitals across the country have complied without it diminishing their faith. They understand that health insurance is part of employee compensation, like a salary or sick days. Imagine if Catholic hospital nurses were told they couldn't use their pay to purchase contraception.
Making birth control widely and freely accessible is a major medical and societal advance, and the Catholic Church can fight its own battles. Bondi should not be dragging Florida into it.
One can only wonder what Bondi will do next "on our behalf?"
Much like her Republican Party colleagues, Gov. Scott and the Florida Legislature, Bondi is treating the state as if it were a business and they're protecting the shareholders, while the rest of us shoulder the damage and foot the bill.
It also may be the first "corporation" in history that also manages to take away a woman's right to choose and forces her to give birth at all costs.
Photo: Attorney General's Office