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Rep. Kelly Likens New Health Mandate to Pearl Harbor, 9/11

Rep. Kelly at this morning's press conference.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) blasted a newly enacted Obama administration mandate requiring insurance providers to cover contraceptives for women this morning at a press conference, likening it to Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is Dec. 7, that’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is Sept. 11, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack,” Kelly said during a Capitol Hill press conference.

“I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012 – the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

Kelly, a fierce abortion opponent, served as the vocal leader of enraged Republicans, who have criticized the mandate since President Obama announced it earlier this year. They say the new Health and Human Services rule forces employers with a religious objection to go against their practices by providing contraception.

The Congressman’s comments instantly received national media attention, including a front page spot on The Huffington Post.

Missa Eaton, Kelly’s opponent in the race for PA-3, lambasted the harsh rhetoric used by the Congressman in an email and asked for an apology on behalf of the victims and families affected by the historical tragedies.

“First and foremost, Mike Kelly must absolutely apologize to the victims and families affected by the horrible attacks on Pearl Harbor and on 9/11,” Eaton said.

“The comparison is ludicrous and compares foreign acts of aggression upon our nation to a piece of domestic legislation that sincerely tries to provide women with access to quality, affordable health care.”

Several Democrats across the state made note of the new mandate, praising it for providing quality preventative care for women. They too had words of caution for their Republican opponents.

Democrat Manan Trivedi, who’s challenging Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Berks) in PA-6, used the opportunity to attack the incumbent Congressman for his opposition to the mandate.

“Jim Gerlach and the politicians in Congress want to insert themselves into the decisions that are best made between a woman and her doctor,” Trivedi said in a press release.

“When will Jim Gerlach realize he is not qualified to make medical choices for women and he’s certainly not qualified to legislate his preference to deny them health care either?”

Democrat Aryanna Strader joined Trivedi by accusing her opponent, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Chester), of wanting to prevent women from making medical decisions usually reserved for patients and their doctors.

“Unfortunately, women’s health care continues to be a target of Congressman Joe Pitts,” Strader said in a press release. “The politicians in Washington like Mr. Pitts need to restrain themselves from dictating healthcare decisions that only should be made between a woman and her doctor.”

Unwavering in his stance, Kelly’s campaign reaffirmed his earlier statements, saying the mandate is a blatant attack on citizens’ First Amendment rights.

“The (mandate) is an undeniable and unprecedented attack on Americans’ First Amendment rights. Our freedoms and way of life have been under attack before, from both internal and external threats,” Kelly said in an email.

“If we fail to defend our constitutional rights, we risk losing the freedoms that so many brave men and women have given their lives to defend throughout the course of our nation’s history.”

31 Responses

  1. This is not about free birth control. Free contraceptives are just the shiny object that the administration is dangling in front of your face to distract you so you don’t notice while it takes away another one of your freedoms.

    Apparently some people are easily distracted.

  2. Mike Kelly will regret
    In November this fall
    That he wants his religion
    To be the law for us all!

  3. This crazy, tea party wacko needs to go!

    Women DESERVE the right to affordable health care, just like old, white men claim they “deserve” the right to Viagra. We all know what they use it for, but that’s between them and their interns.

    The tea party needs to go! We need more women in Congress! We need more people who are willing to get things done and fight for the PEOPLE (and, by the way, Mr. Kelly, women are people, too.)

    I’ll be voting for Missa this election! I’ll be supporting her and doing whatever I can do get her elected! She’s THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE!

    Go online to support her now:

  4. @ Doug:

    Seriously? Birth control is $8? Really? Where? You must be thinking about the 1960’s — you know, the decade your mind is stuck in.

    But let me get this straight: you are perfectly find with companies including Viagra in their coverage, but birth control, which treats hundreds of conditions, is wrong? Get real.

    Secondly — this law DOESN’T REQUIRE ONE DIME of public funding. It actually SAVES INSURANCE COMPANIES MONEY. Study after study, report after report, confirms this. Doesn’t matter who’s conducting it, the results are the same: providing women access to birth control through their insurance plan (which is a form of compensation, anyway) reduces the total cost to the customer (the company). Numbers don’t lie. There once was a day when Republicans could actually read a balance sheet — these days, they can barely read a Bible.

  5. AND-when viagra and penile implants are covered and women’s reproductive care is not, it is quite unfair to the 50% of us who are not red-faced, screaming old men about unfairness or responsability

  6. Mike Kelly is one of the biggest idiots in Congress. He apparently really believes that his religious beliefs should be the law for all of us. If his wife and daughters (if he has some) and daughters-in-law (if he has some) don’t want to use contraception, that’s just fine. Don’t! But keeping women’s health — not just contraceptives — out of our health insurance is beyond ludicrous.

    Mary, when was birth control $8? You must be remembering the ’60s. It looks like you’re too old to worry about pregnancy, so why are you flapping your big lips about it?

    Women have rights, and we’re not going to let Mike Kelly walk all over them. We’re going to be supporting Missa Eaton — with votes and with money — so she can send him back to Butler to sell used cars!

    Missa Eaton 2012!!!

  7. First of all, Mike Kelly’s statement is a dishonor to all the first responders and Vets out there. Second: We are talking about having contraception included standard as part of your health insurance that you PAY FOR!!! How the hells bells is that likened to a TERRORIST ACT??? Good God people, when are you going to get it, that we are NOT talking about a free government healthcare system?

  8. Doug got it exactly right. It is amazing how blind people can be, and just don’t get it.

  9. M Tomlinson:What about $8 a month is not affordable? I did it, and paid for my own decisions. @matt the needy have all the free birth control they want under different regulation.

  10. @ Doug

    Explain to me how providing women access to affordable health care is an assault on your freedom? My taxes pay for roads and disaster relief and schools and countless other products and services in places I’ll never visit, but that doesn’t mean that I’m enslaved by them.

    By the way, this President has DECLINED public financing of his campaign for the second time. So no, he’s not taking our money.

    And this “progressive agenda”? Really? So when Republicans RAISE taxes on the middle class, destroy public education, and gut the Social Security trust fund in order to finance tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and keep taxes on the wealthy at less than 20% (when you and I pay 34%), that’s OK.

    Get real, Doug. You don’t have a clue. Mike Kelly spits on the sacrifices made by thousands of men, women, and children (my father included) to protect our freedoms. You, by supporting him, spit on their sacrifice as well.

    After hearing about this, I’ll be sending Missa another $100 to kick Kelly out of office! She’s not in my district and she’s not even in my state, but this nonsense needs to stop! Go Missa! You can help her here:

  11. The military events cited were attacks on our freedom. Socialist agendas such as this health care scheme are attacks because they enslave working citizens, even those not yet born, to pay for the re-election of the President and his politician stooges. The failure of the war on poverty, the welfare system, the medicare system and the social security system haven’t stopped the foul socialist agenda from being foisted on working Americans by people who talk about compassion but have self interest in mind.Your progressive agenda is slavery financed by others and sugar coated so the mindless feel good about it. The mere fact of your existance does not entitle you to the fruit of my labors or those of my children. We need about 50 more Kelly’s in the House and 25 more in the Senate. Don’t back down Mike.

  12. @Mary, I’d rather pay for a woman’s contraception now than for her welfare baby later and the education and or prison time that follows that.

    And when the hell are politicians going to stop dragging our veterans through the mud already? Have some respect.

  13. If you want insanity like this to stop, we need to send someone better to Washington! This guy is in a swing district and he’s saying crazy things 97 days before the election — can you imagine what he’ll say and do if he’s re-elected?

    Google just told me that Missa Eaton is running against Rep. Kelly in PA-03! Help her out by going to

    Make sure Rep. Kelly goes home in November! Comparing women’s health care to the two deadliest attacks on American soil is insane & we have to stop him before he does something worse!

  14. Ironic how someone who wants to punch someone in the face for having a different opinion than theirs then calls this Pennsyltucky.

  15. @sue

    The first amendment was about the state having no place in the church and nothing to do with contraception. You have a right to contraception. You have a right to buy health insurance (or now be duty that is imposed subject to fine if you do not). There is no right for you to have your contraception paid for by anyone but yourself. This is a complete misunderstanding of rights and falls under personal responsibility.

  16. Wrong, Sue. You can use all the birth control you want, but I should not have to pay for it for you. See the difference? It really isn’t a small one. Pay for your own choice, like the adult that you are.
    And “am”, name calling instead of argument? Not real compelling.

  17. Mary your nonsensical diatribe reeks of someone who was chained in the basement for most of her life. Seriously, you’re a stooge!

  18. This man is an embarrassment to PA and if I were a survivor of someone killed in the Twin Towers I would punch him in the face. Women’s health is worse than a terrorist attack. I assume that some poor woman gave birth to this moron. That’s why we’re known as Pennsyltucky.

  19. freedom of-and from-religion includes my freedom to use contraception if it conforms to my religious beliefs

    your religious freedom ends at your own decision about this-you have no right to determine mine

  20. I am sure that those of you who are so critical of him have some freedom close to your heart, if only the freedom to shoot off your mouth about things that you clearly do not understand. How many of you actually know the history of our country’s founding, including how some very wise, and Christian!, people came to understand how freedom of religion was a integral piece of the respect that should be shown to all of mankind. Want to know what a theocracy looks like? Look at Muslim countries and figure out the tax you would have to pay so you could carry on your life in the non-muslim way you do now. Why do I have to pay for someone else’s birth control? Are you going to pay for my kids antibiotics? Why should I pay for someone’s abortion? Have sex when you are married and ready to do big boy things like support kids who might be conceived.

  21. Contraception is readily available through many outlets and should not be a part of health insurance if you want that health care to be affordable. The argument is based on a false premise and a complete misunderstanding of what health insurance is.

  22. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Does this guy really think that giving women access to health care is the same as terrorists flying jets into buildings? We need to elect Missa Eaton to take this guy out before he’s entrenched. Check out her website at You’ll see that she is the real deal–a smart, strong woman who will fight for the people!

  23. I saw this story this afternoon on the Huffington Post website. What a disgrace. It’s almost impressive how many people he managed to alienate in one paragraph: women and veterans.

  24. Does he really listen to what comes out of his mouth? the fact that he was voted in, in the first place still confuses me. He stands for no ones needs but his own

  25. Well, Butler voters ask yourselves if you want a politician in your bedrooms, if you do, vote for Kelly Likens.

  26. Most people are starting to believe that the Christian right will eventually try to impose their views on Judaism as well as all other religions not of their persuasion. Their plan is to impose a theocracy on this country.This is very disturbing to those who believe in the constitution. Women should beware.

  27. Wow how crazy is this guy. He is stating that Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are comparable to giving women access to health care. Really. As a relative of a WWII veteran, I am insulted and this is yet another reason I won’t be supporting Mike Kelly in the fall.

  28. I can’t find words to express how disgusted I am at Kelly’s comments. To compare my ability to gain access to affordable healthcare to these to tragedies is shameful. Please get this guy out of congress and elect Missa Eaton!

  29. C’mon bruh. How is this anything like hundreds of people getting brutally murdered? We’re talking about a reform that is objectively going to *improve* public health outcomes and freedom for women. Net increase in freedom and well-being. The opposite of murder.

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