Women's rights are human rights - and because they are both self-evident and self-executing, cannot be alienated by criminalization any more than their free exercise might be deterred through penalization. Such rights include but are not limited to the right to reproductive control through preventing or aborting pregnancy and the right to tax-free healthcare products and services required by their biology. Women - and every human being - have the right to love and form families regardless of their sexual orientation, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. Women must be treated equally at work through equal pay and opportunity, women must be equals to men in our armed forces, in the offices of government, in the polling booths - and in our prisons.
That these rights are presently threatened upon religious grounds is dangerous, for the role of the State would be expanded to enforce the public morality. It is not the duty of even Presidents or Senators to govern the moral behaviors of their fellow citizens - certainly not by force of penalty or criminality. Government officers are permitted to command morality by their good example, only.
Would opponents be disarmed by arguments that this is a Christian nation, as if this were reason to violate women's rights? This is not a Christian nation. The separation of Church and State is not only prudent policy and constitutional law, but an ancient and successful practice. The first blood spilled in defense of our great nation was from a Jewish congressman. And on the ground it could not be discerned from the blood any who fell behind him: Muslim or Christian. Since then, Buddhists and Hindus built the West. Atheists have held the highest offices.
The Congress is behaving foolishly, taking work upon themselves which does not belong to them: it is not their duty to legislate the morality of our people. Yet we too would be foolish if we did not now take upon ourselves the preservation of the law, and defend that excellent separation made between Church and State by aiding women.