(CNSNews.com) - For the fifth time this year, as reported by White House transcripts, President Barack Obama has given a speech in which he mentions “my sons”—despite the fact that he is the father of two girls and no boys.
Who exactly are Obama’s “sons”? The term “my sons” is apparently a paternalistic figure of speech the president likes to use to describe some subset of the American male population who are other people’s children.
As with the last two times he used of the term “my sons,” Obama used the construction on Monday in New York City while talking about the “preventive services” regulation issued by his Department of Health and Human Services. This is the regulation that will require virtually all health care plans in the United States to provide women, without any fees or co-pay, with sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that can cause abortions.
Forty-three Catholic dioceses and organizations—including the archdioceses of Washington and New York, Catholic University of America and the University of Notre Dame—have sued the administration over this regulation, arguing that it forces Catholics to act against their faith and is a violation of the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
“We’re not going to go back to the days when somehow women couldn’t get the preventive care that they need,” Obama said at a campaign event at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
“We don’t need a situation where women aren’t controlling their own health care choices,” Obama said. “We don’t need to eliminate Planned Parenthood. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as my sons. That’s part of what America is about. We’re not turning back the clock. We’re not going backwards.”
The event was one of three Obama held in New York on Monday with former President Bill Clinton. Ironically, at one of his other appearances with Clinton that day, Obama noted that he had formed a “bond” with Clinton because their daughters.
“President Clinton and I had a chance to talk over dinner before we came out, and we talk about a lot of things,” said Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “We talk about basketball. We talk about our daughters, and agree that you can't beat daughters. Sons who are out there, we love you, too--but I'm just saying, we bond on that front. We both agree that we have improved our gene pool because we married outstanding women.”
Later in this speech at the Waldorf Astoria, Obama referred not to “my sons” but more inclusively to “our sons.”
“We’re not going to go back to the days when suddenly women don’t have preventive care, or we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood,” said Obama. “We’re not going back to those days. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as our sons. And I want our women to have the same ability to control their health care decisions as anybody else. We’re not going backwards.”
Last month, Obama gave back-to-back campaign speeches in which he invoked his figurative sons.
“I want women to control their own health care choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as my sons,” Obama said at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, Calif.
“I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same economic opportunities as my sons,” he said at the Iowa State Fair Grounds.
Speaking at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on May 14—while discussing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expanded the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits alleging discrimination in employment compensation--Obama said: “I don’t want my daughters treated differently than my sons.”
On Jan. 12, at a campaign event in Chicago, where he also discussed the Lily Ledbetter law, Obama similarly said: “I want my daughters treated the same way as my sons.”
Obama daughters are Sasha, 10, and Malia, 13. The president has no sons.
The Des Moines Register posted a video of Obama’s speech at the Iowa State Fair Grounds, which showed he was using a teleprompter when he invoked “my sons” in that speech.