Donald Trump plans to shut down the Obamacare birth control mandate

Everything about Obamacare was contentious. Every single thing. But perhaps the most contentious part was everything involving women’s health and reproductive care, and even more specifically, the Obamacare mandate that employers providing health insurance couldn’t “opt out” of providing insurance coverage for birth control at will. The religious exemption ended up being a complicated work-around which would allow certain religious employers (like, churches and church-owned businesses) to opt out of specific coverage after filing certain paperwork, but the insurance companies had to pick up the slack by individually covering birth control, including the pill and IUDs. This only happened after a long-winded conversation about whether birth control pills are, in fact, “slut pills.” Remember that?

So, what’s the latest fresh hell in Republican Dudes Telling Ladies That They Are Subhuman? The Republicans already passed a “healthcare” bill in the House which would make rape, sexual assault and C-sections “pre-existing conditions.” Like, insurance companies would cover your C-section but then your rates would spike the next year and you would no longer be able to afford coverage. Same thing if you were raped or assaulted. Now Donald Trump plans to roll back the Obama mandate on birth control.

The Trump administration is apparently preparing to overhaul Obamacare’s birth control mandate, purportedly allowing any employer to seek a moral or religious exemption from the requirement, according to a draft regulation obtained by Vox. The Affordable Care Act requires nearly all employers to offer health insurance that covers access to a wide array of contraceptive methods. The draft proposal, if finalized, would significantly broaden the type of companies and organizations that can request an exemption. This could lead to many American women who currently receive no-cost contraception having to pay out of pocket for their medication.

“It’s just a very, very, very broad exception for everybody,” Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University, told Vox. “If you don’t want to provide it, you don’t have to provide it.”

Vox obtained a copy of the regulation, dated May 23. The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing this proposal, the final step before a new regulation is made official. It is unclear whether the Trump administration has made changes to the draft regulation over the past week, or what the final version of the regulation might look like.

Spokespeople for the US Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury departments, the agencies responsible for the rule, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night. A spokesperson for the White House also did not respond.


[From Vox]

Yes, this is happening. Trump is opening the door for employers to literally tell their female employees (and only their female employees) what they can and cannot do with their bodies. No more birth control for you, missy. And when those female employees get pregnant, their prenatal care won’t be covered by the new Republican healthcare bill BECAUSE IT’S YOUR FAULT YOU GOT PREGNANT and then your employer will tell you need to go home and take care of your baby and so they’ll fire you for being a woman and this is all happening in Trump’s America. Get woke. Resist.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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86 Responses to “Donald Trump plans to shut down the Obamacare birth control mandate”

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  1. Merritt says:

    Just another reminder that the GOP hates women. If you are a woman who is voting for the GOP then you brought this on yourself.

    • Megan says:

      They just want to return us to that blissful time in American when (white) men were men and women were women and everyone knew their place. Feminazis and their radical birth control ruined everything for (white) men.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Everything. Well, except for the men (white and otherwise) who enjoy sex without the risk of shotgun weddings and economically independent partners who can share in the responsibility of paying bills…OMG who are these dinosaurs that still think men had it better as wage slaves with minimal control over family planning??

      • INeedANap says:

        @Bettyrose

        That’s what I don’t get about these men. They want to have sex but punish women for having sex with them; they don’t want to be “trapped” into parenting but don’t want women to have access to birth control or abortion; they don’t want to pay for dates or for women to stay home but they don’t want women in the workplace. Their hatred of us has warped their minds.

      • pinetree13 says:

        Brilliant summary INeedANap. So true. That’s all i hear on the men’s rights forums (yeah I read them from time to time) “stupid women don’t want to work so they can leech off us!” In the same breath as “women shouldn’t be in the work place!”

        Like I think it boils down to they want to have sex with women but they also want women to NOT exist.

        Or maybe one day women could flash in and out of existence! Like there would be no women, but then if you wanted sex you’d generate one from another dimension, have sex, and then send her back.

        Hmmm…book idea….hahaha

      • lara says:

        They want to return to the (imaginary) times, when a “real man” hat a docile frugal wife at home who cared for him and the Kids, and had his sexlife outside his marriage. And if the sidepice felt pregnant, not his responsibility, she is a whore anyway and only fit to work meager paying jobs and never be a threat to the white man.

    • Disco Dancer says:

      Wonder what the ultimate GOP loving woman Caitlin Jenner has to say about this. Didn’t she say that Trump is really understands women issues, of which reproductive health and access would be one?

  2. Kyra says:

    The message is clear:

    No woman will have sex for pleasure under President Trump.

    • Shambles says:

      But all the men will, because when you’re a star, they let you do it. Insurance-covered viagra for everyone!!

    • Birdix says:

      Literally and figuratively.
      But seriously– I doubt even he believes in this crap–he’s not religious and has benefited from birth control. But he doesn’t care, and it gets people screaming his name at rallies, so it’s ok with him.

      • third ginger says:

        Of course, he does not actually care about this issue [same thing applies to LGBT rights] He is the proverbial “empty vessel” into which the religious right can pour its hate.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Of course he doesn’t care about any of this. The world could be one big coke-snorting orgy for all the fucks he has to give about people. But his rich comrades (see what I did there?) get even richer by screwing the middle and working class. But some percentage of those getting pounded will welcome more of it if you wrap it up in bullshit morality (somehow making policies as bewilderingly contradictory and hypocritical as possible also helps with their popularity.)

      • FLORC says:

        Yes. This manchild is too stupid and selfinvolved. Ignorant to these issues to understand the consequences. But, he likes the approval from those around him.

        I don’t want Trump impeached. I want him driven out entirely. I want him and his family to live as social pariahs. And to be remembered as a stain in American history. He can deny it all day as fake whatever, but know it’s true.

      • Nicole says:

        Agreed. He doesn’t care one way or the other. He is whipping his base of the religious morons

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Glad to see there’s still some make-work for the vice president.

    • Radley says:

      Since no woman has ever had sex with Trump for pleasure, I get where the vindictiveness is coming from. I don’t approve though.

      He’s truly a terrible​ human being and it doesn’t take much convincing for him to do terrible things because he has contempt for most living things. And that’s why we’re all in danger every minute of his disastrous presidency.

      Happy Hump Day. We’re​ all covfefe’d.

    • Swak says:

      My mind just went where it shouldn’t. And Ewwww! Not sure sex under Trump would be a pleasure.

      • Ashamed 2 b a Fl girl says:

        I’m 100% sure it would not be pleasant. That is, if you even noticed that he had sex with you. He has no impulse control so that pretty much makes him the king… of 2 second intercourse.

  3. Valois says:

    And he wants to pull out of Paris climate deal. This is a nightmare.

    I might be willing to take in some American refugees once they try to swim to Germany in a couple of years. Just saying.

    • Melly says:

      A few years??? Get your house ready now, i’ll start swimming.

      • Sullivan says:

        Me, too. As soon as I can find some adult arm floaties. Safety first!

      • Tate says:

        Seriously…. a few years?? Look what has happened in 5 months. We won’t survive a few years of this.

      • third ginger says:

        Lovely offer, Valois. Sullivan, I am an old lady whose upper arm flab provides ready made floaties!!

      • Nicole says:

        RIGHT! A few years? I was in Germany for NYE and I was offered a place to stay by almost everyone I met. I am so ready to leave the cesspool of America behind

      • Valois says:

        You’re right, I guess I’ll tidy up my guest room tomorrow, just to be safe. You might get here next week.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Valois, look out your front window. See that horde of spunky, wise-cracking Americans running toward you? That’s us. We’re coming!!

    • Spikey says:

      Refugees welcome! *hugs* I’m so, so sorry for you guys!

  4. lightpurple says:

    As The Notorious RBG pointed out in the Hobby Lobby decision, the majority of employers who offer insurance to their employees only pay a portion of those premiums, some pay none at all but simply offer a group plan and the employees pay all of it. Trump will now allow those employers to deny their female employees not only access to “birth control” for which they are already paying the premiums but access to treatment, as RBG again pointed out, to such conditions as ovarian cysts and endometriosis.

    Princess Nagini is so busy empowering us that, as an employer, she shouldn’t have the added burden of allowing her employees access to birth control through plans for which they pay most of the premiums.

    • Merritt says:

      Even the portion that the employer pays is part of the employee’s benefit package, so it is part of their salary. This is allowing employers dictate what employees do with their own money.

    • jwoolman says:

      Providing coverage doesn’t mean women have to use birth control if they are opposed to it. They aren’t being forced to take the Pill at gunpoint. The religious argument against simple coverage doesn’t make sense to me. Can they back out of coverage for alcohol-related diseases because they are against drinking alcohol? At some point, they have to realize they are not making the policy but rather are just acting as a conduit for the insurance. If they don’t like that – push for Medicare for All. Get the employers out of it entirely.

    • bluhare says:

      I do not know a single employer *group* plan that does not require at least 50% of the premium to be paid by the employer. Voluntary *group* medical plans where the employees pay 100% of the premium for themselves do not exist where I live.

      Right now contraceptives are covered with no copay (not all; there’s a list). I suspect that insurers may be allowed to offer coverage without contraceptives covered; however, I also think a lot will continue to offer the coverage, but with copays. Don’t know for sure; the new health care law will have the minimums, but carriers and employers can offer more than the minimum if they choose. It will also vary state by state.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Again, it depends on the state. Some states regulate business for the protection of state residents better than others.

      • bluhare says:

        Without a doubt, Lightpurple. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is going to lose contraceptive coverage. What’s much more likely is that copays will be imposed on all. I’m just trying to point out that the political rhetoric is getting way ahead of what will probably happen on this one. I understand why — it’s to galvanize people — but the reality probably won’t be nearly as draconian.

        However, this pertains to group (employer) coverage. Individual coverage is an entirely different ball game, and that could definitely see more of an impact.

        I live in a very liberal state, and I’m glad I don’t live in a conservative one.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Employers ADMINISTER the plans, they don’t have to pay for them. Employees paying 100% of the premium might not exist where you live, but they absolutely exist in our country.

        I don’t know why you think concern about loss of coverage is any different than your idea that the only change will be to bring copays back. They are both speculative. Honestly, I hope you’re right, but I think it is incredibly optimistic to think that when an employer has an opportunity to reduce expenses so dramatically, that they will instead stand up for their workers. That’s not how capitalism in the US works. Companies cut hours to below full time to avoid offering health care coverage at all, why wouldn’t they cut a benefit if they are allowed to by law?

      • bluhare says:

        Tiffany, I work in the employee benefits business and have done so for many years. State mandates trump (ha!) federal mandates unless the federal mandates are more liberal. So if your state has a mandate better than the federal for contraception, that will supersede it. If it doesn’t AND the new reform bill passes AND you work for an employer who will remove coverage for contraceptives, you will most definitely be impacted. If you buy individual medical coverage you may be impacted.
        However, that’s a lot of “ands”.

        I also don’t think you are correct about employer sponsored medical insurance; however, I do not know where you live so I cannot say for sure. All I know is it’s an insurance carrier nightmare because the more people have to pay for coverage, the more likely they will waive, and the more expensive it will become, which is why there are requirements about how much an employer must pay if they are offering a group medical plan to employees. Now, I’m not talking about dependents. Most employers pay nothing toward dependents. But they are required to pay a certain amount for employees.

        And, with all due respect, everything is speculative right now. Including all the speculation about how women will be screwed, contraception will be unavailable, and we’ll all go back to the dark ages.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        That is 3 “ands”… they aren’t impossible or even unlikely. I live in a liberal state, but I have friends and family that do not. Let’s not forget how much deregulation and the gutting of consumer/patient protections has been championed at the state level in “red” states. Back in my home state, there have been moves to remove license requirements for some medical providers. Crazy stuff!

        If you take women in pre-ACA situations like Sandra Fluke (who testified before Congress), her plan was completely unsubsidized by Georgetown University, yet they still wanted to take away the contraception benefit. She paid 100% of premiums, but the administer determined the benefits.

        It is my understanding that ALEs (Applicable Large Employers) who average 50 or more employees have to offer “the opportunity to enroll” in an insurance plan or they will have to make a shared responsibility payment to the IRS. But that isn’t the same as paying for the coverage. I could be wrong about this, but I couldn’t find any kind of employer-pay-for-premium requirement on the IRS website, etc.

        I really hope that you are correct! I am just being a grump-a-saurus because I have no faith in our elected officials anymore, both at the Federal and state level.

      • bluhare says:

        I hope I am more right than wrong too, Tiffany. Trust me, I do. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and I am hoping the senate has some sense when they draw up their plan.

        However, Sandra Fluke and employer insurance are two different things. She was covered on student insurance. Might seem semantics, but they are not the same, and she did pay her premium on that policy because it’s an individual policy. It wasn’t through an employer. Georgetown is a Jesuit university and the Catholic church is dead set against birth control; that’s why it wasn’t covered on her insurance. That being said, I have worked as a consultant and employee of Catholic organizations and I can tell you that the institutions I worked with *did* cover birth control pills to treat a medical condition. The person had to have their doctor write a letter requesting it due to medical necessity and most of the time they were approved.

        ALE’s (employers of 50 or more employees) do have to provide insurance for employees working 30 hours per week or more. And there is a penalty if the employees’ costs are more than 9?percent of their income. I can’t remember what the affordability percent is off the top of my head.

        But I’m probably putting you to sleep anyway; and I think we basically agree!!

      • bluhare says:

        Tiffany you may be right. I hope not but I just read a bit more and it does apply to those with religious objections but any old tom dick or harry can declare one and it doesn’t have to be registered w the govt. I would say I have faith people will do the right thing but whoi am I kidding.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Hey 54%, this is on you. My 94% handled their business and now have to pay the price.

    When we are at the head of the table ( and it will happen), don’t think you spot is automatic. We will remind you. Every. Damn. Time.

  6. PunkyMomma says:

    I can no longer discuss rationally the irrevocable damage this person is doing to women, minorities, this country, other countries and the planet.

    I will forever hold the Republican Party and their greedy political, misogynistic and racist agenda GULITY for allowing a madman to attack, damage and possibly destroy every institution in our country.

    F*ck Cheeto Covfefe Mussolini and all who enable him — none of you miserable cretins will ever succeed in erasing the fact that Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Absolutely agree with every word.

    • Original T.C. says:

      Agreed. And hiring a racist to run the department of justice who has decided to reduce the amount of civil rights departments as well as bringing back unfair incarcerations for small drug offenses hoping to get more Black and Brown men locked up for decades. A racist whose buddies shut down a senator for letting America know he is a racist. Nightmare that I can’t wake up from.

      The only solution is to get as many Democrats elected as possible for Congress. His right Wing supporters are never going to change their minds about him nor are Republicans who depend on those same voters. Throw them out.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Good points, TC.

        I am hoping small-gov’t republicans like Rand Paul will stand up against Session’s goal to imprison more Americans, but the hope is so very, very small. Democrats need to dominate Congress if we are going to save our country and our citizens.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree.

      The enablers need to be held accountable for empowering a man who targets the vulnerable in our own country, and supports dictators of other countries. His support for Putin and Duterte are beyond the pale. Allowing Erdogan’s henchmen to assault Americans on American soil shows how much regard Trump has for American citizens and their rights.

      I saw the 3rd episode of Handmaid’s Tale on the same day of the Erdogan beat down, and it made me physically ill. We are so close to that reality.

  7. SusanneToo says:

    Will limp dicks still be covered? Has that been put in the Constitution yet?

  8. Margo S. says:

    The problem is that so many people in the U.S. have no clue that this is happening. They are busy and working or simply don’t care, and the government wants it this way. They dont want woman in power. They don’t want woman controlling anything. They want us at home reading the bible and having kids. Why do you think the duggars are so popular?

  9. Indira says:

    I hope for you guys that the Democrats will win 2020.

    • jwoolman says:

      The Democrats need to win in 2018. If they control Congress, then they can shut down Obamacare repeal efforts and focus on improving and extending Obamacare. Otherwise it will be a continuing nightmare of uncertainty for millions of people.

      The insurance companies themselves are accusing Trump of sabotaging Obamacare by removing funding from key parts. They are planning their usual obscene premium hikes, but they are squarely putting the blame on Trump for making them raise premiums several-fold beyond their original evil plans.

  10. Betsy says:

    Sex strike. Really. Something is needed in order to remind these bozos that sexual activity is an integral part of adult human life for most people.

    Although it occurs to me that most of their interactions like that are paid, so…

  11. Rice says:

    Covfefe Drumpf only cares about 2 things: the Drumpfs and money. He doesn’t care about whatever hell the GOP is salivating to enact because he does not care about the public.

  12. Who says says:

    We were talking about Trump’s is becoming more isolated , well the more isolated he becomes and detached from the human race the nastier his policies will become. He will pick more on women, minoritys, the disenfranchised, the media, our allies and the environment.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      It would be the same either way, because his domestic policy comes from Pence and the GOP.

  13. PIa says:

    Are you happy Susan Sarandon?

  14. Rapunzel says:

    This is horrid. BC is hormones. Those hormones are a necessity for some women. I take BC for a preexisting condition. F— these a-holes.

    • Katenotkatie says:

      Same, plus for contraception and hormonal acne. Absolute insanity when so many women depend on a simple medication to lead their daily lives with less pain/discomfort/worry.

    • Janet R says:

      My daughter was prescribed hormones by her pediatrician. My ex’s insurance company would not pay for them because one of the uses was birth control. $64.44 a month for the brand name, because the generics would still leave her feeling sick ( less sick than without, but she would still drag her little sleeping bag into the bathroom to sleep as she felt so ill). It didn’t matter that the doctor wrote them a letter, they just would not cover “birth control” (she was 11). I rejoiced when President Obama signed that mandate – that extra cost was such a struggle for me to cover then and the thought of no one else having to struggle like that was a wonderful thing. I’ve been harping on this throughout the election as it has seemed really evident to me that the far right (well, it used to be the far right) did not want women to have any control over their lives. I am terrified for young women, but I don’t think most have believed me it was coming…

  15. HK9 says:

    Do these knuckleheads know what kind of living conditions they are creating, or do they care? Have they no mothers/daughters/sisters/nieces? This, shake things up for the sake of doing so just makes them look like a marauding toddler with an etch a sketch.

    This is foolishness.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      They don’t care, and they do have mothers, wives, sisters, daughters. They will bend the rules for their own family members, and often can afford to pay for their contraception and abortion.

  16. TheBohemian says:

    And this shit right here is why I won’t sleep with a republican. Fuck the lot of ‘em.

  17. Anon says:

    In my 50 years I have witnessed the slow evolution of women being heralded for their intelligence and dynamic range of abilities. It is absolutely terrifying to witness our free agency being chipped away in a rapid and deliberate manner by morons who couldn’t compete intellectually with the common house cat.

    Any woman of any age that is unwilling to champion the women that will eventually wrest control back from those that are harming us should just go ahead and relocate to a third world country where they are considered property of their fathers or husbands. You don’t belong here.

  18. lowercaselois says:

    Good night Obama
    Good night moon
    Good night legally unrestricted womb
    Good night science
    Good night facts
    Good night to corporate tax
    Good night stars
    Good night air
    Good night to civil rights every where

    • Nicole says:

      Can I steal this? Beautiful *claps*

      • lowercaselois says:

        It is all yours . This revised Goodnight Moon has been floating around internet for a few days

    • Giddy says:

      This is so excellent, both in content and in the way you recalled the original. How I wish I could go back to the days when I was reading Good Night Moon to my children and Bigly wasn’t in the White House,

  19. Nicole says:

    Remember when Sanders was all “hey women can wait on these issues?” when criticized on who he was backing for these smaller elections? And bernie die hards were all “yes wait because its not dire and women’s economic disparity isn’t tied to her reproductive freedom?”
    Yea I do too. Resist. Stay woke even from “leaders” on the left

  20. Incredulous says:

    So… the Republican party at this point is the Taliban but without balls. I am my username at the idea that this is something they actually want.

  21. ZombieLove says:

    Why would any women Vote or identify as a Republican in the United States? I just don’t understand….

    • HK9 says:

      Because they think that their policies are for those other poor/minority etc women. They don’t think that the policies will ever affect them-and at some very inconvenient point in the very near future, they will. They don’t realize they are cutting off their nose to spite their face.

  22. Zaratustra says:

    I think the intention of this plan is even bigger. This is just the start. It is a slippery slope.

    If any employer can opt out of birth control … then why can’t employers opt out of other things, too? Like: no health care for cancer patiens who are “expensive” cases. Or: no health care for chronic conditions (“expensive”, too). OR: no coverage for underage children because they were the employee’s choice …

    See, in Trump’s world it is all about FREEDOM. In Trump’s world FREEDOM equals making money. Freedom from covering employee’s health insurance at all. This plan will lead to conditions similar to Before-Obamacare. It is not just women. But a lot of people will end up without health insurance.

    • Lightpurple says:

      That’s coming with TrumpCare, which will not require essential benefits. Insurers will offer low cost plans that cover nothing and employers will choose them for their workers

  23. hogtowngooner says:

    But I’m guessing Viagra will still be covered?

  24. Anna says:

    When I read stuff like this, I think: don’t push for impeachment just yet. Would I rather have Pence for President? Of course. I don’t think he is unstable and insane, just politically abhorrent. I don’t think he will lead us into a thoughtless and foolish war and ruin decades of alliances.
    But Pence is also competent, and Republicans control everything. They are much less effective on a domestic agenda with Trump in the White House than with Pence. Which is a great thing. So let their idiotic and vile agenda be mocked and defeated until 2018. And then start impeachment. Hopefully world peace can hold out that long.

  25. jetlagged says:

    It wasn’t so long ago that there was no requirement for insurance to cover any pre-existing conditions whatsoever, most policies had a maximum limit past which they weren’t required to pay, and having birth control or other prescription drugs coverage was just a pipe dream. The sad thing is that most Americans didn’t even question the draconian limits of the old system and just assumed that was the way it had to be.

    The Affordable Care Act changed all that, and regardless of how the Republicans sabotage, repeal and otherwise diminish the ACA, the legacy of that legislation will live on. Our basic expectations have shifted. Coverage for pre-existing conditions is now viewed by many as a right, rather than a privilege, and I have to believe that Republicans that underestimate how deeply that belief is held by voters do so at their peril. Americans have gotten a glimpse of what a comprehensive (and compassionate) health care system looks like, and most don’t want to give it up.

  26. Baltimom says:

    This is just the beginning of “ala carte” health care. The Republicans have been hinting at it all along. Why should a man pay for some woman’s lady parts? Why should healthy people pay for unhealthy people? Republicans are all about blaming people for creating their own problems and then making them pay for it. Yes, that’s right all you women. Shame on you for being born a woman. You will pay for that. Did you have cancer? Well obviously you must have done something wrong. And this is the so called party of Jesus. I don’t remember Jesus asking people if they caused their problems before helping them. Oh but that’s right, he was a socialist and socialists are bad. Commies are good though. I really don’t understand this country anymore.

  27. Disco Dancer says:

    USA is heading into the Republic of Gilead territory. At this point Americans have lost the moral high ground to lecture any other country about their human rights and how they treat their women.

  28. Otaku Fairy says:

    I think the idea of allowing people to opt-out of birth control coverage on the basis of religion is bullshit anyway, because most of these religious books written thousands of years ago don’t have any sort of “Thou shout not useth birth control or help other women access birth control in any way or something” commandment written in any scroll or on any tablet. There are many women within these religions who use birth control and there are religious people who don’t have a problem with women having access to it- even though many of them have the predictable stances on things like sex before marriage. The anti-birth control ones are basically just hiding behind religion and taking it upon themselves individually to screw women over in this way without their holy books even commanding it. Things like this are why “respect anything with religion attached to it because RELIGION” isn’t a position I’ll ever take on any subject. It puts a way of thinking on a special pedestal, promotes entitlement, and then we’re stuck with people thinking certain prejudices and threats to certain peoples’ rights and health have to be protected and respected in the name of ‘allowing people to practice their religion’.

  29. Shannon says:

    OMG. I have a male drinking buddy I hang out with on weekends who’s a trump supporter (forgive me, I’m in Kentucky, I take what friends I can get.) He’s constantly hitting on me, and I told him I’m abstaining in protest of shit like this, so pour me another one and stop trying to kiss me. SMH seriously, though, this is ridiculous.