The wombs of America’s women are in the spotlight once again.
At a mock hearing arranged by DC Democrats in February, a lantern-jawed 30-year-old law student named Sandra Fluke (pronounced “Fluck”) predicted a looming Ovarian Holocaust among her sob sisters at school because the Catholic college’s healthcare plan did not include free contraception:
Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy….Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.
With the flinty resoluteness of a young Sam Waterston, Miss Fluke told the committee that $3,000 could suck up a student’s entire summer wages, which I suppose is true if you work at Burger King.
Fluke’s lips flapped about women’s emotions, about women’s needs, and how women were suffering and terrified and resentful because of society’s “barriers” and “burdens.” She said women are not being “taken seriously”—you know, the typical women’s-activist stuff. Unless it was a joke, she seriously claimed that the university was cruelly forcing the Wombs of Georgetown to “pick between a quality education and our health.”
She spoke of how a female friend—a gay one, naturally—had ovarian cysts that required birth-control medicine, but she also let it slip that even her Jesuit college’s healthcare plan covered such prescriptions in cases of medical necessity—as do most healthcare plans. Fluke claimed her Sapphic fellow traveler is “struggling to pay for her medication” and may even lose an ovary or die of cancer unless the feds pry open the Catholic Church’s doors with a tire iron and force them to tolerate contraceptive methods that go against their beliefs.
At the end of her speech, the Democrats all applauded just as the 8GB thumb drives planted in the back of their necks told them to do.
Last Wednesday, gaseous radio personality Rush Limbaugh called her a slut (It could have been worse. He could have said, “Fluke you!”):
What does it say about the college coed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a Congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.
I’ve always found Limbaugh to reek of discount salami, but I’ve also felt that way about other political commentators who call women sluts. But is it really such a ghastly word? Weren’t the swinging mammaries of radical feminism in the midst of “reclaiming” it, anyway?
So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.
Yeah, gals, he’s a creep. We don’t agree on much, but that oily butterball’s one icky fella.
But that’s not to say that your hyperbolic backlash wasn’t equally repulsive.
The alarm bell was quickly sounded to waken the nation’s sleeping prog-crickets to Stand With Sandra Fluke because Rush Limbaugh was “attacking all women” and wanted the government to pull out of their vaginas. A professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin said Limbaugh’s hate-soaked words were “a method for exerting power and control over women.” An assistant professor of Gender Studies at Texas A&M said Limbaugh’s comments represented “a form of sexual violence.” As her supporters proceeded to call Limbaugh a bald fat angry sterile impotent old white pig who needed to die, Fluke said that his comments were “outside the bounds of civil discourse.” Limbaugh was repeatedly accused of “bullying,” since that seems to be the hot word inside the Beltway these days. Fluke insisted that she and the Traveling Sisterhood of Birth Control Users would not be silenced, as if Limbaugh had tried to shush them in the first place rather than giving them tons of free publicity. Even our president wrapped one of his giant ears around a phone receiver and called Ms. Fluke to console her and the rest of America’s weeping wombs.
Ultimately, the Legion of Marching Ovaries’ well-organized caterwauling caused Limbaugh to lose a few sponsors, so on Saturday he apologized for calling her a “slut.”
So maybe she’s not a slut, but did she have a point?
Either she’s fornicating like a rabbit or she’s getting soaked for contraceptives ($1,000 a year?), because even without insurance, she could buy generic birth-control pills for less than $10 a month at pharmacies within walking distance of Georgetown’s campus. If she bothered to walk three miles, she could get them for free at a number of local Planned Parenthood clinics. So her insinuation that women were struggling financially because they were unwilling to walk to free clinics is ludicrous.
Fluke and her supporters also liberally tossed around the word “rights,” insisting that women have a “right” to free birth control and that religious fanatics were trying to deny them this “right.”
Naturally they’re all “pro-choice,” too. Pro-choice? Yeah, I’m for that. So why can’t the university choose not to pay for your birth-control pills?
Did it ever occur to them that maybe some people feel they have a “right” not to pay for others’ lifestyle decisions? Or that legally, taxpayers have no “choice” but to pay up under threat of incarceration? Doesn’t the Catholic Church have some basic “right” not to provide for contraceptive methods they find morally repugnant? Don’t private employers have a “right” not to provide healthcare for their workers at all? Don’t private insurers have a “right” to refuse providing free contraception? Not according to Congress.
In political equations, it’s always best to consider who’s being coerced. No one’s forcing Sandra Fluke to have sex, although it appears she feels that someone besides her should be squeezed into paying for her contraception.
Some will argue that it’s cheaper for society to nix a fetus with a birth-control pill than to force society to pay to raise a child. That’s undeniable, but it also presumes that “society” should pay to raise everyone’s babies.
Fluke says the main issue is “women’s health,” which sort of implies that pregnancy is a disease. But “The Pill” is classified as a Group One carcinogen. In 2005 the World Health Organization said that oral contraceptives can be carcinogenic at certain dosages. The Mayo Clinic says “using birth control pills for longer periods of time increases your risk of some cancers….”
So how much does it really have to do with health, and how much is simply about political power?
Once you peel off the media glitz, it’s clear that Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh are being used as chess pieces in this year’s electoral power play. There are around 75 million registered female voters and 70 million Catholic voters. One side’s trying to say the Republicans have declared war on women, while the other says Democrats are doing battle against Catholics. And neither side seems to care about anything beyond winning. Expect this issue to get as messy as afterbirth until the November election.
Mind you, I’m not against contraception. Look around you. Obviously there is far too little contraception in the world. I believe society would be healthier if contraception was so ubiquitous, the only people who had kids were those who chose to have them.
But if you choose to party, I don’t think it’s fair to expect others to pay your cleanup bill.
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