Sandra Fluke—spokeswoman for a new oppressed class that no one ever dreamed of before

Kathlene M. writes:

Like you, I am shocked that people accept the idea that the citizenry as a whole are responsible for paying for women’s birth control and that birth control is something essential to “women’s health.” If you listen to Sandra Fluke’s testimony (or read it below), her assertions are simply stunning. It seems she and her peers cannot function without subsidized birth control. Feminists, in trying to “free” women of reproduction, have instead made women slaves to their reproductive organs. Feminists sought to be free of patriarchy but are now absolutely dependent on the government.

Here’s a partial transcript of Fluke’s testimony. I’ve bolded the more bizarre claims.

When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected, and I have heard more and more of their stories. On a daily basis, I hear from yet another woman from Georgetown or other schools or who works for a religiously affiliated employer who has suffered financial, emotional, and medical burdens because of this lack of contraceptive coverage. And so, I am here to share their voices and I thank you for allowing them to be heard.

Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy. One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn’t covered, and had to walk away because she couldn’t afford it. Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception. Just last week, a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldn’t afford it any longer. Women employed in low wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice.

You might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Women’s health clinics provide vital medical services, but as the Guttmacher Institute has documented, clinics are unable to meet the crushing demand for these services. Clinics are closing and women are being forced to go without. How can Congress consider the Fortenberry, Rubio, and Blunt legislation that would allow even more employers and institutions to refuse contraceptive coverage and then respond that the non-profit clinics should step up to take care of the resulting medical crisis, particularly when so many legislators are attempting to defund those very same clinics?

These denials of contraceptive coverage impact real people. In the worst cases, women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer dire consequences. A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome and has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown insurance because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy. Under many religious institutions’ insurance plans, it wouldn’t be, and under Senator Blunt’s amendment, Senator Rubio’s bill, or Representative Fortenberry’s bill, there’s no requirement that an exception be made for such medical needs. When they do exist, these exceptions don’t accomplish their well-intended goals because when you let university administrators or other employers, rather than women and their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose aren’t, a woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body.

Here’s a link to her entire written testimony. Notice that the letterhead is for Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

LA replies:

It’s too incredible to reply to it in substance right now. I’ll just note that if some oppressive government were preventing women from reproducing, it might make sense to have an organization called Law Students for Reproductive Justice. But what Fluke and her peers feel they are being deprived of—because it is not being subsidized by others—is not birth, but birth control. So they should call themselves Law Students for Contraceptive Justice.

LA writes:

Fluke told the Congress: “When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected … who [have] suffered financial, emotional, and medical burdens because of this lack of contraceptive coverage.” How about that? The suffering these women law students undergo because of a lack of free, totally subsidized birth control pills is so great, so wearing and crushing to their spirits, that the marks of their pain can be seen on their faces as they walk about Georgetown University campus.

This is not exactly like the pain that William Blake saw in the faces of early industrial-revolution London:

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the new born Infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

Whoops, there I go, making something like Rush Limbaugh’s mistake. I swear that I did not, by quoting this poem, intend any comparison of Sandra Fluke to a prostitute. The reason I thought of the poem was that Fluke’s bathetic remark about “the faces of the women affected” echo, as farce echoes tragedy, its opening lines. However, now that I think about the last stanza, can we say that the sexual ills that Blake saw in the streets of late 18th century London—like today, a time of spreading secularism and illegitimacy—are completely unlike the sexual ills of today? In both cases, sex massively separated from love and marriage becomes a curse on the whole society. And, in the person of Sandra Fluke, that curse now rises to a new level where it is not only systematized, but subsidized, and its subsidization is demanded as a right.

- end of initial entry -

A. Patterson writes:

Hello again, Mr. Auster. Still very much enjoying VFR on a regular basis, even if I’m usually too busy working to comment. But the Sandra Fluke situation is so outrageous as to require it.

Like you, I am dumbstruck by the “logic” being trotted out here. All this “suffering” and “emotional damage” because the Feds are too cheap (or too sexist, or too something) to respect the “right” to free contraception? Yet no one is asking Sandra Fluke why, if birth-control pills are prohibitively expensive, a woman (or her male partner) can’t instead avoid the emotional damage by buying a condom. A condom costs less than a dollar. If neither a woman nor her partner are willing or able to shell out one lousy greenback to have sex, then they should find some other way to entertain themselves for the evening. A game of Scrabble, perhaps?

I may not support free contraception for 150 million American women, but I do support it for Sandra Fluke. Whatever it costs to keep her from reproducing will be money well spent.

Gintas writes:

You wrote:

I cannot get into my head that people are demanding, as a right, as an unquestionable right, that they should be provided with contraceptives totally free, at the cost of the taxpayers. No one heard of such an idea a couple of months ago. And now it’s already a pillar of America which no one may safely challenge.

This is not just the same old slow march of liberalism. It is Nietzsche finally suffering a mental collapse. Since Nietzsche went mad as part of the progress of syphilis, is this not eerily similar? Our society has gone crazy, due to sexual disease (I am speaking metaphorically—by disease I mean the utter sexual chaos of our society).

LA replies:

I agree with Gintas. This is not the familiar steady forward march of liberalism, as it takes over, appropriates, and destroys one non-liberal target after another. This is liberalism taking off into hyperspeed. And if Obamacare is not repealed, we are going to be dealing every day for the rest of our lives with this faster-than-light liberalism.

Roger G. writes:

I’m glad you didn’t intend comparing Sandra Flukes to prostitutes. Prostitutes don’t go whining to the government for subsidies.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 04, 2012 05:23 PM | Send

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