Contraceptives: The New Age Of Bra Burning

Liberals love to mislead people. They have made it into an art form. When Sandra Fluke went before Nancy Pelosi’s “mock committee” to “testify” about the need for insurance coverage for contraceptives, the deception was on full display, and not one member of the media has vetted this woman or her claims.

Why would they? She’s the perfect proof of their claim that conservatives hate women.

I would beg to differ. I’m a gold star lesbian – that means I have never slept with a man. I am actually kinda proud of that status. I am also politically conservative. I have not met a single conservative who seriously wanted to do harm to women. In fact, I know conservatives who have fought hard for the rights of women in Sharia nations – places in the world where women are required to remain covered from head to foot, not go anywhere without a male relative to escort them, and are barred from getting an education. Where were the liberals when this kind of thing was rampant in Afghanistan?

The entire debate revolves around contraceptives. The new federal law requires all employers to offer health insurance to employees and imposes a stiff tax penalty on individuals who do not carry health insurance. That same law requires ALL insurers to cover quite a bit. One of the requirements is that all insurance plans cover OB/GYN services and contraceptives for women.

There’s one problem with that: the Catholic church teaches that contraceptives of any kind, including condoms, are a sin according to scripture. I disagree with the Catholic church on this point, but that’s beside the point. According to the First Amendment the Catholic church has a right to their belief; since that belief does not cause deliberate physical harm to congregants nor victimize those who are not congregants, that belief cannot be abridged by any law. Here’s where it gets complicated…the Catholic church also runs hospitals and other non-profit organizations. They have more than a few employees. They don’t always require those employees to be in good standing with the church, but they don’t allow insurance that covers contraceptive medication, either.

Enter Sandra Fluke.

Denied entry to the actual committee hearings on the contraceptive mandate, she gave a planned speech riddled with errors and unverifiable claims. One of the first things that she says is that, during law school, contraceptives can cost around $3,000. That statement in itself is misleading; she failed to clarify (I believe she did it deliberately) what that means. There is no way it would cost that much per year. She likely meant throughout the course of law school, which typically runs for around three years. She also said it can cost that much – meaning it’s a possibility. In other words, she’s saying that if someone goes all-out they could spend $1,000 a year on contraceptives not covered by insurance.

Here’s where this gets a little fuzzy for me. According to Planned Parenthood, oral contraceptives can potentially cost anywhere from $15-$50 a month. Wal-Mart carries the generic brands for $4-$7 a month, but we’ll go with the low end of PP’s information. Let’s say it costs $15 a month for oral contraceptives. If you’re on these drugs throughout all of law school, that comes to a total of $540 for three years.

Let’s take a look at some of Fluke’s other claims. She talks about a lesbian friend who was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and obtained a prescription for oral contraceptives. The claim she makes here is that her friend was plunking down more than $100 a month for these drugs because the school refused to cover them. Let’s do the math on this one. If someone is paying $100 a month for drugs, full-time at the end of law school that comes out to right around $3600. So, by that math, sure – it could cost three grand. Where I get lost is why it cost that much and why birth control pills were the only treatment a doctor was able to come up with.

First of all, the most expensive name-brand oral birth control pill currently on the market costs $90 without insurance. Generics that are just as effective when they’re really only being used to treat medical conditions like PCOS are available for free at federal Title X clinics and on the cheap at big-box stores I’ve already listed. I’m wondering how this woman ended up paying over $100 a month for birth control pills. Fluke goes on to say that her friend ended up in the ER with a cyst the size of a tennis ball and had to have her ovary removed and later lamented that she’d never, even if she wanted to, give her mother grandchildren – wait, where was mom when she needed top-of-the-line birth control pills as opposed to generic medication? Doesn’t the Obama healthcare mandate also require insurance companies cover adult children up to age 26 as dependents now if the employee wants? Why couldn’t she go with mom’s insurance for that free birth control that she couldn’t be troubled to go to Title X for?

Then she tells a story that actually makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. She says that a friend was raped, but because she knew Georgetown didn’t cover contraceptives the woman supposedly assumed that was how they treated all of women’s health issues – so, supposedly, the woman never went to the doctor or got tested for STD’s.

When you are raped, whether you are male or female you should go nowhere until you have made contact with the police. Here’s how this works: you file a police report. Regardless of how much time has passed, the police will immediately take you to be examined by what’s known as a SANE nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). The nurse is highly trained and SANE’s are the only people qualified to collect forensic evidence after a sexual assault. After the exam, the nurse will discuss STD’s and give you prescriptions for three medications – one of which is for a morning-after pill that can be obtained for ten bucks and, in most states, will be reimbursed by victim assistance.

What’s even more galling is her final statement, after talking about how she was told she should have gone to school somewhere else: “And even if that meant going to a less prestigious university, we refuse to pick between a quality education and our health. And we resent that in the 21st century, anyone think it’s acceptable to ask us to make this choice simply because we are women.” She speaks as if going to a school more prestigious than a state university – say, the University of Texas (Hook ’em) – is a right. Elitism at its finest.

The claim she is making is that Georgetown’s policies are so oppressive for women that it’s an untenable situation, and it’s a bald-faced lie. As a woman and a lesbian, I don’t want Sandra Fluke trying to speak for me. I would never want someone who so blatantly twists the truth to represent me for anything – certainly not my health.