Why Rush Limbaugh And Sandra Fluke Matter For Your Health

rush limbaugh sandra fluke

Over the weekend, one of Blisstree’s readers commented on Facebook that our coverage of celebrities and Rush Limbaugh‘s birth control comments don’t meet the criteria for a wellness site. And apparently she’s not the only one who thinks health publishers should shy away from coverage of the contraceptive coverage controversy—while national news was chronicling every step of the story as a political story, it didn’t figure prominently in “health” news at all. Whether you’re a man or woman; left, right or in between: If you read health news, you should be mad if they ignored this story.

The issue has gotten convoluted and complicated, with plenty of mis-information and inflammatory statements amping up confusion on the issue, but in a nutshell, here’s what’s happened:

Last month, the GOP held a congressional hearing on whether federal mandates for contraceptive coverage in health care are an infrigement of religious liberty. Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student, was submitted as a witness by Democratic members, but her testimony was denied.

The February 16 hearing was criticized on several accounts, especially the lack of female witnesses. So on February 23, House democratic members held a separate committee, where Fluke was allowed to testify.

Fluke argued against making religious exceptions to the contraceptive mandate, pointing out that over the course of a three-year law program birth control would cost an estimated $3,000 out of pocket, and women’s free health clinics can’t meet the need for low income students whose insurance won’t help cover the costs. She also pointed to the example of a friend who suffers polycystic ovary syndrome and lost her ovary because she was refused treatment (which involves hormonal birth control) under Georgetown’s policy.

On February 29, Rush Limbaugh discussed the committee, and commented on Fluke’s testimony, calling her a slut and prostitute, with the argument that a contraceptive mandate would raise everyone’s health insurance premiums, costing us all money and thereby forcing all Americans to pay for her ability to have sex without getting pregnant.

Limbaugh echoed this sentiment three days in a row on his radio show, even after President Obama and the White House administration spoke out against Limbaugh’s comments. He continued verbal attacks on Fluke under harsh criticism, until he finally apologized over the weekend for the personal nature of his accusations.

As Rachel Maddow has more eloquently pointed out, Limbaugh’s job is to stir up controversy and offend people—I completely empathize with anyone who’d like to avoid hearing about the man entirely, and yes, there’s a small part of me that dies as I sit here admitting that his game has worked, and we should all be talking about him.

But this story involves issues that concern all of us above and beyond Limbaugh: Women’s sexual health and reproductive rights.

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    • mcinnis girl

      I’d like the list of companies who no longer sponsor Rush Limbaugh, so that I can boycott them!
      We maintain the right to freedom of speech in this country for all not just
      the establishment’s choice opinions.
      If we don’t support freedom of speech, we’ll loose it.
      As a woman, as an individual, as a free thinker I maintain the position and always have that less government is better.
      I don’t want to be manipulated by out of touch women politicians or their liberal doctrines.
      I freely support charities of my choice. I freely support people in need within my means. I am not a wealthy person by any means so I don’t have the luxury of buying goats for people in third world countries, or the luxury of buying cigarettes, booze, or drugs for people on government assistance programs who have the choice to take cash instead of food stamps, or contraception pills for young women.
      I do love my fellowman and woman, and because of that I am not going to perpetuate this selfish entitlement for people who are making sexual choices and not feeling the need to be responsible about them. If these college girls drank less booze or bought clothes and makeup on sale or cooked their own food, they’d manage to save enough money to pay for their own contraception.
      They are making poor choices and the establishment thought process and our government is supporting them and handicapping them by making them lean on government help and support even for their sexual contraception. It’s time for young and old women to stop listening to out of touch bureaucrats who hold political office or popular opinion. We are women, we are strong, we are resourceful, we are free. We don’t need the government to know everything we are doing. Keep the purchase of contraception a private choice and not a platform for egomaniacs.

      • Mackenzie

        I think you’re missing the point. The mess with Limbaugh isn’t about free speech. He flat out lied about Fluke’s testimony, let alone calling her derogatory names and demeaning titles. I’m all for the 1st Amendment protecting unpopular opinions, but it doesn’t protect the slander that Limbaugh is guilt of saying.

        And by your comments, you’re in-line with Limbaugh and O’Reilly by turning this into a morality issue when morality has nothing to do with the medicinal uses of birth control pills outside of contraception. It has absolutely nothing to do with sex.

    • Richardsmoker

      I could not agree with you more. I think all women should be on birth control and the government should pay for it. I don’t understand why there’s a war on women. We shouldn’t be fighting, we should be loving each other and using contraception except for the gays, lesbian and transgendered who don’t need birth control.
      Men are always shoving their ideas on women, like when men insist that women shave their legs. As a man, I like a natural looking woman, with all the body hair that nature intended. In fact, one of my friends finds ‘bushy’ women to be a turn on! I say “Viva la difference.”
      Of course this is really all about men controlling women’s bodies. Abortion on demand is the law of the land so women can have as many abortions as they want. Its not like men have anything to do with conception, so why should they have anything to say about about legally sucking out a small clump of cells from a uterus?
      I do not know if that sandra girl shaves her legs, but she is attractive and I am glad that she is on birth control and has access to abortion. If she got pregnant it would be very inconvenient to her career and she might have residual weight gain even if she carried the cells to term and gave it up for adoption. Men are the first to call women fat, but they don’t understand what it is like to have a baby.
      As a man I wish I could have a baby so I could understand what it would be like. Of course, I would probably choose to abort one if I wasn’t ready or it wasn’t the right gender. I’d feel pretty rotten about a woman whose child I was carrying to tell me that I couldn’t abort the clump of cells that was growing in my nether regions.
      Even if I could get pregnant, I definitely would not shave my legs.