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Monday, March 5, 2012

590

The Contraception "Debate"

I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for arguing that health insurance plans should cover birth control. I wish I could say I was, but unfortunately it’s the kind of crude, thoughtless misogyny we’ve come to expect from arguably the most influential conservative pundit in the country. What is surprising about his statements is how he and other conservatives have, for the moment, stopped trying to use arguments about religious freedom and started trying to present as a self-evident truth the idea that women should be prohibited from having sex. And that should drive home one message to virtually every American woman: that’s you he’s talking about.

Sandra Fluke was originally barred from testifying before Representative Darrell Issa’s birth control hearing (titled — and this is not a joke — “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State: Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”) because, as Issa said, “the hearing is not about reproductive rights but instead about the administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience.” But when she did testify before Congress later, saying essentially nothing more than “birth control is expensive without insurance, and women should be able to access it no matter who their employer is,” the religious freedom arguments vanished like smoke.

Instead, we got this from Limbaugh:

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. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex…If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.

(He’s since apologized, but only for his choice of words, not for his sputtering outrage at the notion of birth control coverage.)

There’s a lot to unpack in that quote — the lie about taxpayers paying for healthcare covered by private insurance, the pleasure Limbaugh would apparently get watching the very act for which he’s excoriating Fluke, the hypocrisy of opposing birth control but using Viagra (possibly for sex tourism) — but the most striking part is that Limbaugh apparently defines “slut” as “using birth control.” Perhaps he’s trying to steer around that implication with the bit about “having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception,” but that’s not how birth control works. As everyone except small children and Rush Limbaugh knows, you take one pill a day (or have one IUD/implant/other device that’s always there), regardless of your level of sexual activity.

Having so much sex you can’t afford the contraception just means having any sex, at all, without enough money to afford contraception.

That’s you he’s talking about. If you, like the vast majority of women, including almost all mothers and wives, have used contraceptives, a man with millions of devoted listeners thinks you’re a slut. He also seems to think that being a slut inherently invalidates your political opinions, particularly opinions about how health care policies directly affect you. Remember that line Darrell Issa used when barring Fluke from his original hearing? Something about how conservatives weren’t against women’s rights, they just wanted to preserve religious freedoms? Yeah, neither does Limbaugh.

By the way, that’s me he’s talking about, too. I’ve gotten birth control (without a copay, even!) through my employer-provided insurance for years, just like I’ve gotten prescription-strength cough syrup, steroid cream for allergic reactions, and other medications I could technically survive without but which make my life much more comfortable. This isn’t something I’m embarrassed to say to thousands of people on the Internet, because to me, it’s thoroughly, wholly, utterly uncontroversial. It’s just modern medicine. To Limbaugh, however, I’m a slut and a prostitute, and being either is cause for ridicule and punishment.

My sister receives birth control through her health insurance, as well. Her doctor prescribed it for her primary dysmenorrhea, a condition marked by excessive menstrual pain. It first hit her in the middle of the SAT; the pain was so bad, she left in an ambulance and had to retake the test later. Maybe Limbaugh isn’t technically talking about her, but as Fluke’s testimony pointed out, women who need hormonal birth control for reasons other than contraception often have trouble obtaining it. When you give random bureaucrats the power to decide who deserves health care and who’s an unworthy slut, they’re bound to get it wrong sometimes. But who cares, as long as all the whores get what they so obviously deserve, right?

Limbaugh isn’t going down this road alone. Bill O’Reilly has echoed his sentiments, as have many prominent conservative blogs (sample Drudge Report tweet: “Student needs contraception for 5 sex encounters per day”). Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has distanced himself from Limbaugh’s comments because of their vulgarity, but he’s actually taken a stronger stance against contraception than a whole pile of Limbaughs. He doesn’t just want to force women to pay extra for birth control, he wants to give states the power to outlaw it.

Santorum is still doing his best to obscure his anti-woman beliefs behind that tattered veil of “religious freedom,” saying things like, “I'm reflecting the views of the church that I believe in. We used to be tolerant of those beliefs.” But Limbaugh has blown conservatives’ cover — and in some warped way, I’m grateful for it. Remember that as the contraception “debate” rages on (the abortion “debate,” too). It’s never religious liberty they’re talking about. It’s women. It’s you.

Lauren O'Neal lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo by Christy Thompson, via Shutterstock



590 Comments / Post A Comment

Katie Heaney

I love thissssss, Lauren!

allinmycar

This was so clear, calm and collected - well done, ma'am!

Lauren_O'Neal

@Katie Heaney @allinmycar
:D

EpWs

@Lauren_O'Neal Seconding @Katie Heaney and @allinmycar's sentiments! I've tried to talk about this lately but all that comes out is incoherent, blind rage.

gtrachel

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ugh, me too. I think I wrote this comment on someone's Facebook page: "To anyone who wants to stop me from getting birth control, or to charge me $60 a month for it, I hope you die by getting shrunk to the size of a 16-week-old fetus, sucked into some woman's vagina, and aborted. And that stray cats dig you out of the biohazard bin and chew on your shriveled head."

EpWs

@gtrachel Heartily seconded. (It does not help that I am PMS'ing like a champ right now so my normal emotions have given way to either RAGE or DESPAIR. There is no in between. There is no logic, only Zuul, etc.)

@gtrachel I'm being charged $40. And I'm not even having the kind of sex that can get you pregnant. And yet my super awesome anti-anxiety pills are a total of $15/month.

Megasus

@S. Elizabeth Wow, really? Mine are like, less than $20, with insurance. Without I think it's more like $30-40.

@Megan Patterson@facebook Mine are with insurance. $40 WITH INSURANCE. Why? Oh, because the type I'm on doesn't come in generic because it's one of the new super low hormone ones on the market. And why am I taking that one, instead of generic, you ask? Because I am taking this particular kind because it's the one my doctor prescribed because of PCOS.

Pry my birth control from my cold, dead hands. And yeah, charging insane amounts of money will, actually, impact whether or not I have access to it. Birth control lets me lead a productive, healthy, comfortable life -- one that doesn't include losing so much blood every month that I pass out, one that doesn't include awful, painful cysts, one that doesn't include full-body shooting pain when I try to exercise one month every week. Rush Limbaugh can kiss my lovely womanly ass.

Megasus

@S. Elizabeth Yeah seriously. Contraception isn't always just to prevent pregnancy, although I wouldn't expect old white dudes to understand that (which is precisely why they should STFU). Also, is that $40 PER MONTH? Because I just realized I pay $20 for three months.

Katie Heaney

@Megan Patterson@facebook I think you're in the minority there (that is AWESOME though). $40 a month is pretty close to average, I think.

@Megan Patterson@facebook Yes, that is per month. Soooo yeah, $480/year. Did I mention I'm a student?

Inkling

@Megan Patterson@facebook
You said it perfectly! They don't understand, so they should shut the fuck up. I am seething that these people are somehow allowed to shoot their mouths off and try to pass laws on shit about which they are willfully ignorant.

julia

@Lauren_O'Neal Yes, thank you for busting the 'religious freedom' farce. This is about control of women, period.

Megasus

@Katie Heaney Well I live in Canada, so apparently it's much, much cheaper here (because I definitely don't have great insurance). Which I am thankful for! But y'all down south should not be going broke over it, that's just incredibly wrong, and I did not realize that's how bad it's gotten.

no way

@julia I'd argue it's not about control of women, per se, but about control of the discussion. It's a wedge issue used to obfuscate the larger debate. They are using highly charged religious freedom terminology and an anti-women stance to redirect the public's attention.

Republicans don't have a lot to rail against now that Obama's actions and policies have shown positive results. So they are doing their damnedest to redirect discussion somewhere they can guarantee folks will hold strong opinions. And it is working. This is a calculated move. These are intentionally charged words this dick is using, not a slip up we've caught him on.

pkle

@Megan Patterson@facebook "Contraception isn't always just to prevent pregnancy"

For seriously! I was put on birth control before I'd even had my first kiss. Frankly, I should have been on it for 2 years already at that point, but it took that long for everyone to figure out that cysts were why I was getting violently ill every other month.

I have been paying $50 a month for 9 years now, because my health insurance doesn't see this as a particularly necessary medication, despite the fact that I cannot eat or drink more than a tiny sip for a full week 6 times a year without it. Or that every single woman on my mother's side either eventually had a hysterectomy or died of ovarian cancer.
(well ok, I think maybe for a while at first I was paying $40 a month...)

bunB

@S. Elizabeth Oh yeah, $40 a month here too, with insurance. And I work for the federal government.

Megasus

@pkle That is fucking bullshit!

feartie

@Katie Heaney I pay zero for my b.c. pills - it used to be 5 pounds for three months worth. I started because of frighteningly irregular and heavy periods. All prescriptions in Scotland are free, thank goodness, as I am still unemployed in this shitty economy.

While in the states I bough pills online from and Indian-based pharmacy. They did the trick, but at 80 dollars for six months were a still bit much. I can share the site if anyone else is brave enough to go that route!

Also isn't it funny that Limbaugh said the student was 'having so much sex' she needed lots of birth control - I presume he was in this case still talking about BC. Man, that sex was so good, I had to take two pills! (damn, can't remember what film that was from). I don't trust him to have even a basic knowledge of how they work.

saul "the bear" berenson

@Katie Heaney I'm on Empire, through my employer, and I pay $70 each month for the Nuvaring. I'm getting an IUD next month, and gonna save that nearly-900 bucks a year for a trip to Paris. F U Newt, Rush, Santorum, et all.

Lizanne07

@julia Yes, EXACTLY. It never really seems to be about anything but controlling women and their god damn sexuality. And if we want to go be sluts and prostitutes anyway (i.e., have premarital sex without the intention of producing children), we'd better be prepared to pay up!

I am just so angry, SO DAMN ANGRY about this today.

My BC used to be $5/month because Planned Parenthood is awesome. Now I have insurance and it's $15, not so bad. $40 is rough.

feartie

@Lizanne07 There should be a little card handed to new immigrants to the US that tells them 'by the way, planned parenthood does all these things'. Because I sure as hell didn't know. (this was especially relevant when I discovered a tumour in my breast and had no health insurance, so basically just dealt with the fear until I went home).

HeyThatsMyBike

@Lizanne07 My old kind was $75 a month! My insurance reimbursed me fully, but I still had to wait 6-8 weeks for that check. For those doing the math at home (and for that crazy troll downthread), that math comes out to $900 a year if I hadn't been reimbursed.

Alter Kocker

@S. Elizabeth I don't want to get all up in your personal stuff, but make sure you look on-line for generic equivalents of the exact chemical names and doses (not brand-names) of what you're taking. There are often generics available. Your doctor has no particular incentive to try to find them for you, but you do! Also, talk to your pharmacist - they may be able to make a recommendation, which you can confirm with your doctor. There should be no reason these days to over-pay for brand-name birth control pills, even if they are not technically for birth control.

fondue with cheddar

@allinmycar Calm, cool, and collected, indeed. It's hard to talk about this without spouting venom. Well done, Lauren.

@Alter Kocker They don't make a generic of this stuff. :( already tried.

AndSomethingElse

@no way Y'know, I'd argue the opposite: I suspect Democrats brought this up right now (during the primary race, exactly when Republicans are trying to prove how conservative they are) on purpose to force Republicans to take a stand on it, knowing that they'd end up in a mess like this. This is a TERRIBLE issue for Republicans. There's a tiny minority of people who want every sexual encounter to result in pregnancy; everyone else is all for free contraception.

Truth: If you're against insurance covering contraception, you're not getting enough sex.

PistolPackinMama

@Katie Heaney Pssssst. Don't encourage her. I mean... we don't want to have our inoffensive slumber party vibe ruined by politics and womens' rights and stuff.

Jeez.

Sensory Homoncula

@Katie Heaney & @ Elizabeth-- My gyno explained that the Pharmaceutical company had obtained a new patent for the same dose, same drug, because the 31 day pack only had FOUR inert pills instead of SEVEN. So it offered more days of hormonal coverage with a shorter period.

She said I could get the generic but it would have 7 inert pills

wharrgarbl

@Alexander That doesn't really jibe with Santorum having been very out as anti-contraception since the beginning of his campaign. The "I think states have the right to ban it" thing was one of the first non-google things he made headlines for this time out.

AnnaBarenina

@S. Elizabeth Do you have the name of it? I work in a pharmacy (in Australia mind you) and get all my prescriptions at cost price (yay for awesome boss and $2.50/month contraception). I'm sure I could get some kind of non-profit bc international drug ring running...

@AnnaBarenina Lo Loestrin Fe. Nectar of the motherfucking uterus goddesses. Not the same as Loestrin 24.

Lol Loestrin Fe has 10 mcg of estrogen. It is what I need.

AnnaBarenina

@S. Elizabeth Looking into it today! Keep checking back I'll let you know if it is available here (Aus are quite slow in testing and approving new medications)

AnnaBarenina

@S. Elizabeth Ok so it is currently still under testing waiting on TGA approval :( Not yet available in Aus, but when I showed the pharmacists the fact sheet I found they were all really amazed by it because it is some kind of miracle product. Their surprise at it shows though that we are a long way from getting it here. Makes me sad because I wanted to help! Sorry :(

@AnnaBarenina Trust me, it *is* a miracle product. My quality of life has drastically improved since I started taking it and no side effects and 3 day periods and no more anemia and... I could go on and on.

EpWs

ON FIRE. ALL THE FIRE. ALL THE TIME.

Daisy Razor

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher "Rush Limbaugh opens mouth; sales of flamethrowers skyrocket."

JoanTition

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
I've decided to invent something I'd like to call a "SET EVERYTHING ON FIRE" coven.
We will.. well.. SET EVERYTHING ON FIRE.
It's a good way to channel rage.

anachronistique

@JoanTition If I could figure out how to make the FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE leap through the ether and set these dudes on fire, I would.

redheaded&crazy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Word Edubs.

I'm very impressed by the author's ability to express these points so clearly, because even though the arguments against anti-contraception people seem so self-evident to me, this kind of bullshit provokes INCOHERENT RAGE in me

leading to garbled stuttering. WHAT - I - THEY. FUCK. ARGH. FIRE.

Prostitute Robot From The Future

@redheaded&crazy OMG this. I don't even. What? He said what now?

.....

SarcasticFringehead

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Because sometimes the world is just so awful that I have to retreat to the world of novelty t-shirts, I present this. It will be our uniform.

The Lady of Shalott

Sometimes the world of politics is so depressing it hurts. But this article is great.

Coincidentally, while I read this article, the alarm went off on my phone so I could remember to take my birth control pill.

applestoapples

And yet NO ONE on the side of "Oh, I don't want to pay for your sluttiness" will answer whether it's fair that Medicare (i.e., actual government money) covers Viagra.
It's all about dicks, by dicks and for dicks.

martinipie

@applestoapples EXACTLY. And it seems to escape these commentators that if women stopped having sex like they're demanding, there would be no women for them to have sex with but of course, THEY should be able to have sex whenever they want. UGH.

EpWs

@applestoapples "A government of the dicks, by the dicks, and for the dicks"

wharrgarbl

@martinipie Well, I actually am in favor of them being able to have all the sex they like with whatever gentlemen will have them. But I somehow suspect that's not the world they're trying to cultivate, here.

ilikemints

@applestoapples This link might make you feel a little better about the debate.

applestoapples

@ilikemints "We must advocate for the traditional family, protect the sanctity of procreation, and ensure that all men using PDE-5 inhibitors are healthy, stable, and educated about their options--including celibacy as a viable life choice. This legislation will do just that."
BWAHAHAHAHA. Perfect.

Leon Tchotchke

@applestoapples There actually is a canned talking point response to that, which is "Viagra addresses a specific medical condition, contraception does not." Which is, of course, *TOTAL* BS for a number of reasons (ie. various birth control IS used to treat numerous very real medical conditions, and 'my genitals will not stand upright' isn't much of a medical condition to begin with). But most importantly it's also completely besides the point and stupid.

EpWs

@Leon Tchotchke Fertility isn't a medical condition?

applestoapples

@Leon Tchotchke Well, if they're delegitimizing secondary uses for birth control, it should be noted that Viagra was originally developed for hypertension. The only reason Pfizer chose to list ED as a primary function is because of money, natch.

Also, if God doesn't want you to have wood, you're clearly going against his plan by popping those little blue diamonds.

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Pregnancy is a medical condition. If you don't want to come down with Pregnancy, you have to take the right medication to prevent it.

D.@twitter

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Fertility is the "right" condition though. It means you're healthy and can have ALL THE BABIES. B/c that's what God wants, duh.

whateverlolawants

@ilikemints Sen. Nina Turner is my new hero. That picture of her is so delightful. That expression says it all.

paddlepickle

My favorite thing about that quote is he thinks that you have to take more oral contraception the more sex you have. Which begs the question: What ARE the pills his wife needs to pop every time she has sex with him?

applestoapples

@paddlepickle I thought it was weird that he kept equating the amount of birth control used with the number of times one has sex.

But then I remembered that he's a arrogant blowhard whose idea of fun includes sex tourism, and he probably thinks that everyone else also has to function on the Pay Each Time You Fuck system.

EpWs

@paddlepickle Loritab.

wharrgarbl

@applestoapples He never got past that stage where you externalize every last thing about your own current experience to everyone else on the planet, ever. So clearly, birth control functions exactly like the viagra he's needed for the past decade or so.

Alixana

@paddlepickle This actually made more sense to me once I realized that conservatives think all birth control is interchangeable. The math that I have seen them doing is not so much "you take a pill every time you have sex" but rather it's "a condom costs $1 per encounter, so if you're saying you need $3000 a year for BC, you must be having sex 3000 times a year" NEVER MIND THAT IT'S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT MATH. That is, they seem to think that women should just be using the cheapest available contraception (and paying for it themselves out of pocket, obviously), because they lack the sex ed knowledge to understand why someone might want to take the pill, specifically. Also, because everyone has a partner who is willing and able to use condoms, and there's no such thing as contraceptive coercion, obviously.

slutberry

@Alixana Yeah, I was wondering if he was just automatically thinking of condoms? By dicks & for dicks, indeed.

Perhaps we should market birth control pills as a "dysmenorrhea drug" with a side effect of temporary infertility? And then we should smack him upside the head a few times and push him into a basket of thistles.

applestoapples

@wharrgarbl Yeah, you mean the Viagra he purchases illegally from time to time? Seriously.

Yankee Peach

@paddlepickle Yes. This. On one hand it's hilarious but on the other hand infuriating that the men (!!) leading the charge against women's reproductive rights know absolutely nothing about women's reproductive systems. See also: governor of Virginia who didn't know exactly what the transvaginal probe was but was ready to sign it into law.

wharrgarbl

@Yankee Peach My strong suspicion on that one is that he knew exactly what it was but thought it was an easy out from being "Governor Wand-Rapist."

WaityKatie

@Alixana And condoms are 100 percent effective.

@WaityKatie And the government's job is to tell you what kind of contraceptives you should use. Right? Right???

AniaGosia

@S. Elizabeth Certainly doesnt sound like the 'less government intervention' line that the Repubs are supposedly in favor of. FIRE!!

Alixana

@paddlepickle Ugh, another thing I keep seeing is "BC can't possibly be $3000 over 3 years, Brand X is only $10 a month at my local pharmacy!" Yes, because EVERYONE lives in your small town with its low pharmacy prices, and Brand X works for EVERYONE automagically. Ugh.

wharrgarbl

@Alixana Also, most places will not prescribe without at least an office visit, and a lot of places will not prescribe without a pelvic exam/pap. Which are rather expensive if your insurance doesn't exist or only covers some of the services. So on top of the price of the pills themselves, you have the doctor's fees necessary to get the prescription in the first place.

Megasus

@Yankee Peach AHHHH WHAT IS A TRANSVAGINAL PROBE IT SOUNDS TERRIFYING D:

slutberry

@Megan Patterson@facebook It is a big ol' dildo with an ultrasound panel thingy on the head. They're really awful.

Megasus

@teffodee D: D: D: D: !!!!!

slutberry

@Megan Patterson@facebook Yep. One time in the ER (for pains that I am quite certain weren't menstrually-involved-- I have all sorts of menstrual issues, but this was definitely not part of it) the doctor told me she needed to do an ultrasound to check if one of my ovaries was twisted. She didn't tell me whether or not it would be transvaginal, so I didn't pee, assuming it wasn't. She came in, started the (transvaginal) ultrasound, with a resident watching, then told me I had to go pee because my bladder was getting in the way (AFTER SHE HAD STARTED THE ULTRASOUND. Not before!) So I went and peed and came back and she started at me with this massive probe again all up in my cervix, and when she finished she admitted that you CANNOT ACTUALLY TELL if a woman has a twisted ovary from an ultrasound. SO I HAD TWO UNNECESSARY TRANSVAGINAL ULTRASOUNDS BACK TO BACK WHILE THIS RESIDENT WATCHED. It was awful.

EpWs

@teffodee HO.LY.SHIT. That sounds horrific, I am so so very sorry that happened to you! (Also OMG TWISTED OVARIES CAN HAPPEN? My entire ladybusiness just clenched in horror.)

slutberry

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yep. AND she didn't ask me if I was allergic to latex before she used a latex condom (if you are, they're use a nitrile glove instead), so my ladybusiness was all itchy forever.

Yes, twisted ovaries can happen if you get ovarian cysts-- the cyst twists the ovary on its stalk. It just makes ovulation more painful (I really doubt I have this, because my cramps of doom are the week of, very rarely during ovulation). They can fix it via laporoscopic surgery, but what the doctor told me post-ultrasound was that you can't really diagnose it except by investigative surgery. So, yeah.

EpWs

@teffodee OHGODOHGODOHGOD. That is TERRIFYING. Is that a...thing that happened to you? I really really hope not...

(Also: the doctor with the trans-vag ultrasound is a horrible person. They need to be set on fire with something they're allergic to. GUH. People, basic manners--before you put anything inside another human, maybe ASK FIRST??)

slutberry

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I don't think it is a thing that happened to me-- I have a history of ovarian cysts, but I'm not polycystic, and my cramps are worst during menstruation, not ovulation. I'm still not convinced that that particular ER visit was spurred by menstrual problems (I woke up in the early morning in so much back/abdo pain I couldn't stand up, so gentleman called the ambulance, but by the time they'd gotten there I was lots better, and I think they assumed I was just another chick who couldn't handle cramps grrr grumble grumble rage) But right now I'm trying to keep things as low-invasive as possible; I'm not even ready to take the Pill yet, because I'm freaked out about messing with my hormones (not a birth control necessity right now, if it were I'd be takin' em regardless because IUD's freak me out way more) So I'm on big doses of Evening Primrose oil, which seems to be helping. My suspicion is I have one of those dysmenorrhea things that's sort of a fancy term for "it hurts like HELL when I menstruate"

Megasus

@teffodee See above post, BUT TIMES A MILLION. I can't believe that happened to you! And you didn't complain? AND YOU PROBABLY PAID FOR IT!? I can't even.

slutberry

@Megan Patterson@facebook Didn't pay for it! Love Canada's healthcare (okay, gentleman ended up paying ambulance fees, which sucks, but nothing for the care itself). I've had to go to the ER several times in the past year or so (grumble body which somatizes stress like hell grumble) and this was my first negative experience. Plus, the guy who runs the ER-- the clerk guy who makes sure everything goes smoothly-- was AMAZING.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, they put a 2 inch stent in my arm "in case they needed to draw more blood" and then FORGOT IT WAS THERE. They tried to discharge me with a stent in my arm. Awesome ER Clerk came by and said, "Oh, I thought we discharged you!" and I said, "Yeah, but I still have your needle!" and he said, "What, I thought those were in fashion now!"

Annnnd they didn't have a gyny room for me, so they just hoisted my hips up on a bedpan.

So, it was a miserable experience, but it was my first miserable experience at this hospital, and seriously, it was just that doctor.

Megasus

@teffodee :O!! Well at least you didn't pay them. But still, if a doctor came at me with one of those probe things I would run the fuck away. Luckily the only ultrasound I've ever had was on my foot.

MissMushkila

@paddlepickle They can happen, and if they do and it isn't caught right away the ovary will die and then you need emergency surgery to remove it.

My sister had a twisted ovary from a cyst, and she kept going into her college medical center in agony. They told her to take some ibuprofen. Finally she drove home, pulling over to throw up because the pain was so bad every few miles, and our general physician immediately took her into surgery. She had already been to the doctor THREE TIMES before anyone did anything other than tell her to rest and take some painkillers.

So although no one wants two transvaginal exams, you know, at least you still have your ovary. I had a bad ovarian cyst too, and they did a transvaginal ultrasound right away because it was on the same side as my appendix and they thought I might have appendicitis. From what I understand, they can't confirm it every time, but it can show what is going on.

Xanthophyllippa

@Megan Patterson@facebook Mine was incredibly painful, though nowhere near what teffodee went through. I just essentally got this thing shoved up and the technician used it to stir around my innards like she was mixing cake batter. It made me cry - more than once.

I also did the thing with the drinking ALL the water beforehand - because they hadn't told me what a transvaginal was and I didn't think to look it up. LAST time I have a medical procedure without Googling it.

Slapfight

@MissMushkila I've had a couple of transvaginal ultrasounds. My ladydoctor loves to make sure everything's all cool in there, because I've had some problems. I didn't find it all THAT horrible. But you know, I'm a Limbaugh-defined slut. I probably should have recorded it and posted it to my youtube page.
That said, I can't see why you'd ever need one in the cases they're being mandated for these days. That's just invasive unnecessary bullshit.

wharrgarbl

@Slapfight I imagine TV ultrasounds are one of those things where the experience for a necessary one is going to vary wildly between individual patient, practitioner, and circumstances. But I can't imagine it ever going well when it's "So, the state says we have to jam this up your cooch, make you look at the picture, and then bill you for it. No, this doesn't necessarily obviate the need to do it again to actually get medically-applicable information."

Slapfight

@wharrgarbl Agreed. It enrages me that certain states are requiring it unnecessarily to "shame" women into not having abortions. But as far as necessary medical procedures go, it's not always horrifying. I just don't want people to worry in case they need them in the future. That's not to say we shouldn't fight back tooth and nail on these stupid bills for which they ARE unnecessary.
Speaking of which, I'm loving this trend of female reps introducing equally ridiculous bills for men's health in retaliation.
Not sure if I'm being clear. Still waiting for my coffee to kick in.

@serenityfound

"Having so much sex you can’t afford the contraception just means having any sex, at all, without enough money to afford contraception."

^THIS.

muddgirl

I wish I could just dismiss Limbaugh and his calculated 'misstatements', but I know a lot of people who listen to him and his cruel ideology gives other people the license to be cruel.

If we take Limbaugh's ranting to its logical conclusion, anyone who has sex and earns a paycheck is a prostitute. Functionally, there is NO DIFFERENCE between being financially compensated for work via a paycheck and being financially compensated for work via subsidized health insurance premiums, except that the second case provides a net benefit to the employer via healthier employees.

That's right, employer-sponsered health insurance is a benefit to the employer. There is a reason they decide to offer health insurance rather than cut you a check for the cost of the premium. Letting them decided what health coverage to provide doesn't make any sense in this context - can employers dictate where employees can go during Paid Time Off? Can they dictate what employees can spend their paycheck on?

JoanTition

I know it's not the best reaction to have, but this "debate" makes me feel so fucking HELPLESS.
Ugh.
UGH.

EpWs

@JoanTition ME TOO.

dormilona

@JoanTition Same here! And I want to do something other than be sad and angry and ulcer-y feeling about this!

JoanTition

@dormilona
Me too! WHAT DO WE DO? Is that a dumb question? Are we even able to actually DO anything? Is everything just pointless?
AHHH SADZ.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@JoanTition This debate makes me feel not so much helpless as it gives me a sense that all my potentially calm, composed rebuttals are about to be superseded by a compulsion to show up at Rush Limbaugh's door with a samurai sword in one hand and a sock full of pennies in the other hand.

Faintly Macabre

@JoanTition This is how I've been feeling about basically everything in politics lately. It just seems like the mass of people who are completely opposed to reason and tolerance is too great and too hateful to imagine things improving.

JoanTition

@Faintly Macabre
I know! There's no arguing with them because they don't give a flying fuck about reason. It feels impossible to to do anything about any of this. It's so FRUSTRATING.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

@JoanTition I have been expressing the same feeling on a daily basis to my friends the past couple weeks. One day in particular I remember coming home in a tearful rage over one blowhard's comments that in his day, "women held an aspirin between their knees" for birth control; I was complaining to my boyfriend that night that I just didn't know what to DO and felt invisible.

After we talked about this for a while he said, "You know what else you could do? Start a hardcore band!"

Let's have a Pinup and SCREAM OUR RAGE, ladies!

BoozinSusan

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Starting a hardcore band sounds like the only possible option. Also, Edith could charm Carrie Brownstein into fronting for us.

JoanTition

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas
1: I heard the aspirin comment while I was getting ready for work and I started throwing things at my clock radio.

2: I had a thought today about starting a hardcore/ riot grrl band! IT'S IN THE STARS! WE WILL ALL ANNIHILATE WITH RAGE.

bowtiesarecool

@JoanTition Me too. I've been active in politics for a fair amount of time, relative to my age, and this is apparently the final straw. I just wake up every morning feeling overwhelmed by how much people HATE me, and how subhuman they think I am, for having the gall to possess a uterus. There are so many people who think I deserve to suffer for being a woman, and how do you even counter that? Studying economics and doing policy analysis and conducting civil advocacy seems so futile in the face of reasonless, spiteful hate.

Just...fire. All the fire.

Dusk

@JoanTition You just totally coalesced my feelings on this. I was so RAGE and I couldn't understand why. Helplessness, yes! Because I feel like nothing I do is going to help anyone. Even if I rant on FB, it's not going to affect the people going "Pfft what a whore!" or "Why should I help poor people?" and then I'll just lose my everlovin' mind.

dormilona

@BoozinSusan YES! Let's have a traveling hardcore band. and then we SET IT ALL ON FIRE once we're done. IUDeeeelightful!

Judith Slutler

@JoanTition Yep, me too. I can't stop thinking about how lucky I am to live in a country where my need for reproductive health is not up for debate. This has had me stewing over a possible change in citizenship for the first time in... ever.

Veronica Lemmons

@JoanTition Indeed. Yes, I feel like this article made me better prepared to handle a debate on this issue, but it's rare that I'm confronted with people who actually listen to and believe Rush Limbaugh. Most of my friends are liberals or at least socially liberal (non-Tea Party fiscal conservatives still exist, amazingly). My dad at one point listened to Rush, but we don't talk politics except maybe once a year, and only after a bottle of wine. What am I gonna do, call up my dad and bait him into an argument about slut-shaming? I hate to say it, but I've taken an ostrich's response to this whole shitty piece of political theater: anytime I hear "contraceptive debate," even on the Daily Show, I pretty much stick my head in the sand.

EpWs

@Emmanuelle Cunt Where do you liveeeee and are they accepting applications?

laurel

Hardcore bands! Yes, let's start hardcore bands all across the nation. This is my favorite solution to anything ever.

Also, we can vote. We can vote. Let's all vote. Listen, I'm not satisfied with Obama--he's a creature of the two-party system and not nearly progressive enough for me--but I like his SCOTUS appointments far more than Bush's. We can advocate for his re-election and the election of progressive candidates where we live.

Campaigning is stupid and boring but I'm afraid we can't stay out of it. The crazy regressives aren't staying out of it. And they are coming for us.

Judith Slutler

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I live in Fortress Europe and they are not particularly excited about applications... no they are not. I'm told I might have a chance though, because I'm fluent and went to college here.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

@BoozinSusan @JoanTition This would (really, actually!) make all my dreams come true.

@laurel His SCOTUS appointments have been baller.

laurel

@P.S. Please don't hate me

Why can't SNL be like that all the time?!

EpWs

@P.S. Please don't hate me "While we'd love to accept your apology, Foster[/Rush], you made a mistake, and now you have to live with that mistake for the rest of your life."

Amy Poehler is my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE.

needsmoresalt

@JoanTition Volunteer at Planned Parenthood. The point of Rush Limbaugh saying that is to get his listeners all worked up, and it has worked. But if the people who are horrified by him stay calm and work on helping even more women have access to healthcare, then his behavior will have the exact opposite effect of what he intended.

bnna

@JoanTition There are people writing letters/ e-mails to Limbaugh's advertisers, many of them have left his show. Support Planned Parenthood and continue proudly using contraception.

laurel

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher "Don't tell me what to do! #poehler" needs to be our rallying cry.

wharrgarbl

@needsmoresalt Don't underestimate the power of righteous anger, though. Limbaugh's sponsors, Komen, Beck's sponsors, Imus's sponsors...a lot of them were responding not to "Oh, our customers are disappointed with us" but "Oh, shit, our customers are really quite angry with us and feel personally slighted by behavior we're underwriting. We actually need to do something about this."

Pushback can come from both directions! We can volunteer with/contribute to PP and fire off an email letting ProFlowers (or whoever) know that we heard their ad less than fifteen seconds after the personality they're paying literally called our mom a giant whore who should be filmed having sex, and guess who's definitely not getting our business when her birthday rolls around?

(Basically, I'm a big fan of using anger to get the letters written and the phone calls made and love to get the volunteer hours and long-term commitments made.)

Veronica Lemmons

@wharrgarbl I just donated to Planned Parenthood. Thanks for the suggestion.

olivebee

There's nothing I can say that everyone else here isn't already thinking or hasn't been echoed in this post very eloquently, so I just want to say "yes."

(This is also much more succinct than my rage-filled grunting and swearing and muttering about disgusting pigs with influence and power that occurred this weekend when my [feminist] husband was listening to Rachel Maddow's most recent podcast about this whole thing).

HeyThatsMyBike

This is such a great, concise summary of all the rage I've been feeling the last couple of weeks.

The fact that we even have to bring up the fact that the pill is prescribed for things other than not getting pregnant is just amazing, because we shouldn't even need to take the argument that far. And yet, here we are.

olivebee

@HeyThatsMyBike Yeah, I've found that that is what I am bringing up the most when arguing with nay-sayers. I'd venture to guess a large portion of women got prescribed the pill for a reason other than contraception (myself included...I suffered from horrible PMDD in high school), and that contraception may just be a secondary benefit. Granted, even if it IS the main reason for a woman to take it...ain't nothin' wrong with that, either.

anachronistique

@HeyThatsMyBike That's the thing I always get hung up on; I am not having sex but my pill keeps me from missing work due to cramps and from spotting heavily for half the month. BUT IT SHOULDN'T MATTER. It shouldn't matter if I want to screw every dude who so much as looks at me or if I dedicate my life to celibacy. I should still be able to control my fertility without it being a FEDERAL FUCKING CASE.

I wonder if there are nuns who take the pill.

Faintly Macabre

@anachronistique I completely agree, though I think it's telling that so few of these men know anything about the pill's medical uses. Which, presumably, would require knowing the private lives of more than one or zero women and require some curiosity about modern medicine.

EpWs

@anachronistique YES YES THIS. It SHOULD NOT FUCKING MATTER if you want to use the pill for contraception, other medical issues, or turning into earrings.

anachronistique

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yeah, we don't want to turn it into "well, okay, managing your hormones is okay if it's not for DIRTY WHOREISH SEX", because... no.

(Am I the only one who looks at the week of placebo pills and wants to come up with a craft project for them?)

themegnapkin

@anachronistique There must be nuns on the pill, right? When I was in college (a Jesuit school that has been much in the news lately), a friend of mine had to go on the pill because her acne medication carried such a high risk of birth defects that her doctor would not prescribe it to her unless she agreed in writing to use 2 separate forms of birth control. Her other b.c.: abstinence (I know, people who say they're abstinent are usually lying, but we were housemates, I'm pretty sure she wasn't lying). So, according to Rush, good, high-achieving, religious girl = slutty prostitute?

But, I am in total agreement with the rest of you - it shouldn't matter what you take the pill for. These debates make me want to create a "Million Sluts March on Washington." I would totally do it.

brista128

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I can't believe it! Etsy doesn't have any birth control pill earrings!

hijabeng

@anachronistique Muslim virgin chick, so living the life of a nun. Yeah, I take birth control pills and THEY ARE AWESOME. I WILL NEVER GIVE THEM UP. The fact that I don't have to take pain killers anymore and can live a normal life......the relief can't be written out.

ikkepagrasset

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I totally made a pair of earrings out of the bubble pack from my birth control when I was taking it 6 years ago — I even wore them to church! I used to get lots of compliments on them, but I stopped wearing them because my aunt told me they were "sending the wrong message" to men. I should dig those out — I think the message they send is entirely appropriate at the moment!

Megoon

@HeyThatsMyBike Yes yes yessssss!

The worst part of this, to me, are the scores of anonymous commenters on every article about this, saying, "he was rude but he's not wrong; she should keep her legs closed!" Then I short-circuit. I use contraceptives and I'm MARRIED: are my choices SERIOUSLY limited between having eight children or forcing my husband to sleep on the couch? It makes me sputteringly angry. Getting worked up again I must go watch some kitten videos before it's too late art203948ruqw;kjdfasf

wharrgarbl

@Megoon What I want to know is what, exactly, they think is wrong with sex. Is everyone a fully-consenting adult? Yes? Okay, then, what's the damn problem? Which angel gets its wings if two people who are dtf and not hurting anybody go for it in a way that best meets all parties' health and safety needs?

Iggles McFearson

@HeyThatsMyBike "I should still be able to control my fertility without it being a FEDERAL FUCKING CASE."
YES. YES. YES.

This is my new username

@Iggles McFearson Exactly! I take birth control because I don't want to get pregnant when I have sex with exactly as many people s I want, as many times as I want. And that is my business.

Bebe

I find it interesting that a man who has been married 4 times and yet has never (thank god) produced any children is so vehemently anti-contraception. Are we to assume that his wives used the rhythm method and just got lucky?

Daisy Razor

@Bebe Either that or their uteruses climbed out of their bodies in revolt after catching a glimpse of him.

gtrachel

@Daisy Razor I literally just snorted when I read that.

wharrgarbl

"and in some warped way, I’m grateful for it."

Yeah, I know that feeling. It gets very discouraging, trying to explain to boys who should know better--but who do so love mansplaining things to ladies--that these positions are not "thoughtful" or "nuanced" or "conscientious compromises." They're lady-hating.

When it all gets out in the open like that, though, even the dumbest dudebro tends to be looking at it going "But I like sex and don't have any interest in being a father right now/with this girl/at all. This is a terrible fucking idea! A terrible fucking idea which now obviously affects me, personally! I need to write my senator immediately! Why is there no "Stop cockblocking me, bro" subject heading in this dropdown menu?"

Bebe

@wharrgarbl Even my husband wasn't getting why this was all so upsetting to me, until I pointed out to him that this means his wife, his mother, his sisters, his sister-in-law, his mother-in-law, and several of his close friends are being called sluts and prostitutes. That Rush was saying we should film ourselves every time we have sex and post it online because I am a whore for using birth control that is (just barely, btw) covered by health insurance and he (Rush) therefore thinks he has a right to watch me have sex. There should be an outcry from every man of good conscience who resents the implication that their mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends are prostitutes for using contraception.

wasabi peas

@wharrgarbl In a world where men tell women to avoid sex if they don't want to get pregnant, and women in turn deny men sex, Men from all walks of life decide that "Enough is enough!" and take the battle over contraception back to where it all began.

STOP COCKBLOCKING ME, BRO! Coming to Congress when men realize that a woman not having sex is one more woman who won't be having sex with them.

brista128

@wasabi peas Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

redheaded&crazy

@wasabi peas soooooooooooo good. so good. so good.

see.emily.read

@wharrgarbl obviously you need to be designing congressional websites. Choices: "Stop cockblocking me, bro," "P.S. Your wife uses contraception." etc.

Katie Aaberg@facebook

@wasabi peas It's like Lysistrata 2012! Everyone stop fucking until your man stands up and secures unfettered access to health care/birth control/abortions!

EpWs

@Katie Aaberg@facebook Time to start writing letters to our congressmen's wives/girlfriends/sex workers. "Attn: Ladies who enjoy remaining unfertilized!"

PistolPackinMama

@wasabi peas Sooooooooo... when are we taking our new and updated version of Lysistrata on the road?

Aristophanes would be so proud to see he is still relevant in this way.

Dang: Katie Aaberg beat me to it...

alebee

@wharrgarbl I'm going to start explaining it this way to all my dude-friends, and there's a large possibility that I'm going to make them all t-shirts. Because seriously.

cuminafterall

I just can't believe we're having debates about birth control in 2012. Two thousand and twelve! Forty years after Eisenstadt v. Baird. The mind boggles.

martinipie

@cuminafterall I KNOOWWWWWW even my ancient GRANDMOTHER is extremely confused about it. She says "Where are the STATESMEN? I'm tired of these politicians."

SuperGogo

@martinipie I love that quote. Your grandma must be an amazing woman.

teaandcakeordeath

@cuminafterall
This is my reaction to. Why do people think they can have a say on what other people do with their bodies? Yes they say its about the money but I find that ludicrous. A budget exists to ensure that people who cant afford the care that they need get the care that they need and it is for the doctor prescribing those meds to decide whether the patient needs them. Rush is an oxygen thief.

EpWs

@teaandcakeordeath This is part of the "How the hell can you say you're for small government when THIS?/You don't want the government telling you what to do but you are totally fine with the government telling the ladies, the gays, the Muslims, etc. what to do." REALLY???

teaandcakeordeath

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
It. Makes. No. Damned. Sense.

AniaGosia

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It makes no sense whatsoever. But the Republican primaries are not about reasoned debate, clearly. I'm just hoping that the more ridiculous things are said, the more obvious it will be that these people are completely incompetent when the real election comes around.

Lily Rowan

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I didn't make this up, but: The government needs to be small enough to fit right up my cootch, apparently.

Petrichoria

I get so sad.

I just want to get two chairs and sit down with one of these dudes. One of these men who hate women so much, who spout such hateful, ugly things. And I want to look at them and make them look at me and I want to ask them, "What did I do? What part of my existence is so offensive to you?"

Because it boggles my mind. I know that we're trying to overcome centuries of patriarchy and misogyny. I know that things don't change overnight. I know that for all of the progress women have made, there's still so much more to do for women all over the world.

But how can I not be a person? How can I be less than? How can I not qualify to have the same rights and same care as you do? How is my body less of a body, how is my life less of a life? How can my choices be less of a choice? How can you try to belittle me and my thoughts, my ideas, my future, and my self-expression?

I am not less than. I don't deserve to be treated as such. And I don't understand how sons of mothers, brothers of sisters, husbands of wives, and fathers of daughters can still try to make me less than.

To quote Charlie Young, "I don't mind you disrespecting people. I mind you doing it out loud."

I know why it is the way it is. But I don't understand it.

madge

@LaFabuliste the problem is that these people are actually at a lower level of development than we are. their worldview is literally less evolved. they see the world in black and white, and they see authority and patriarchy as GOOD, stabilizing things.

which, yeah, when we were coming out of the dark ages, they WERE good, stabilizing things. they brought order to the chaos and from order came the stability and affluence that allowed culture to flourish at that time. hierarchy and adhering to traditions and monotheism were cutting edge thinking hundreds / thousands of years ago.

but it's several centuries later now, which means their worldview is several centuries out of date.

those of us living in the 21st century can look back and see their points and reject them from our more comprehensive point of view, but they can't do the same for us. it's like, a 20 year old can understand a 13 year old, or someone standing on top of a mountain can look down and see the layout of the terrain below them ... but the reverse isn't true.

luckily, these old fucks will die someday. hopefully soon.

bowtiesarecool

@LaFabuliste I have nothing to add other than brilliantly said. Right on, sister.

BoozinSusan

@LaFabuliste Thank you thank you thank you.

Joan Of Argghh

Let's unpack Ms. Fluke's testimony while we're at it. Actually, it wasn't a testimony, it was a statement before a sub-committee. No questions to, or vetting of her information was put forth.

So, in the interest of women of faith, who also happen to be women, let's ask Ms. Fluke where she got her data, her dollar amounts and her motivation.

Let's ask why, when given the choice of any school in the country she decided on Georgetown specifically after reading its health care coverage policy. Why does she target women of faith? Are they not her sisters? Does she seek to silence them?

Do you really support an attack on the Freedom of Conscience? Really? Do women's advocates have some sort of superior entitlement to dictate to a private conscience, be it borne within a private University, or elsewhere? You actually believe that. Wow.

Freedom of conscience means Ms. Fluke is free to take her money elsewhere. I wonder that the feminists do not scorn her for supporting such a misogynist university with her hard-earned money.

Emby

@Joan Of Argghh Let's not and say fuck you.

Joan Of Argghh

@Emby *smooch!* Badge of Honor. I thank you. More, please.

alannaofdoom

@Joan Of Argghh "Why does she target women of faith? Are they not her sisters? Does she seek to silence them?"

Yeah, it's really unfortunate that whenever any woman uses any form of birth control, automatically ALL women are using it. And probably sacrificing small animals to their Dark Lord as well.

I mean, honestly, come on. I don't think "silence" means what you think it means.

EpWs

@alannaofdoom I was going to post a witty, scathing reply to @Joan of Argghh, but you've said everything I could and more. Thank you.

Faintly Macabre

@Emby Seconded. (Or 9th-ed). Let's not feed the trolls. (Though I do love your comment, alannaofdoom!)

wharrgarbl

@Emby Oh, but Emby. Surely you also agree that those civil rights protestors who had sit-ins at segregated lunch counters were really just being giant ninnies! Honestly, what self-respecting black person would even want to give their money to people who thought they weren't good enough to sit at the same counters and eat the same food as white people?

And let's not even get started on how obvious it is that me demanding that my employer cover birth control causes my Catholic co-workers' ovaries to cease producing eggs against their will. I hate to admit it, but I've been doing it out of spite for years. In my defense, though, if she'd just stop stealing my parking spot, I'd be happy to stop using the 2nd Law of Thermoladybusiness to make her defy her god.

Alixana

@Joan Of Argghh 1) Well, she sought to testify in front of Rep. Issa's sham hearing, but wasn't permitted to. Should the party who happens to control Congress have total control over what testimony is considered, not only by Congress, but also by the public?

2) Sure, because our default position should definitely be that women who seek to put forth an argument in the public square are lying liars whose facts and motivations must always immediately be questioned.

3) Who cares why she went to Georgetown? It's an excellent law school, and the best in DC. Once there, for whatever reason, doesn't she have the right (responsibility, even) to stand up for herself and her health care, and for that of her sisters?

RK Fire

@Joan Of Argghh:
1) What about the women of faith who think it's perfectly okay to take birth control as a form of contraception?
2) How do you know that she and her fellow female law students she was speaking on behalf of where using it as contraception as opposed to, I don't know, regulating her hormones and trying to prevent additional ovarian cysts, as plenty of menstruating girls and women do in this country?
3) Women who choose not to take birth control due to religious reasons have the option not to do so. As things currently stand, she does not have the option to take birth control according to her lifestyle and religious beliefs.
4)You're asking why a woman might want to go to Georgetown Law in spite of their stance on birth control? I don't know, maybe because of it's academic standing? Maybe she really wants to study under a specific or set of specific professors?
5) As others pointed out elsewhere on this thread, the insurance companies would have to bear the cost of birth control if the employers do not, as opposed to tax payers or the employers. Could the members of the insurance pool see their premiums go up? Possibly, but as others have pointed out, it's a minimal cost.

I'm going to be glib here, but if feminists were to scorn everyone for supporting miogynistic institutions, we would run out of places to attend. The modus operandi isn't to scorn, it's to try to reform and change from within and without.

EDIT: I know, I know, don't feed the troll and all that, but I am hoping that she isn't a troll..

@RK Fire Yes, this. A woman should not have to chose between a good education and decent comprehensive healthcare. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

Hobbes

@Joan Of Argghh As a woman of faith, I'm really creeped out by your comment. A significant part of Fluke's testimony was regarding medical conditions that are treated by birth control (hey, I have one of those!). The onus is on all Christians and ostensibly Christian organizations to abide by Christ's teachings on caring for the sick. Jesus was a whole lot more concerned about sick people than he was about where his money went.

Emby

@RK Fire I'm actually halfway wondering if she isn't the author of that inane article that's making the rounds that says Sandra Fluke doesn't speak for the women of Georgetown. It's got that same self-righteous, conservative 1L tone and disconnect from reality. I think it very well could be.

Joan of Argghh, are you her?? Do we have a dumb-lebrity in our midsts?

Whitney@twitter

@Joan Of Argghh

I don't actually like the 'birth control does other things' argument because it implies that birth control is shameful if used for it's stated purpose. But to the legitimate religious objectors, I have to say, birth control does other things. Ms. Fluke's testimony included part of her friend's story. Her friend had PCOS, which is often treated with hormones, including birth control. It was not covered until a lengthy battle with the school, which resulted in her friend losing an ovary due to the time taken before her treatment.

Doctors suggested I go on birth control when I was 14 because I have always had extremely heavy periods, with very strong cramps which caused me to pass out often back in middle school. Georgetown was my first choice as a high schooler, although now I realize I'm lucky I didn't get in because I would have either been extremely out of pocket for my medication or I would have been completely out of commission for a week. I suppose they could slap another label on the drugs and call them 'hormone regulation' with a side effect of infertility, but who is that fooling, really?

How can we live with our bosses and institutions holding our very medical choices over our heads like this? How would you like to work somewhere fantastic and find out your boss is a strict Christian Scientist who will not pay for blood transfusions?

RK Fire

@Emby: I didn't even see that article! Honestly, I've been keeping my active reading on this whole thing at a minimum because it is a little enraging to me and because I haven't seen any compelling arguments on the other side.

I've just been frustrated by this whole concept of "protecting my religious freedom/fuck other people's religious freedom," especially since it seems like the same political party that raises the specter of "sharia law" becoming enshrined in the US or makes a big fuss about Muslim women wearing hijabs in the public or about gay marriage are the same ones who complain when they're not allow to impose their version of Christianity on everyone else. I mean, those other issues are tangential to this one but they seem to all come from the same head-space.

EDIT: holy run-on sentence, Batman!

@Hobbes I love your comment so much, I wish I could hug you and take you out for coffee. Thank you for this. As someone who is questioning religion right now, I've been really detached from my Catholic and Episcopalian family because of the way Christianity is being discussed right now, and the way it's being used to bully the very people Christ sought to protect -- the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged. Your comment is beautiful, insightful, logical, and grounded in Biblical teachings, and it makes me really happy.

Faintly Macabre

@RK Fire My theory about these Christians' boogeyman/hatred of Islam is that they're just jealous of how many countries are under sharia law and paranoid that fundamentalist Muslims are going to get the U.S. before they can.

wharrgarbl

@Whitney@twitter I'm leery of the "but there are off-label uses too!" argument, but at the same time, if, say, I lose my job and can no longer afford pills, I can switch to condoms or a cheaper method or suck it up and go oral/manual only with my partner. I shouldn't have to, because for fuck's sake, what century is this, but there we are.

A woman who needs those pills to not lose an ovary or wind up with persistent anemia eventually requiring a transfusion to treat or be literally disabled by cramps? Is in a much direr strait than I. And anyone who's willing to fuck that woman over because baby Jesus cries if she makes it to her 30s with her reproductive system intact is willing to fuck over pretty much anyone with a vagina just to show how pious they are, and needs to be confronted on those grounds.

SuperGogo

@Joan Of Argghh I didn't make it past the second word of your post. Things that can be unpacked: bags, totes, suitcases, duffels. Things that cannot be unpacked: Fluke's testimony or any other form of conversation.

somethingobscure

@Joan Of arghh...ok yes. So you don't think obamas compromise is allowing for adequate exercise of religious conscience. You think religious employers should be allowed to dictate that not even their private insurance company of choice should compensate for coverage of a particular medical intervention if that intervention goes against the employers religious beliefs. I see your trolling, and I raise you a hypothetical.

Noteworthy scientologist and all around swell guy Tom cruise exec produces a movie; he's the only producer and owns whatever company makes the film. It's indie, all unknowns, fresh faces, so he's not using screen actors guild members, but offers the employees private health insurance, let's say blue cross blue shield of crazy town. Does this mean that because of his religious beliefs, that psychiatric drugs are bad news bears, he can disallow blue cross blue shield to offer coverage for his lead actress' lexapro -- even though they say she could be the next Kirsten dunst?? AND she's practicing abstinence till marriage????

Whitney@twitter

@wharrgarbl
I think the main thing is that religion cannot be used to decide what medicine is or isn't. It's one thing for an actual church to not pay for whatever they deem harmful, but when you start operating hospitals and schools and employing large numbers of potential non-believers and adhering to the many regulations for these types of institutions, you have to conform. I suspect many doctors within these hospitals prescribe birth control for therapeutic purposes.

@wharrgarbl I am one of those women. And the crazy part is that I'm a big gay, so I'm not even going to get pregnant. LIKE SERIOUSLY, I am ONLY taking it for medical reasons. Dude, the anemia fucking sucked. The full-body shakes because of blood loss sucked. The time a cyst ruptured and I was curled up in the fetal position crying at work sucked. Taking the LSAT and having to explain that I needed to eat something to not pass out sucked. Not being able to work out at the gym because of full-body pain sucked. Planning 7 days a month around losing 3-4 ounces PER DAY of blood (read: over a pint per month) was awful. Monthly weight gain that randomly disappeared (5-10 pounds) was just bllleeccchhh gross. Everyone who thinks otherwise can go to hell.

I hate that we have to make a distinction between "use it to have teh secks!" or "I have a legitimate reasons to be on this medication." If the choice to take the pill is to be able to not get pregnant or to have intact reproductive organs at 35 (oh hey, like, when someone might actually want to have a baby!) or both, that is between a woman and her doctor. It is not between a woman and her employer, or a woman and an elected official.

So yeah, I think that the idea that an employer gets to decide whether or not the pills that save me from absolute and utter agony is bullshit. And I think that paying out the ass if they decide (not the insurance company, but the people signing a paycheck) that the medical treatment I need isn't okay with them is bullshit.

Hobbes

@S. Elizabeth Aw! I'd totally take you up on that, too. The Bible doesn't say anything about forcing people to abide by its standards without belief. It does say, though, that believers are required to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." I don't see how this perspective--and the harshness that's come with it--fits into that.

WaityKatie

@alannaofdoom Personally, I throw my birth control pills at Women of Faith, one by one. I try to hit them in the eye.

WaityKatie

@Whitney@twitter The idea that anyone chooses a law school based on what the school's shitty insurance plan covers, or even knows what that plan covers prior to attending, is possibly the most insane thing about these arguments. And by extension, these people are arguing that women should not be able to attend Georgetown Law, or should choose between attending and having sex without getting pregnant. Or should choose between attending and having their PCOS treatment paid for by their insurance, etc. GULC is not a church, people. It is an almost entirely secularized LAW SCHOOL. I went there for 3 years and never did anything religious at all, my professors never mentioned religion, and there was no religious atmosphere on campus whatsoever. Some students and profs were Catholic; many others were not, and nobody cared.

boyofdestiny

@Joan Of Argghh Back in the day when Catholic bishops actually took their responsibility for shepherding a flock of real humans in the real world seriously, Cardinal Richard Cushing said, during the debate about legalizing contraception in Massachusetts, "It is important to note that Catholics do not need the support of the civil law to be faithful to their religious convictions."

The idea of caring for the sick was mentioned above, and that's only one of many un-Christ-like facets to this whole thing. The Church is ostensibly supposed to be about forgiving people who are perceived to be sinners, helping people who need help, and welcoming people instead of casting them out. Now it's just a highly efficient oppression factory that waves the flag of its highest ideals without bothering to give lip service to upholding them.

joanofargghh@twitter

"Shut up" they explained.

Banned and shunned for asking questions of the Monolith.

Non-anonymous

@Joan Of Argghh I don't think "unpack" means what you think it means. [Heh, now I'm hearing that in Inigo Montoya's voice.] You are not teasing out the hidden assumptions and implications of Fluke's statement. You are, instead, putting words in her mouth that she did NOT fucking say. In other words, you are lying about her. That is not an accepted usage of the word "unpack."

@joanofargghh@twitter Really? Edith, was Joan of Silly Geese really that bad?

wharrgarbl

@S. Elizabeth Well, we're definitely shunning her, but that's mostly because she's such a silly goose. I mean, how are we to take her seriously when she's so clearly a woman?

rasko

@Joan Of Argghh

Hello, all, I have written you a poem.

It's called "Take your pills."

Take your pills, you there, take your pills.
Take your pills, yes, that’s right, no, I don’t care.

Take them for your skin, make them into a craft
Pop them in the morning, down them with a draught.

You might be a virgin
Or a triple-digit queen
You might be gay, bi, trans or a questioning teen.

Take them for sex that you might want to try
Take them “just in case”
Or cause you think it’s fly.

Take your pills, it doesn’t make you a whore.
Take your pills, if it’s PCOS you abhor.

Cause condoms need back up
And red bumps need clearing.
Dysmenorrhoea needs treatment
Your mood might need cheering.

Take your pills, because you and your doctor know best
What goes into your body, and what you ingest.
And if you don’t want ‘em, it’s ok, it’s alright,
But leave me and my pills alone, if you might.

I say they’re necessary, I say we can’t part.
I say that I need them, it doesn’t make me a tart
Pills are a magical sciencey thing,
They’re a choice of my own, and joy do they bring.

If you’ve got a problem, and if you want a fight,
I’ll do it, I will, ‘cause you’re wrong and I’m right.

Faintly Macabre

@joanofargghh@twitter Oh yes, no one responded seriously, earnestly, or in-depth to the troll. And even one person besides the troll itself actually said "shut up."

PistolPackinMama

@S. Elizabeth Yeah. I just finished reading the book Tattoos on the Heart by the dude that founded Homeboy Industries... and after his whole perspective, which was so Christ as Unconditional Love-Like I cannot even begin to relate to people like this woman and her perspective.

emmeli

@RK Fire I actually went to Georgetown for grad school a few years ago, and yes, birth control on the GU student health care (and employees, for that matter) actually is something people talked about all the time. (And were worried about). Turns out, everyone takes the birth control they need for medical or contraceptive reasons regardless. That's because the medical professionals who work there, and have high-level GU training, understand that their duty is to the health of their patients, not an outside private insurer's plan approved by the University, so they simply write a note that the birth control is for a medical reason. It's not perfect, but it works. There are a shit ton of ladies at Georgetown with "medically problematic periods".

slutberry

@Hobbes That verse is actually just the best verse and I love you for posting it. It is also my "religion" status on facebook, because "Christian" unfortunately comes with all the sad baggage.

P.S. @Hobbes-- beauteous article that makes me feel more hopeful: http://mamamonk.com/2010/08/02/why-i-call-myself-a-christian/

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@teffodee Can we please somehow explain to everyone that we aren't the sad baggage? I love my faith, as much as I try to love, well, everyone, because that's what good people are supposed to do. (I'm not saying I'm a good person - but trying to be good is better than not being anything, right?) So maybe there are Christians out there who don't understand that they're holding other people back. But, there are Christians (just like there are people with other belief systems) who want progress. And I really feel like it's time that we stop acting like there are only two kinds of people: those who hide behind their faith as an excuse to disrespect others, and the people who disrespect them.

I'm sorry if I sound like that girl from Mean Girls with all the feelings, but being a "person of faith" if that's what we want to call it is about love, and I just kind of wish people could see me for that, you know?

slutberry

@Rookie Oh man, I hope so. But really, the burden is on us, too-- we need to show in our actions and words what it is to be "people of faith" who care about social justice (um, because, like, that's what Jesus is/was?) There's a really loud vocal minority. That means the majority is keeping quiet, and we need to start making noise.

PistolPackinMama

@Rookie @teffodee Yah. Mix up that black and white so people can't ignore the grey any more. Simplifying and simplifying the issue doesn't do anyone any good. @teffodee's point about making noise is the place to start.

Non-anonymous

@Rookie I am thoroughly irreligious, but I certainly think there are good Christians (not to mention other religions) out there, ones whose faith really does help make them better people. My favorite example of a good Evangelical Christian is, of course, the great Slacktivist: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/ .

Lizanne07

@Hobbes Thank you for this. And I think we can agree that Rush's disgusting comments are amongst the least Christian things I've heard in QUITE some time.

Hobbes

@teffodee Thanks for the amazing article! Folks like that, and like Jim Wallis and the folks at Sojourners, make me wince a little bit less, eh?

This whole faith conversation is just really improving my mood in the face of all of this Rush junk. So glad people like you (meaning alla y'all) exist.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Hobbes I love everything all of you have said. Thank you all!

automaticdoor

@WaityKatie @emmeli What up, fellow Hoyas! In 73 days, I will be ending my seven-year tenure at Georgetown. I've seen a lot of protesting about birth control in my time here (Plan A Hoyas, H*yas For Choice, Law Students for Reproductive Justice), but this is truly a watershed moment, especially down here at the Law Center. Dean Treanor is formerly of Fordham Law which is a Jes school that does cover HBC in their health insurance policy. The Student Bar Association just passed a really pointed resolution asking him to push to change our insurance coverage. I think it's bullshit that the employee plan covers HBC but the student plan does not. (Yeah, Joan of Argghhhhdgjhdjghdjk, take that! Georgetown covers HBC for some people but not for others. We're all adults here; why doesn't it cover all of us?)

For the record, I went to the Student Health Center last week before all of this went down and got my Rx for this year's supply of HBC. I didn't have to say a word to justify it or anything. School insurance is covering it. It's for "medical reasons," don'tcha know. (Well, it is, but also for not-baby-having reasons.)

WaityKatie

@automaticdoor When I was there (10-13 years ago), I remember a fellow student complaining that they wouldn't cover her BC pills, even though they were prescribed for a medical reason. (not like any of us were getting any in law school, so the "other" reason wasn't really necessary.) I HOPE they have changed this, have they??

automaticdoor

@WaityKatie They totally have! I think it was after the ovary business, though I also think that might have been an aberration? I've honestly never heard of them turning down HBC. In that case, it was the insurance company that did it. The doctors tried like three times to get it to go through. Though it was for PCOS, and so maybe it was a special snowflake kind of HBC as opposed to the generic stuff and that's why they balked? Who knows. Ugh. But yeah, I have not heard of anyone else having trouble.

Bed Monster

This is really well written, Lauren. Thanks for having the ability to write about this in such a succinct, direct, intelligent way. And I agree with you about it being a strange blessing in disguise that Limbaugh has said this shit out loud. All of us that care deeply about reproductive choice/rights have known all along that none of the reasons that have been thrown out against reproductive choice/rights are about saving women/helping women/religious rights/whatever bullshit idea they come up with. It has nothing to do with any of those ideas. It has everything to do with persecuting women for "daring" to have a sex life. I know that what I've said is most likely a popular opinion on the Hairpin, but I just feel the need to say it over and over again to remind myself why I feel the way I do when I hear stuff like the stuff Limbaugh said. It needs to be reiterated, so we can make people understand that this mentality is absolutely abhorrent.

cuminafterall

Can somebody make like a Jibjab animation of Sandra Fluke and Margaret Sanger singing "You Don't Own Me" to Rush and Darrell Issa? Because I would pay real money to see that.

EpWs

@cuminafterall Don't forget the excellent Amy Poehler "Don't-tell-me-what-to-do!" at the end of her Really With Seth And Amy skit a couple weeks back!

mayonegg

I hate to be completely glib or sound oblivious, but this is a conversation I'm having with my friend currently:

Her: No, I don't agree Rush should have said that, but did you see her little speech? She'd be better as an actress and her points are absurd.
Me:...What points? You don't believe in easier access to contraception?
Her: I don't think Catholic affiliated employers should be forced to help pay for it?

Is that even the point? Am I missing something?

cuminafterall

@mayonegg The really crazy thing is that employers are NOT forced to pay for it! Under the compromise, if employers don't want to cover contraception, the insurance companies cover it at no additional cost to the employee. Because providing birth control actually saves the insurance companies money.

queenofbithynia

@mayonegg No, it isn't the point. Try this: Employers don't get to decide how you spend your fucking salary. They aren't giving you a gift; they are compensating you -- adequately or otherwise -- for your labor. Health benefits are not a free lollipop the dentist gives you for being a good girl, that you don't get if you're a bad girl. They are part of a compensation package. Case fucking closed. Jesus fucking Christ.

If an employer can tell you what health care you're allowed to access, they can tell you what you're allowed to buy with your paycheck. And they can't. Not even if you're a woman.

wharrgarbl

@mayonegg It hasn't been a point since Obama said "Fine, then the insurance companies can just eat the minimal cost and nary a penny of your precious money need go to adequately caring for the filthy slut employees you have no problem employing but can't bring yourself to treat fairly," and then the Catholic-affiliated employers continued the tantrum because it's somehow not fair that they would have to convert back to full-blown religious organizations in order to be able to punish their female employees for fucking. Which happened a while ago.

catfoodandhairnets

@cuminafterall THIS!!! it's not like there is a contraception surcharge on insurance. Insurance companies are happy to throw it in for free! Because BABIES are expensive.

EpWs

@catfoodandhairnets Also PREGNANCY is expensive as hell! And then babies! And then babies have the habit of growing up into toddlers, children, teenagers, and adults, all of whom are EXPENSIVE TO INSURE.

mayonegg

@cuminafterall @queenofbithynia @wharrgarbl Thanks, y'all. I mean, I know I was right but sometimes I get so bogged down in inanity and it's like "What do I even say to you right now?"

Megasus

@cuminafterall I'm pretty sure it saves the company money too, cuz they don't have to replace so many women on Maternity Leave.

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Other expensive things: cysts rupturing, hysterectomies, hospital visits for "severe lower abdominal pain" that turn out to be menstrual cramps, etc.

somethingobscure

@mayonegg But they aren't being forced to pay for it and omgsheadhurtstoomuchstupiditymustteachconservativeshowtoread!!!

cookiejar

The part that confuses me the most, probably beacause we don't have the same rethoric in Sweden, is how limiting access to contraceptives can be excused with "freedom of religion"? I get the religion part - some groups are against birth control for that reason - but how can you even begin to call imposing your own beliefs on others "freedom"? If anyone could explain that to me I would be so grateful, because I think that's just rubbish.

Bebe

@cookiejar It is rubbish, and it doesn't make sense. You understand it perfectly.

Petrichoria

@cookiejar The freedom of Christians and Catholics is more free than the freedom of others. Basically.

martinipie

@cookiejar I know, that's the most boggling part of this debate. It really has no ground to stand on. But the basic argument is that religiously affiliated institutions should not have to cover medications that go against their belief systems. To me the scariest part of legislation like this is that it could maybe allow company insurers not to cover lifesaving procedures because of "God's will," but this topic is barely being brought up in debates--making it even clearer that the whole shitpile is sexism, fair and square.

EpWs

@cookiejar Nope, you've got it dead on. "Freedom of religion" in this case means "freedom to impose our religion on others." Is Sweden accepting applications?

wharrgarbl

@cookiejar There's a very vocal segment of the population that thinks they're being oppressed if they can't force their beliefs on others. It's the old "If you won't tolerate my intolerance, you're really the intolerant one!" canard.

RK Fire

@wharrgarbl: yes yes yes

boxofcams

@cookiejar This is exactly what I came here to say and ask about! Isn't this religious freedom supposed to apply to everybody? These named politicians have the right to practice their religious beliefs, they've got that much right, but they have no right to impose these beliefs on other people. For those who aren't followers of the same belief it would be a violation of their rights and freedoms; they are supposed to be free to choose (or not choose) their own religious practices. If contraception is in opposition with these individuals' religious beliefs, fine, they don't have to use any or sleep with someone who is using any. But they can't possibly have the right to stop people without these religious reasons from having easier access to contraception because of these reasons that don't apply to them.

Judith Slutler

@cookiejar It's about them trying to establish a sort of theocracy through the back door. If anything offends them as Christians, they should just not have to deal with it you see.

Faintly Macabre

@boxofcams Yes, but the people without the religious reasons are WROOOONG, don't you see?

boxofcams

@Faintly Macabre Ah, of course!

HeyThatsMyBike

@cookiejar Can you go say that to Congress for us? Thanks in advance!

WaityKatie

@boxofcams "Religious freedom," as practiced by the Right, pretty much only applies to ultra-conservative Christians. They add the "Judeo" to "Judeo-Christian values" because they feel the need to support Israel so we can get everything in order for Jesus to come back. If you're one of those other religions or, heaven forfend, not religious, there is no place for you in Santorum/Gingrich/Rush/Mittens America.

hallelujah

One of the things that kills me the most about this whole thing is that covering birth control and other preventative family planning ends up being SO MUCH CHEAPER that not. Want your premiums to fucking skyrocket? Ban coverage of birth control and pay for maternity, labor and delivery care instead. It's just so clear that this has nothing to do with money or "conscience" and everything to do with the outright hatred and oppression of women.

Allison Ladner@twitter

Very well-written. It's ridiculous that things such as this are controversial in the 21st century. Let's move on, people (/conservatives).

EpWs

@Allison Ladner@twitter "These aren't the sluts you're looking for. Move along." "These aren't the sluts we're looking for. Move along."

mackymoo

I'm just so full of rage today. I'm on the younger side and so to see this kind of misogyny out there like this is so mind-blowing. And on the way in to work this morning I had some guy sitting across the aisle from me on the train pull his dick out so I'm extra irritated.

I'm not on the pill now, but I used to be and it's only recently that I remembered the reason I went off it (besides some mood issues) was that it went up to $50/month and my college income could not afford it. I went on originally for PMDD, which I eventually overcame without the pill through exercise, diet, and supportive boyfriend.

I will not contain my rage for these fuckers.

oh well never mind

I had to look this Rush guy up on Wikipedia and now I wish I hadn't as it made me all angry...

*Mutters heartfelt thanks for NHS despite its faults and the impending danger of its disassembly*

teaandcakeordeath

@moosette
The Health & Social Care bill makes me want to throttle someone. Namely Cameron.

nevernude cutoffs

@moosette I looked at his Wikipedia page today too. Know what scared me the most? This man has "highest-rated talk-radio program in the United States." I don't, nor do I know of anyone who listens to him, but I had no idea.

Non-anonymous

@moosette It must be nice to not have to know who Rush Limbaugh is!
@nevernude cutoffs A little data about Limbaugh's listener base: http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-study/101319/who-earth-listens-rush-limbaugh-anyway

New Commenter Name

So, these men want to risk fathering a child every time they have sex with a woman? Imagine how expensive THAT would be if they are responsible for financial support of all the potential children.

Or.... do they expect people to just stop having sex unless the goal is pregnancy?

Or.... do they think only wealthy folks should have the privilege of contraception and therefore, sex at will. What about all the "poor people"? Who hasn't heard the ignorant (& often racist) complaints about women having baby after baby after baby, and living off the welfare system?

What's up with these politicians? They want us to entrust the administration of our country to them, but they can't seem to think through the consequences of this idea to the logical outcomes.

Faintly Macabre

@Curiouser and curiouser Basically, yes. A super-devout Evangelical Christian I went to school with, who got married at 20, was arguing on facebook that having sex (within marriage, obvs) is a privilege, not a medical condition, and that therefore people need to take responsibility for paying for it and not force others to pay for their fun. (Well, he didn't say fun because...see above.) However, he thinks the government should pay for pads and tampons, ergo he is reasonable and feminist.

Joan Of Argghh

Raging at what? What the Hell? Tilting at NOTHING. A non-issue.

Raise your hand if you can't afford BC.

99% of U.S. women already have access and NO ONE is denying it to you. NO ONE. To believe that someone is denying it to you takes a torturing of logic so epic as to affirm all the tired stereotypes of women voters.

Silly geese. Don't let the peer pressure keep you from thinking.

martinipie

@Joan Of Argghh I have to ask my parents to help me afford BC because of, yes, my "insurance" refusing to cover. If I were on my own, there would be no way I could. Don't you dare assume to speak for me.

EpWs

@Joan Of Argghh "NO ONE is denying it to you. NO ONE"

Yet. No one is (successfully) denying it to [us] YET. However, many, many men out there are trying their damndest to deny it to us, and they absolutely will make it illegal if they get their way. This is not an issue of freedom of religion or freedom of conscience, it's an issue of punishing women for having the audacity to want to have sex. Period.

Emby

@martinipie You're missing the point. Well, the real point, anyway -- the one Joan Of Argghh and Rush Limbaugh are whistling but not speaking. If you're poor, it's your own fault, and so you deserve whatever ills happen to befall your cursed existence. Well-to-do folks can afford (literally) to sin and pay for forgiveness, but poor folks, well, to hell with 'em. It's the modern sale of indulgences.

martinipie

@Emby Oof, I was missing the point the WHOLE TIME! thanks friend!

@Joan Of Argghh Making birth control prohibitively expensive is a de facto denial of medical care to many, many women.

slutberry

@Joan Of Argghh Except some of us are poor. And some of us have actual, real, medical conditions that make us need birth control so we're not in agonizing pain once a month that makes us go into shock and end up at the hospital. Which, by the way, crowds up the E.R. with a condition that's easily avoided by using birth control. Does framing it in a "medical" context help you understand this somewhat?

I'm in Canada, so thankfully I can afford to be sick. But it's totally absurd that if I decided to go on drugs for my dysmenorrhea, while living in the States (dual citizenship), I wouldn't be able to afford it because someone's worried I might have sex while I'm on it, and oh noez, not have a baby!

beeline96

@Joan Of Argghh UGH DID NOT MEAN TO LIKE, I AM NOT A SILLY GOOSE and I resent being called one.

Alixana

@Joan Of Argghh I have the resources (thankfully) to afford a whole range of medical care out of pocket. But I pay for health insurance precisely so I don't have to do so. On what basis should an employer (not even an insurance company!) be able to single out certain kinds of medical care and say that I can't even pay to have those covered by my health insurance?

wharrgarbl

@S. Elizabeth Don't be such a stupid woman, S. Elizabeth! Making birth control $1,000 a month is a perfectly reasonable thing to do and wouldn't actually be taking anything away from anyone! Monetary amounts are meaningless! If we weren't so jizz-addled, we'd understand that just because we can't get arrested for using it, there's no injustice here! And even if we could, it's not like anyone is forcing us to have sex, so it's still not a real injustice! Not like being a Catholic woman and having to work for a place that provides birth control to other women, anyway.

Though I guess by the transitive property of "why are they supporting it anyway, they don't agree with the institution," that's not injustice, either, because those women could just go get jobs with religion-only or religion-primary Catholic institutions who don't have to comply with those rules.

Huh. I think we just stamped out injustice, full-stop. Well done, us!

@wharrgarbl Sorry. I started thinking with my uterus again and the silly girl logic came out. Oopsies.

atipofthehat

Please allow me to suggest that this troll has been fed enough.

Jizzcliner

@wharrgarbl Thumbs up for "jizz-addled".

wharrgarbl

@atipofthehat But...but...but we solved all injustice, ever. How can you sit there and pretend this hasn't been a productive conversation?

Alixana

@atipofthehat I knowwwww but I have asked her so many questions that she has not answered! Why won't you answer my questions, troll?? It's almost like you don't want to actually engage in serious discussion!

Bebe

@Joan Of Argghh I can afford my birth control now, but I couldn't in college until I found a women's clinic that offered pap smears, check ups and yes, birth control pills on a sliding scale. They also had a little bowl of condoms on the receptionist's desk that were free. The doctors and nurse practitioners on staff were kind, knowledgeable, nonjudgmental, and exceedingly professional. Every time I went for a pap smear, the waiting room was filled with pregnant women getting pre-natal care, other college age women like myself, and even the occasional man. That place was called Planned Parenthood. The same blowhards who are demonizing women who require contraception but can't afford it are also demonizing the largest provider of women's health services to the poor. Where else are low-income women to turn? Jesus?

Marquise de Morville

@Joan Of Argghh I try to see your point. Limbaugh's comments on this are inane, but they do nicely prevent a non-raging discussion, and he did pick exactly what would appeal to his fans, while leaving people with the opposite opinion in a sputtering rage. In combination with the insurance coverage debate it gets even worse. How to convince someone to cover contraceptives if they see generalized health insurance already as unnecessary? Yes, it would be good if it was covered, but people with good health insurance do usually have a better paying job and could afford it anyway. Who cannot afford it likely does not have insurance coverage, and would have a greater need of access, and have the short end of the stick in any case.
It should not be an issue if the Catholic church as employer provides the insurance coverage, since no-one is forced to use the benefit, since not using birth control is a choice, and as others pointed out the money the employers earn is their own to spend.

On the other hand: Why come up with scenarios even worse than what is reality? The vast majority of the country is using birth control and that this is very likely not going to change? Are there plans to make birth-control $1000 a month? I believe even conservatives would be very unhappy if that was the case and that the truly opposed are a minority. Try not to get divided by idiots like Limbaugh.

wharrgarbl

@Marquise de Morville You do realize that if you are flat broke, $75 every four weeks might as well be $1,000, yes? And I'm not seeing who's being divided, here. There's Joan of "You're All Silly Geese" Arggghh, who's never actually going to accept a premise that involves women not being second-class citizens whose healthcare is especially undeserving, and then there's...everyone else in the thread.

@Bebe Jesus is a terrible contraceptive option. Imperfect-use coitus interruptus has a better long-term success rate than that dude.

Bebe

@wharrgarbl True. Not to mention how sexy he is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylYzbB-tLcs

WaityKatie

@Joan Of Argghh I was recently on birth control that wasn't covered by my insurance. The cost to me was 60 bucks per month. Maybe you live in a world where "everyone" can afford that, in which case, enjoy your gated community?

WaityKatie

@Joan Of Argghh Oh, and referring to women you disagree with as "silly geese" is, as I'm positive you are aware, offensive.

Marquise de Morville

@wharrgarbl Yes, $75 a month for someone poor is like $1000 for someone else, I did not understand you before, thank you for clarifying. With divided I meant that it is sad that conservatives and liberals seem to be at the point where they can't discuss things anymore without rage and media coverage seems to always focus on the extremes. I took Joan's comment to be more related to that.

RK Fire

@Marquise de Morville: While it is sad that there seems to be little room for compromise these days, I think many of us here are raging at the idea that the health of women be compromised for the sake of religious beliefs that we don't share. You know, minor things.

Marquise de Morville

@RK Fire I did advocate for compromise and bipartisanship here, but have to admit to having had some very heated arguments about these 'minor issues' and am much in favor of contraception coverage. Rage just makes it hard to be logical and win arguments with people trying to piss you off.

queenofbithynia

@WaityKatie but also, engaging on this question of affordability is giving in. I mean, look -- why should we get equal pay for equal work? I could afford to live on $10,000 a year less than my male counterparts, so why don't I? Why make such a fuss over something that won't bankrupt me?

Arguing about how much birth control costs and whether or not we COULD afford it if were were denied coverage for it is conceding the terms of the debate in the ugliest way. I could afford to pay for it, if I wanted it. I could afford to pay for my own blood pressure medication, my own yearly physicals. I can, but I don't have to pay for it myself. Why not? Because I'm not a fucking second-class citizen, and I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of an employed citizen in this shitty, shitty country. My basic health care is covered by my insurance plan not because I am destitute and have to beg for help (THIS YEAR ANYWAY) but because I earned it and I am fucking entitled to it.

(Obviously, unemployed women should have the same entitlement I do, because employer-based health care is one of the more degrading inventions known to (wo)man. But just in the very particular context of employer-based health care, having to parade and display your fucking neediness to elicit pity from people for what you are already owed free and clear as a matter of moral and legal right is just so despicable.)

GOD DAMN.

wharrgarbl

@Marquise de Morville If you're aware of a logical argument that people who hate you for existing will actually be persuaded by, I'm all ears. I personally am looking forward to talking my mom out of her passionate dislike of brown people using economic figures and demographic statistics over cheap wine come Mother's Day. It will be a red-letter day all around.

In other news, it is actually okay to be upset--nay, to rage!--about other people trying to fuck up your own personal life that you live for no particular reason aside from their ever-increasing need to be joyless, hateful fucks. There's no logicking these people out of the need to control or hurt others, and insisting that everyone calm down and "be rational" about stuff that actually does pick their pocket and break their leg robs us of a lot of forward momentum.

WaityKatie

@queenofbithynia This is all very true. Although, ironically, employer-based healthcare came to be as a major victory won by unions. Before that, people were on their own for insurance. Of course, this was also back when people could plausibly work for the same company for an entire career. A "public option" would have solved all of these problems, but we can't have nice things in this country, obviously. Veering closer and closer to a feudal system in which large corporations are the "lords," and own/control all the aspects of their serf-employees' lives, every day...

AniaGosia

@Joan Of Argghh My insurance won't cover it and, yes, $50/mo is expensive for me. I am married and I do want to have sex with my husband without having children that we can't afford. Remember: just because I want to use BC doesn't mean that you have to. I'm not taking away from your freedoms by using it. Georgetown and other Catholic universities do not require a statement of faith for attendance and so cannot require that all students behave according to Catholic doctrine.

Marquise de Morville

@wharrgarbl Sadly I do not have the ultimate winning logical argument, but I wish I had. I did not mean to offend with any of my comments and apologize if I did. If being angry gives you forward momentum than then it is indeed a good thing. If I try to argue while angry, I often end up incoherent and/or crying, and that does not get me anywhere. Therefore I am trying to be more rational and calm, personally. Of course, as you pointed out, this only helps when arguing with someone willing to argue rationally, too, and it is different from being angry about hurtful comments.

bean1

That feeling of helplessness that we're all feeling should be a catalyst for our discussion on what we can do to make our voices heard. I like the movement to boycott companies who advertise with Limbaugh, but what else? Even being able to do something little to contribute to this side of the argument would be great.

Faintly Macabre

@bean1 I've been at a loss here, too, especially as I have no money to donate to groups that are fighting the good fight. I've been toying with the idea of trying to write a note of support/appreciation to Fluke, though, since while she's probably getting a ton of mail period, she's also probably getting a lot of vile hate mail.

cuminafterall

@bean1 @Faintly Macabre Check out this list of pro-choice women candidates for political office and consider volunteering for one in your area. Even if there aren't any near you, maybe you could make fundraising/get-out-the-vote calls.

laurel

@bean1 According to Business Insider, these companies are still advertising with Rush.

Maybe give them a call? Call your grandma and ask if she's still using AOL?

Faintly Macabre

@cuminafterall Thanks! Booo, the only one in PA is a few districts away! But still close enough that I could probably get there.

Actually, this reminds me--for any PA/Philly-based pinners, my mother has been bugging me to work on Babette Joseph's (PA State Rep) campaign, and I probably will! She is super-awesome and co-founded NARAL PA.

madge

this whole debate makes me want to go out and have a thousand abortions while i still can.

madge

look under your chair! abortions for everyone!

anachronistique

@madge Abortions for some, tiny American flags for others!

@madge I WISH TWINS FOR YOU! TWINS FOR YOU TOMORROW!

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth You're getting an abortion! And YOU'RE getting an abortion! And YOU'RE getting an abortion! WE'RE ALL GETTING ABORTIONS!

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I'm a gold star lesbian. If I were pregnant, it would be the second virgin birth. #mywombwouldbeholy #ovariesofthegods

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth Then you can get one of those nice maintenance abortions. Keeps the uterus sparkly clean!

WaityKatie

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I sometimes get abortions when I'm not even pregnant, just for practice.

EpWs

@WaityKatie Does your clinic have punch cards like mine does? Every 10th abortion is free AND you get a tee shirt!

Lorelei@twitter

@WaityKatie oh, I get it now! All those "right-to-know" ultrasound bills forcing healthcare works to remind any woman who steps foot in an abortion clinic every 5 minutes that she's pregnant with a special little miracle who might grow up into Einstein aren't *really* about making abortions as difficult and traumatizing to obtain as possible, or even about insulting the intelligence of women by refusing to believe they might have actually made a deliberate choice based on full knowledge before making the appointment, they're just concerned that when we go in for our yearly maintenance abortions, we might not realize that THIS TIME, this ONCE, we actually were pregnant for real.

Megasus

@Lorelei@twitter I hope the t-shirt says "I aborted Einstein" on it.

Lorelei@twitter

@Megan Patterson@facebook oh, my clinic has a whole line, you get to choose which genius you deprived the world of.

squeegy beckenheim

@Lorelei@twitter How about, in the service of informing women about their choices, offer all women who turn up at their OD office preggers, info on how dangerous pregnancy is, stats on mortality rates, long term effects to the body, a general estimate of how much it will cost to raise the child womb-18, and womb-doctorate for the precious einsteins, show them pictures of saggy boobs and lumpy bellies, talk about incontinence...

Lorelei@twitter

@squeegy beckenheim I figure if the people behind that legislation gave two shits about any woman's right to know anything about reproductive health they'd be pushing comprehensive, accurate sex education in all public schools.

and yet, somehow I doubt that would be very popular among the "right to know" sponsors.

carolita

"(He’s since apologized, but only for his choice of words, not for his sputtering outrage at the notion of birth control coverage.)" We should be more clear on this. It's not just his choice of words that needs to be apologized for. This is why I don't give whatsisface (Mitt Romney) a pass for saying he wouldn't have "used those words", or something like that. He could have said the same thing without using the words "slut" and "prostitute," or lewd suggestions. The implication is the same: that religious people don't want to pay for other people's "sexual" health needs. The conflation of reproductive health with all things sexual is a huge problem here. When you can't tell the difference between the two, it's because religion has already taken over.

And we've skipped his suggestion that a woman's husband or (co-fornicator?) ought to pay for condoms instead of leaving a woman to need to be "paid to have sex" by her fellow health insurance subscribers with him. That's ludicrous because it amounts to the same thing: a man paying for condoms would equal a man paying for sex according to his logic. Basically, all woman are whores in this mindset. What we're dealing with is an attempt to stomp women back into sexual submission, not an issue of religious freedom. Unless we want to admit that what these so-called Christians want is the religious freedom to oppress women right back to the Middle Ages.

wharrgarbl

@carolita Yeah, I saw the apology over the weekend and my immediate reaction was "So, he apologized for the least-offensive part of his rants? I swoon."

BoozinSusan

@carolita Yeah, making it about the choice of words indicates that Romney, Santorum, et al. do not have a problem with the actual content of Rush's speech, only the details of how it was expressed. It's so worrisome.

BoozinSusan

@BoozinSusan I wish Rush would make an apology speech in which he only said, "It has recently come to my attention that I suck so very, very hard that it is hard for rational beings not to tear their hair out at the mere mention of my existence. I'm sorry I'm such a hateful human being. I'm going to go fade away from public life now, sorry for everything."

MoxyCrimeFighter

@carolita That's one of the things that kills me about this debate. MEN benefit from this, too - men who don't want children, who can't afford children, whatever. I think it's really telling that in a society where a man's sexual needs are accepted as not only a biological fact but practically an imperative from the universe itself, the focus is on how women just want hormonal contraception so they can be promiscuous and how ridiculous the very idea is. Like if you give a woman a pack of BC pills, the penises of these poor, cowering men will just be at her mercy.

Judith Slutler

@BoozinSusan Exactly, these motherfuckers knew exactly what they were saying and they decided it would be in their interest to kiss Rush's ring and act like he's their harmless old uncle who says wacky things once in a while. "Those weren't the words I would've used"? So what words WOULD you have used to tell me I am a prostitute who needs to start making porn for you, Mittens?

noodge

@carolita it's not just that: it's like in a court case when one of the lawyers says something or has a witness say something, then the other lawyer objects to it, and it's stricken from the record, BUT THE JURY STILL HEARD IT and it still has an impact. It's like that to me - conservative voters will still hear what he said, and because they listen to him and subscribe to his beliefs it will impact their votes.

Lauren_O'Neal

@carolita Oh absolutely. Saying essentially, "I'm sorry for using the word 'slut' to describe you sluts" is not an apology in any way.

Also, there were so many things I had to skip over just to make this piece fit on a single website. That condom thing you mentioned only scratches the surface. Seriously, you could just reprint everything Limbaugh has said on the topic in the past couple weeks and it would be just, like, 12,000 words of blatantly terrible lies.

madge

@carolita it is totally reminding me of mad men season 1 when peggy gets birth control and the doctor threatens to take it away if he finds out she's been abusing it by "being the town pump to get her money's worth."

FIRE

MoxyCrimeFighter

@madge I haven't watched it but GUH. Just...agggggh, I can't even verbalize how awful that is. I know it's fiction but it ISN'T. I've heard anecdotes of doctors slut-shaming their patients within, like, the past year. This century. Mind-boggling.

Nobody ever calls a man a slut when he buys condoms at CVS. (I mean, no one has ever called me a slut, either, because it's a perfectly fucking normal thing to do.) But let's say a man wanted to have all the sex that Limbaugh apparently thinks being on BC indicates we slutty women are having - not being able to take a pill, in order to be responsible a man would have to buy, like, a gross of condoms from Costco. Would the checkout clerk call him a slut? Sincerely fucking doubt it. Nobody (besides uber-intrusive religious wingnuts) ever gives a shit that men don't want to get women pregnant, but somehow we still need to have a discussion about why women don't want to get pregnant?

WaityKatie

@BoozinSusan It's the classic "I'm sorry if you were offended" non-apology.

BoozinSusan

@WaityKatie Egggggsactly. Get it? Eggs! ::sad guffaw::

carolita

@MoxyCrimeFighter You have to wonder, though, that if all women were to close their legs except for married procreation, who would unmarried men be having sex with? Other guys? Fine with me, but I thought that was off limits to the conservatives, too!

carolita

@madge Again, I wonder who unmarried men are supposed to be having sex with, if women are supposed to keep their legs closed outside of marriage and childbearing, and sex with other guys is not allowed either. WTF? I don't think self-sex is allowed either. Are these guys trying to say that they just don't want men to ever have sex ever unless it's to make a baby with the woman they're married to, and that men are even capable of adhering to such a principle?

slutberry

Oh, and I'm sorry: "We want you to post the videos online"?? What the everloving fuck? Aren't conservatives supposed to be pretty anti-porn, too? Because, let's see, it's degrading and shit and you value life, which is why you're anti-abortion? Or is your precious misogyny just too precious?

wharrgarbl

@teffodee Well, it's pretty clear that he wants them (us) filmed during intercourse, whether they (we) like it or not, and those films disseminated, whether they (we) like it or not, precisely in order to humiliate them (us). The idea is to take it out of their (our) hides somehow, and if not monetarily than by sexually degrading them (us) in a public forum. I mean, there's literally nothing about this that isn't jaw-droppingly ugly.

slutberry

@wharrgarbl It's absolutely disgusting.

I'm a Christian, and I've chosen not to have sex outside of a monogamous, committed relationship. But. That choice is not based on the idea that sex is a shameful, disgusting thing that can only be redeemed by having babies-- it's because sex is bomb-awesome, and only sharing the bomb-awesomeness of it with one person makes that relationship special. When I get to the point where I'm comfortable having sex, you can bet I'll be on the pill for a good while, because sex-- sex itself, not its consequences-- is fun and precious and worthwhile.

So this is SUCH crap. And it is non-Christian, ugly, hateful, unbiblical, nasty crap. He is not valuing life (which is, IMO, the strongest anti-abortion argument), he is de-valuing women, and sex, which is one of the strongest life-affirming statements you can make, NOT because it makes babies, but because it celebrates bodies!!

fuck. I hate all these people mis-representing my religion.

datalass

@wharrgarbl You hit the point exactly. A lot of people in the media are picking up on the voyeuristic pervy part of his suggestion, but I really don't think that's his game. His bag is really that he hates, hates, hates women. His interest in said videos would not be prurient; it would be punitive. He doesn't want to watch; he wants everyone to watch, so that they have a visual to accompany his mockery.

carolita

@teffodee year, right? was this all about Rush just finding a way to say that he thinks Sandra is hot and that he wants to watch videos of her? It's just too perverse to think about what he must be thinking.

Lily Rowan

Thanks for this.

I still can't believe anyone thinks our healthcare payment system is the best we can do. Not to mention the fact that we are debating the Pill! JFC. Set them on fire. (tm) Melis.

EpWs

@Lily Rowan Where IS Melis? She is needed in Troll Control.

alexah

The puritanism that is overtaking this country is frightening. I'm afraid to be a single woman in this country now.

Marquise de Morville

@alexah May I ask why? I feel that thinking like this may not take into account that the US is still way ahead of other countries? How would someone feel for whom the US would be a place to live where women's health and rights are way more advanced than in many other places? Don't make them let you be afraid, be confident.

wharrgarbl

@Marquise de Morville Because Weimar Germany? Because the argument that we should be bathed in a rosy glow of satisfaction because at least we're not some hellhole like [insert other country here] is not actually a positive one, but a "be grateful for your crumbs!" stripe of thinking?

Marquise de Morville

@wharrg Thank you for your comment. Yes, but I was thinking more of Ceausescu's Romania. I did not mean to say "be grateful" and ignore what can be made better, but more stand up for what you have while keeping things in perspective. Progress has been made, and it is important to hold on to it. I grew up in a free society, and I think that makes it difficult to understand what true oppression is, so I am not afraid living in the US and think as a single woman in the US there is not that much to fear, but enough to be concerned? Despite all right-wing rhetoric, I think there is a majority that is way more moderate, even among conservatives. It is hard for me to express this in a comment, and I hope I am not getting it wrong. I am just trying to be more hopeful for this country than despairing.

WaityKatie

@Marquise de Morville It's way ahead of some, and way behind others. I'd be more comfortable if we could be number 1 in this, or at least crack the top 10.

PistolPackinMama

@alexah And one of the reasons some countries are subjected to poorer reproductive health standards than they need to be is because way lots of health care is provided by the US (not always one for providing BC) or religious institutions such as HMC.

So we're doing better than poor countries we fail to help or actively disadvantage.

Yay...us?

Faintly Macabre

Guys, guys, you're all missing the silver lining here! Rush said this woman is both a "feminazi" and a "slut"! That means that instead of we bra-burning feminists hating men and calling sex oppression, apparently we're allowed to be both feminists and have heterosexual desires now! YAY! Thanks, Rush, for not forcing me to choose anymore. Except I guess I'm still not allowed to have sex... Shoot.

WaityKatie

@Faintly Macabre Yeah, I always thought feminazis were women who were too ugly to get a man to have sex with them? He needs to check his nomenclature for consistency.

aintquite

To me the reveal is in the last line...the suggestion that little miss slut has bought her sexual freedom at the price of self-exposure. This is an intractable problem in the American heterosexual consumption of sex-spectacle and women as objects. Far from being a worst-case scenario that conservatives would shun, I have always thought that it is PRECISELY for this reason that these motherf**kers keep the issue of reproductive freedom in the spotlight: to titillate their sick entitlement as viewers and most of all consumers of women's bodies. Anyway, thanks for your clear-sighted thoughts on this "debate" Lauren. I admire this use of scare quotes!

datalass

Dealing with Limbaugh's remarks is an exercise in frustration. There used to be a guy in my office who listened to Limbaugh's show (all 3 hours of it) every single day. Seriously, 3 hours a day of this kind of "entertainment." 3 hours of Limbaugh spewing absolutely vile, factually incorrect nonsense.

The worst part was that, for people who've never really heard his show, it's kind of impossible to relay how horrible it is. Really, every single day he said something as foul as what he said about Sandra Fluke. Every day, some body of Americans tuned in to hear his painful combination of nonsense and hate. The sequence was always the same. First, Limbaugh says some utterly venomous thing and then he chortles and waves a hand about all the crazy liberal Femi-nazis who get mad about little old him, just little old Rush, just a simple "entertainer."

tl;dr Rush Limbaugh makes it hard to sustain faith in humanity.

SuperGogo

@datalass I've been ragey enough about this situation, but I was sputteringly incoherent when my Fox News-loving father defended Rush on account of the fact that he's just engaging in harmless satire, after all! He's no different than Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, dontchaknow! *flames*

beeline96

@datalass My father listened (listens? probably still; thankfully I am living on my own so I can't verify this) to Rush allll the time. This started around my teen years, and since then I've seen him go from a fairly pleasant person to someone I can hardly stand to be related to. I can't even have a calm discussion with him anymore, and forget logic...

datalass

@SuperGogo That satire/entertainment excuse irks me so much. My former coworker used to offer the same defense. I came to see it as a really skillful rhetorical device. If you criticize the substance of Rush's remarks, the rebuttal is "ha, ha, just humor!" If you criticize the humor, the rebuttal is "whatever, you humorless liberal." Never has the adage about wrestling with a pig been more apt.

anachronistique

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher This girl deserves a million props for remaining absolutely awesome under an unbelievable amount of pressure.

EpWs

@anachronistique Absolutely absolutely. I would not be able to contain myself like she has. She is a credit to herself, her family, and her education, and I hope this does nothing but open all the doors in the world to her.

KellyStitzel

So when women start refusing to have sex with them, then what will they do?

Waking up every day enraged that this is an issue in 2012 is getting really tiresome. And also, very surreal.

redheaded&crazy

@KellyStitzel TWO. THOUSAND. AND. TWELVE. AAAAAAGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

phlox

@KellyStitzel It worked for the women of Athens!

packedsuitcase

@KellyStitzel Sure would make all that government-funded Viagra useless, wouldn't it?

I swear, guys. I cannot believe the levels of rage I am experiencing. My poor dudefriend is in for the rant of a lifetime tonight. Luckily he likes it when I get all riled up, because I am so full of the rage. SO full.

KellyStitzel

@packedsuitcase Oh my god, I can only imagine the injustices that would be claimed if anyone tried to take away their Viagra.

oh well never mind

@phlox Ah, but isn't the satire in that based on the idea that all women are sex-crazed maniacs and the men are the shy, retiring ones who can take or leave sex? Funny how social attitudes change over time!

cherrispryte

This is not exactly what my blood pressure needed this morning. I mean, you're right and all, of course, obviously, but I literally cannot spend too many hours thinking and talking about fucking Rush Limbaugh and his fucking 20 million listeners and how all of those motherfuckers want to come and deny me my humanity and autonomy otherwise my head's going to fucking explode.
Also, it leads me to write run-on sentences.

atipofthehat

@cherrispryte

Don't hear much about Glenn Beck anymore.

Won't hear much about Rush in the future. We need to keep at him, and keep at his advertisers.

cherrispryte

@atipofthehat I don't think so. Don Fucking Racist Imus is still on the air.
The fact that he's losing advertisers left and right is comforting, but that doesn't get to the heart of the matter - the misogyny that's so fucking deep in American culture (and most, if not all, other cultures) that allowed this shitstain to say what he said, over and over again. (I believe there were 52 separate insults issued to Ms. Fluke.)
I just fucking can't. And it's not even noon yet.

atipofthehat

@cherrispryte

Well, yes, things are a mess. But keeping a democracy is like maintaining a sandcastle—a lot of work, even when the weather's good.

Judith Slutler

@cherrispryte Yep. Plus let's not mistake, in the midst of this, why the Rush Limbaugh Shitstorm 2012 was due to something he said about a young white law student. He has a horrifying history of bile spewed out against people of color, too. Going back years. Why is this thing the straw that broke the camel's back? well...

cherrispryte

@Emmanuelle Cunt Depressing but true.

anachronistique

@Emmanuelle Cunt That is the part that has had me bleakly amused the whole time.

camanda

As an atheist feminist on birth control, this whole debate -- and all the others about universal human rights that stem from a few people's religious beliefs -- makes me so mad that I can only think in capslock. Just a lot of sputtering and F-bombs, at the end of which, I shout, "Why do my decisions matter to you??"

That's the crux of the whole thing, really, isn't it? About alternative sexualities and religious beliefs and recreational drug use and birth control and banned books and listening to New Wave music. What does it have to do with you, Rush Limbaugh? Nothing. Nothing at all, aside from taking just a little bit more power away from the likes of you. And that hardly bothers me.

As has been said already in these fine comments (exceptions noted), it's amazing that we're having this debate in this century. Turns out imperialist tactics still work even when you're just second-classing people in your own country.

EpWs

@camanda Yessssss this. Thisty thisty this.

Faintly Macabre

@camanda I'm an atheist secular Jew (It's Complicated!) and feminist, but I used to be pro-waiting-till-marriage and am still basically a prude in my personal life. I generally feel as if I don't exist to these people.

camanda

@Faintly Macabre I had a similar statement in another draft of my comment -- that I might as well be dead. I'm much more annoying to them alive, though, so that's fine with me.

RK Fire

@Faintly Macabre: Heck, a good friend of mine identifies as a Catholic feminists and her whole stance has been "I wouldn't have an abortion if I was pregnant, but I don't think that's a reason for me to keep non-Catholics from having abortions." BAM! Amazing!

EpWs

@RK Fire AMAZING! Can I send her a nice bouquet? Would you hug her for me?

camanda

@RK Fire The world needs more people like your friend.

atipofthehat

@RK Fire

Catholics hate the Church way more than non-Catholics. And the Catholics who are actual Romans hate it most of all!

Long ago, when I was a boy and the Pope was Italian, my mother expressed her views on birth control this way (in a Chico Marx accent that is no longer acceptable, but I found hilarious at the time):

"If you don' play-a the game, you don' make-a the rules."

Bebe

@atipofthehat You speak the truth. I am 2nd-generation fallen Catholic, and oh the when-they-lost-their-faith stories I could tell you about my relatives. Birth control is just the tip (heh heh) of the iceberg.

WaityKatie

@Bebe Second generation! Is it possible to keep falling? Fall...further? I thought this crap was going to end with me.

@WaityKatie Catholic guilt is passed on genetically, I think.

Bebe

@WaityKatie My father was fully fallen, as were his parents, by the time I cam around. My mother was still clinging to her memories of the church being progressive and caring about the poor, and a few really great priests she knew, but as I grew up and decided it was all BS, so did she. So I guess I was just half-fallen at birth.

But yes, as @S. Elizabeth says, The Guilt remains.

RocketSurgeon

This whole debate makes me very glad I just got an IUD put in under my government-funded health insurance.

NeverOddOrEven

@RocketSurgeon Fuck. Yes.
I thought I had trouble getting mine 6 years ago. Never would I have thought it would only get harder...

bitzy

@RocketSurgeon As rage-inducing as this whole 'debate' has been, it has made me pull the trigger and schedule my IUD for next week.

THANK YOU, PLANNED PARENTHOOD.

RocketSurgeon

@bitzy The insertion isn't awful, but prepare for a day or two of discomfort. My doc gave me epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels and reduce bleeding and I warn you, it's insane. Like "ride the snake" crazy, but then again, I'm not much for adrenaline/speed in any form.

packedsuitcase

@bitzy Yeah, I got one a few years ago and was debating taking it out because of the horrible, horrible acne I have again that only the pill seems to solve. But I'm starting to re-consider...

Sea Ermine

@bitzy Ugh, same. I got my IUD (the copper one) this Tuesday, as a heads up, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was told to take 600mg of ibuprofin before the insertion (that was the only medication I got before or during). The part before the insertion (either the sounding or tenaculum, can't remember) was the worst pain I'd felt in my life and I had had really bad cramps all day (more ibuprofin and tylenol helped with that as well as an advil pm before bed) but by the next morning I was fine. Mild soreness for like 5-10 minutes at a time a couple times then, and once today (day three) but otherwise everything is great. And it didn't extend my period or cause extra bleeding like it does for some people which was nice, although I'll have to wait another month to know for sure how that will go (I was told to get it inserted on either day 3 or 4 of my period since it's easier). Plus I love the fact that it would really piss off Limbaugh because not only am I a sexually active woman getting birth control (and just for sex, not for other medical conditions) I also got it with my parents employer insurance (and they work for the government) and got it inserted by planned parenthood. The one downside was that the $80 I paid for it was tough on a student budget (especially since I found out that if I used the sliding scale instead of insurance it would have probably been free) but my boyfriend split the cost with me and it's good for 12 years so I'm set.

redheaded&crazy

I just find it mind boggling that the anti-abortioners have extended their position to anti-contraception.

HOW FUCKING MEDIEVAL IS THAT?! I know this is a played out response but I SERIOUSLY CANNOT EVEN.

@atipofthehat You win at life.

oodelally

@redheaded&crazy What I gather from lurking around the Catholic forums on The Knot (I'm not Catholic, just fascinated by the conversations that go on there) is that the pill creates an unfriendly environment for a fertilized egg, preventing implantation. If you're in the "life begins at conception" camp, it 's abortive. I think that's fine as a personal belief, and have a lot of respect for the women who practice what they preach. I just ask for the same in return, and that laws are based off of the consensus of the medical community (life begins at implantation) and not the beliefs of a religious community.

wharrgarbl

@oodelally That's a claim they make, yes. There's pretty much zero scientific basis for it, though. As opposed to the rhythm method (a-OK by church standards), which actually does allow a resumption of sex after ovulation and thus leads to eggs being fertilized after the point of no return and flushed to their embryonic deaths!

oodelally

@wharrgarbl Eh, WebMD backs them up...I did a quick search on Google Patents for more scientific info but all I found was a BC pill dispensing hair brush.

@oodelally I believe it's that BC prevents implantation on the wall of the uterus. So yeah, if you think that two cells coming together is a person, you can go on believing it's abortive. But for the rest of the people in the world who do not think that 2 tiny little cells make a person, the argument is one that doesn't carry much weight. I mean, really.

laurel

@oodelally This is fascinating. Have you read about John Rock, an obstetrician who collaborated on the early clinical trials for the pill? A devout Catholic, he was convinced, since the pill interrupted ovulation prior to fertilization, that the Church would approve the pill as similar to the rhythm method. Having seen the suffering of women and families with unwanted children, he was crushingly disappointed that the Church opposed the pill and lost his faith.

ImASadGiraffe

I am very, very scared for November. I hope every single woman in this country votes against this crap, otherwise we will be dealing with this for another 4 years.

cuminafterall

To all those who (like me) are enraged about this and looking to do something about it, there are a bunch of PACs you can donate to that support women and pro-choice candidates. EMILY's List is the biggie in this arena, but NARAL, NOW, and Planned Parenthood also have PACs.

If you have time but not $$ to donate, you can see their lists of endorsed candidates and volunteer for one who's in your area.

RK Fire

@cuminafterall: I.. should do this. For once I feel like I have the confidence, time, and energy to get involved with volunteering and rallies in this election cycle, and although I want to focus on the Inevitable Same Sex Marriage Referendum in MD(ISSMRMD? maybe not the best acronym) and getting same sex marriage passed, for good, I'll see what else is going on here in MD.

Hobbes

@cuminafterall You can also sign the Sum of Us petition going to his advertisers. Carbonite and ProFlowers have already dropped him. http://sumofus.org/campaigns/aol-limbaugh/?akid=192.179101.Aw7pCu&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=2

EpWs

@RK Fire You're in Maryland? High five to Maryland and their apparently levelheaded congresspeople, who did a very nice job passing same sex marriage. Hooray! (I'm in Kentucky, where we have a democratic governor and my city has the best gay mayor on the planet, but we are still WAY down the line from getting same sex marriage passed. I am living vicariously through the triumphs of other states.)

RK Fire

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher: Thanks! We're happy about it, although I have to say that as I do all sorts of things that fit an archetype of being a liberal (being a woman of color! living in a city! working in a non-profit focused on saving the environment! drinking chai!) I'm generally really proud of being from MD and our blue state status, etc., and I was still incredibly dismayed by the debates in the MD General Assembly regarding this issue. Unsurprisingly, many of the delegates and state senators against it turned to religion over and over again as a reason to vote against it, even though there are protections for religious institutions from lawsuits if they don't want to administer a same sex marriage. I think the big reason why it passed this time (other than the fact that we have some fantastic local politicians) is also because the folks who were personally against same sex marriage voted for it because a) they wanted to stop talking about it and b) they expect it to go to referendum by petition. And to date, no state has passed same sex marriage by popular vote. Even in the very blue state of MD (and it's only really heavily D in Central MD), public polls are showing support to be 50/50. :/

TL;DR: I am happy about it too but it's not certain yet! If only there was a way to do a counter petition.. "we see your 50,000 signatures and we can show 100K of signatures from people who support same sex marriage.."

EpWs

@RK Fire Good luck to you! Part of the reason I'm staying here the Sawouth (not really South, but kind of south) is to keep working towards good things here! It feels like the tide is turning on a national scale (slowly) (sometimes).

But Mr. Limbaugh, what about Griswold v. Connecticut? Can't that easily be applied to the situation at hand?

*crickets*

WaityKatie

@S. Elizabeth Once they get one more on the Supremes, they intend to reverse everything, back to and including Griswold.

Judith Slutler

@S. Elizabeth I think you're failing to take into account the famous case of SLUTTY SLUT SLUTFACE PROSTITUTE WHORES v. Responsible Men Everywhere

@Emmanuelle Cunt You mean Roe v. Wade? Yeah, that might be relevant, too.

@WaityKatie Obviously. Scalia and Thomas will write all of the majority opinions. Kagan, Sotomayor, and Ginsburg will be barefoot and pregnant. The world will end.

WaityKatie

@S. Elizabeth On the upside, Ginsburg's pregnancy will be a medical miracle!

@WaityKatie Headlines will read "Ginsburg Pregnant, Confusion Ensues Regarding Maternity Leave, Even Number of Voting Justices, Original Intent."

Jizzcliner

@wharrgarbl Thumbs up for "jizz-addled".

P.S. Please don't hate me

Doesn't Ms. Fluke have a housekeeper she can send out to get her birth control for her?

brista128

Can we please talk about how SCARY Santorum is!?!?!?!!?!?

My friend said we should all vote for him in the primaries because he is a such a nut that there's no way he'll actually get to the White House, while Romney is less obviously nutty and has a better shot against Obama. But I don't even want Santorum to be in the same time zone as the White House, let alone have even the smallest shot against Obama! All the Republicans noms are scary in the normal old white wealthy Republican man repulsive -- you know, hating women and the usual -- but this one. He is so scary. He is a special kind of repulsive that scares me.

RK Fire

@brista128: Yes, this is how I feel about Santorum. I mean, the thought of Romney getting the White House is still scary to me because potentially, potentially Santorum could end up in a Cabinet-level position.

He is currently in the same time zone as the WH anyway, but I totally hear you on this.

Faintly Macabre

@brista128 I think my brain has been building barriers against my even thinking about him, because I get too upset. On the plus(?) side, we Pennsylvanians forcefully kicked him out of the Senate, which is something he hasn't had to talk about in the primaries but probably would in the general elections.

camanda

@brista128 I have Lewis Black's live album from, what, six years ago? and he does an entire bit on how insane Santorum is. SIX YEARS AGO! HOW DID WE LET HIM GET THIS FAR?!!

And I was a wee thing during the Clinton administration, but I seem to remember Gingrich being a laughingstock back then. This is why I can't take the GOP seriously. It's not that conservativism has nothing valuable to offer (it totally does) -- it's that these people and their brand of it are batshit fucking insane.

EpWs

@brista128 Dan Savage was talking about this recently. Apparently people were using the "Vote for this crazy dude in the primary, there's no way he'll win!" strategy a few years ago. That "crazy dude"? George W. Bush.

Judith Slutler

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher EXACTLY, there is no way we should be taking the risk of voting for Santorum because it could be funny.

laurel

@brista128 Oh, hey, queer 'Pinners and allies? Did you know that President Santorum, in addition to creating a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, intends to nullify all existing legal same-sex marriages.

EpWs

@laurel GUH I KNOW. Also that article contains this quote:

Santorum, who once practiced law, hasn't said how he would draft a constitutional amendment - or how he could get one passed even while opinion polls suggest increasing public acceptance of same-sex marriage.

"Just because public opinion says something doesn't mean it's right," he said in the NBC interview. "I'm sure there were times in areas of this country when people said blacks were less than human."

WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

brista128

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I KNOW WTF HE IS THE WORST AND I DON'T WANT HIM TO HAVE ANY POWER. I don't even want him in charge of a pick-up football game after work, let alone THE COUNTRY.

redheaded&crazy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher aw it could be worse, he could have said "we don't govern based on facts, we govern based on what's right for the people."

Canadian Justice Minister right there folks.

redheaded&crazy

ahhh nobody is really worse than santorum. But I still hate that fucking guy (Justice Minister)

Lily Rowan

I'm pretty sure this is a Bob Kerrey quote from back when Santorum was in the Senate, and before Dan Savage had locked on to him: "Santorum? What is that, Latin for asshole?"

EpWs

@redheaded&crazy ARE YOU SERIOUS? Why do crazy people keep getting elected? Why?

automaticdoor

@brista128 He is so scary! He is so scary that my boyfriend, who is a libertarian-y Republican (like, he's a Democrat by Oklahoma's standards, making him a Republican anywhere else?) says that if he is nominated, he will vote for Obama and possibly actively campaign on his behalf. My guy is about to become president of our law school's Federalist Society chapter, y'all.

contrary

I think I pulled a muscle rolling my eyes at RL's comments. Jesus Christ.

tortietabbie

Every time this comes up, I feel an overwhelming urge to smash things into little bitty pieces with my fists. Which is a lot lately. Fuck anyone who's anti-choice and doubly fuck anyone who's anti-contraception and triple fuck this steaming pile of hateful waste.

laurel

Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks Inc. is Rush's syndicator. According to the AP, "Clear Channel's parent company was taken private in 2008 by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital."

Hmmm, where else have I heard of Bain Capital?

atipofthehat

@laurel

Clear Channel is an easy boycott: don't see movies in their theaters, don't buy products advertised on their radio stations and billboards and airport displays. And let the advertisers know.

laurel

How about we don't listen to Clear Channel/Premiere Radio Networks stations anymore? Here's how to search for Clear Channel/Premiere Radio Networks stations by location.

atipofthehat

@laurel

Or...we monitor those stations and let the advertisers know we're not buying their products.

laurel

@atipofthehat You don't even have to listen to them. Just go to their website, turn off any ad blocking software and take a look. My closest station: Cricket phones, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, McDonalds and the local Ford dealership. Fuck allllllllll y'all.

iceberg

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. OK who do I write to about this that has some kind of power? My local congressman? I don't understand the American system welll enough. But if my daughters need any kind of birth control when they get old enough, it better be fucking available or heads will roll.

wharrgarbl

@iceberg Write everybody! US Senator, US congressional rep, state legislators, governor....Most everybody has handy little "Rant at me online" forms on their official state pages.

atipofthehat

Everyone should be aware of a technique being used by the right:

"...by setting the bar to the extreme, and then drawing back, are the proponents of these measures actually changing the conversation in their favor?"

NeverOddOrEven

@atipofthehat Yea, that's been pretty clear for a while now. It's just so damn frustrating that the rest are letting them get away with it.
Instead of "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" it's "They ask for 2 miles so you give them one."

wharrgarbl

@atipofthehat It has the achilles heel of showing your hand, though. Once you announce that your ideal endgame is actually killing Social Security/banning birth control/letting employers repossess your firstborn, it becomes much more difficult to obtain good-faith cooperation with opponents until enough of the electorate cycles out that people trust you again. See also, how much of the population no longer remembers what happens when abortion is illegal and birth control difficult to obtain.

laurel

@atipofthehat I've been thinking about this all weekend. Rush says something outrageous and the candidates get to appear "reasonable" by agreeing with his statement while taking issue with his choice of words. They're nudging the center to the right.

leastimportantperson

@atipofthehat Yep. I appreciate the earnestness with which people are discussing these issues, but they shouldn't be on the table at all. That they are up for debate is mad distressing.

laurel

@leastimportantperson This is how they wear us down. We need to be tougher than that.

NeverOddOrEven

@laurel We are, it's the fucking Democrats in congress that aren't.

leastimportantperson

@laurel Also, what an amazing example of white male privilege, that he can spout SUCH IGNORANCE and still be considered "smart" and "reasonable". Like!!!! AAA!!!!

atipofthehat

@laurel

"They do say," Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner, who stood next to him, "that over in the north village they're talking of giving up the lottery."

Old Man Warner snorted, "Pack of crazy fools," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery," he added petulantly. "Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody."

—Shirley Jackson

...

Want to know the real reason the economy is where it is? Sure enough, we still prepare the sacred cakes, but the namby-pamby liberals won't let us sacrifice the thirty-seven virgins to Baʿal of Tyre.

laurel

@NeverOddOrEven We need to be tougher on our "representatives". And actively advocate for progressive candidates. See @cuminafterall's comment upthread about PACs at Emily's List, NARAL, PP, etc.

NeverOddOrEven

Over the weekend an old friend posted on Facebook that she "Stands strong behind Sandra Fluke", and of course some crazy "friend" of hers came out of the woodwork to try to defend Rush and claim Sandra was a liar.
When pressed for what lies she told, he said that because she claimed paying $3000 for birth control and that "[he] can't think of any way that's possible, so it must be untrue."

Seriously. What. The. Fuck.

I probably could have zinged him a bit better, but Ijust replied that it was the most ignorant thing I've ever heard (and it wasn't exactly hyperbole), and that while I can't wrap my head around the universe we're all still here, aren't we? Also, God. But I'd bet my left ovary that he's not using that logic to justify his atheism...

youspelledmynamewrong

Reading this whole thing this morning pretty much made me cry. Of course, I am menstruating, so obviously I'm just in hysterics anyway, being a woman and all. Sign this petition! Seriously, let's get this bastard off the air! http://wh.gov/X1O

EpWs

@youspelledmynamewrong Heyo, high five to menstruating hysterical women!

laurel

@youspelledmynamewrong Re taxes supporting military broadcast of RL's show? OH HELL NO.

youspelledmynamewrong

@laurel Right?? No thank you.

Alixana

Hoping this does not double-post, but I am only seeing it when logged in, for some reason?

OK, people have asked for things to do, and I have a few suggestions (from inside an org that works on this issues, although I am a lawyer and not an organizer).

1) Stay informed. I know those conversations with your conservative co-workers and families are frustrating as hell, but all our polling shows that these conversations are CRITICAL to changing opinions and creating new activists. My favorite resource for staying up-to-date on all the head-splitting insanity is the National Partnership for Women and Families’ Daily Health Policy Report, and you can sign up here (assuming my link works). (ETA: I am an HTML failure! http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/TellAFriend?msgId=44221.0&devId=44781)

2) Pay attention to, and actually act, on those action alerts you get from non-profit advocacy orgs. The big three who have been working contraception access really hard are the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. EVEN IF you live in a bluer-than-blue state, it still helps to contact your Congresscritters when asked – it is almost as important to say “Thank you for standing up for us!” as it is to say “Please stand up for us!”.

Alixana

@Alixana I think I discovered a comment character limit!

2a) Try to find the equivalent orgs in your state, and stay on top of your state representatives as well. The war on women is really a state-by-state scorched-earth campaign, and we need all the help we can get out there.

3) Consider participating in grassroots advocacy in your community. These folks are coordinating marches to take place all over the country on April 28th – consider helping plan, or at least showing up, for yours. (Note: I am not affiliated with this movement, which appears to be wholly grassroots, and don’t know all that much about the effort, except that it is legitimate and snowballing). (Edited for more link failure: http://www.facebook.com/groups/300397393356744/).

4) VOTE, at the very least, and consider volunteering for your local progressive candidate during the primary and election seasons, if applicable. I know that in many parts of the country this feels pointless and endlessly frustrating, but I promise that it is useful and helpful.

miss olsen

@Alixana Thanks for putting this together! I would add that it's vital to vote in EVERY election. Your city council and state legislature are full of people angling to eventually become your congressperson/senator/governor. If you don't like their views, don't let them get one step further. Plus, local government influences your day-to-day life in all kinds of important ways. All elections matter.

brista128

@miss olsen Yes! Local voting matters!

Alixana

@miss olsen Yes, absolutely! Vote early, vote often, vote in ALL the elections.

WaityKatie

Not to mention that all of Rush's vile remarks are based on the false premise that Fluke was testifying about her own need for birth control. Which she was not. She testified about what other students told her about their problems caused by lack of coverage of birth control. For all anyone knows, Fluke has never used birth control at all. But why let the facts get in the way of calling someone a slut?

leastimportantperson

@WaityKatie Because this is how they see us. Guilty until proved innocent. Worthy of nothing unless they decide we can be granted special access.

P.S. Please don't hate me

@WaityKatie
And a prostitute! Somehow I managed to find a little bit of extra irritation on behalf of people whose profession he used as a insult!

WaityKatie

@leastimportantperson Well, she didn't prove that she ISN'T a slutty slut prostitute poopyface.

leastimportantperson

@WaityKatie I mean, I honestly believe that's what the driving motivation is. These men want to be the gatekeepers between women and everything they need. Because you're a whore...unless you're their wife. You can't have an abortion... unless they decide this is one of the cases where you can. You can't have birth control...unless they decide you're not a whore (i.e. married to them). I think that's one of the reasons abortion is such a gut-level issue for them. Because they don't want women to be able to decide what they do with something they could use to control them. It's all about the power to make exceptions. They want the power to decide in every single case.

@leastimportantperson I feel like this is some sort of douchebag backlash to the women's movement. Can't underpay them? Can't refuse to employ them? Can't use their delicate ladyparts to keep them out of the military, schools, universities, churches, country clubs, or the secret boys only tree house? Well, that blows. Let's find other things to control!

mascarasnake

Can the breakup bunker be rented by people who want to escape rightwing nutjobs?

EpWs

@mascarasnake I'm sure it can, but as crazy as it is out here right now, we've got to stay out and make a fuss.

mascarasnake

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I promise I'll use my alone time to write letters to the editor. Starting here, because I've been ranting about it all day.

EpWs

@mascarasnake Carry on! That op-ed is a pile of dangerous nonsense, go get it.

thenewbrunette

Oh my god! "So much sex she can't afford the contraception"??? What is wrong with this man!
The smug hatred combined with the sheer ignorance just makes me want to burn things!
THAT'S NOT HOW CONTRACEPTION WORKS, ASSHOLE. Does he think women take one pill per bang or something? My boyfriend thought the same thing until we started having sex, at which time he asked me about it, and I corrected him. We were like 19 at the time. You sir, are a middle aged man and should have educated yourself on this subject by now, particularly if you're going to rant about it on the radio. Have you ever even spoken to a woman, Rush Limbaugh??

WaityKatie

@thechouxbrunette He thinks this because that is how his Viagra works. I would bet money on it.

spoondisaster

Seen on Tumblr:

thenewbrunette

@spoondisaster Ha! Brilliant. Graphs soothe my rage.

EpWs

I have no earthly clue if anything else is going on on The Hairpin today. I've been camped out on this thread for an hour and a half easy.

Steph

Read this and then gave my feminist-but-doesn't-know-it boyfriend a hug.

EpWs

@Steph I have one of those too! He is the best. I shall hug him later.

MeShel Harrington@facebook

I would like to get THIS point across to them. I have been married for almost 7 years and have two children, a 4 yr old and an 11 week old.
When I became pregnant the private insurance we had didn't cover pregnancy, so I had to get on state Medicaid. My husband beccame eligible for insurance at his place of employment during my pregnancy, but the insurance doesn't cover any type of contraception. Since the insurance offered by his employer doesn't cover contraception, the government actually did have to "pay for" my IUD through Medicaid.
He is saying that would happen if insurance that we pay for each and every week would help cover the cost. If my primary insurance would have covered contraception methods the government wouldn't have paid for it.

Lulu22

Now that They have raised this "religious freedom" issue, a lot of their constituents are truly afraid that their religious freedom is being attacked. The thing is, it IS--by the very people who purport to protect it. Do you think they'd be pushing this if Muslims wanted to deny Christians products and services based on Sharia law? It's hypocritical in so many ways I can't even. Freedom for EVERYBODY.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@Lulu22 Ahhhh, THIS. If a Muslim organization refused to pay for someone's valve replacement because the doctors were going to use a pig valve, would anyone stand for it? DOUBT IT.

Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter

On Sunday my husband had his weekly phone call from his Dad, and there was a palpable change in the atmosphere when I could tell his father had brought up Limbargh and was, incredibly, supporting him.

My husband is still fuming this morning.

ms. alex

@Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter My husband could say that about me. My dad called me and gave me a lesson on What Conservatives Believe with side notes on The Importance of Religious Freedom and I Think Planned Parenthood Is Using Their Money to Fund Abortions Illegally.

I almost died of angst and frustration.

frigwiggin

This all just feels like poison in my heart. I need to take more Vitamin D, obviously.

thebestjasmine

I have been so upset about all of this, and have taken it all so personally. It makes me glad to know that there are so many of us who feel the same way. Now I need to go look at pictures of like, babies playing with puppies to make my blood pressure go down.

And you know, Obama's phone call to Sandra Fluke made me cry, and I found it so wonderful. People criticized that for it being a political ploy, and election year nonsense for him to call her. My feeling about that is that if it was a political ploy, his message was to say "All of you women out there who are getting called names? I stand with you."

@thebestjasmine Exactly. If you're a male politician with an immense amount of power, and your political ploy is saying "I stand against oppressive, sexist, awful language being spewed at women," I'd say your tactics are pretty harmless/wonderful.

nevernude cutoffs

@thebestjasmine Reading this Onion article helped soothe the rage. http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-dont-even-want-to-be-alive-anymore,11521/

datalass

@thebestjasmine I especially liked the part where he told Sandra Fluke that her parents should be proud of her.

For some reason, Limbaugh's attack on Fluke where he implied that her parents should be ashamed of her particularly stung me. It just smacked of someone who was really trying to destroy his opponent. Like, oh, no, looks like she's tough enough to endure insults about herself, let me suggest that she's bringing shame on those who love her.

I love that the narrative went from this:
Rush Limbaugh: You're bringing shame on your parents!

To this:
The President of the United States of America: You're doing great. Your family should be proud of you. (Oh, and I know a bit about proud families: I'm the President of the United States.)

thebestjasmine

@datalass Yes, that was the part that made me cry, when he told her to tell her parents that they should be proud of her. I can only imagine how that made her feel.

keristars

I know this has been said before, but this whole thing makes me feel so scared, and helpless, and invisible, and not just because of the hormone therapy medication.

I used birth control pills from age 13 to 21 because of dysmennorhea and only stopped because I was unable to take the pills properly (severe depression) and the worst of the symptoms seemed to be clearing up as I aged. It's still pretty bad, but nothing like it used to be, so it feels manageable to me now. Even with the pills, though, I was in so much pain that I missed a lot of school, if I wasn't avoiding my period altogether.

So I've experience with it. But that's not the only reason I'm scared - I take an anti-depression medication that costs $50/month with insurance, but I'm struggling to make ends meet and can't afford to live on my own. Without this medication, I can barely function. With it, I have experienced what it's like to not be crippled by depression and anxiety for the first time in my life. I've been on lots of different medications in the past, but this is the first one that worked at all.

Basically, I am terrified because I don't want to go back to what it was like without this pill, only 4 months ago. I'm 28 and feel like I'm just starting out in life, like I had ten years of sleeping.

I look at the stupid, asshole, uninformed arguments about birth control, and I look at what I paid for back then for it, and I look at what people seem to think about anti-depression/anxiety medication, and what I'm forced to pay for it now (because it's new and not available in generic), and it may be a minor link, but I am terrified that these arguments about birth control will extend to my medication more than the stigma it already has, and I will be completely unable to do anything about it. I have insurance for the first time in 5 years because of a new job, because I earned too much for medicare in my state and not enough for the "working poor" insurance options.

I don't mean to try to derail the conversation away from birth control, but I can't tell you how scared this nonsense makes me for the rest of my health. And I can't say how glad I am that I *can* function (somewhat) without the hormone therapy these days. (And I'm nervous to try going back on, in case the hormones interact poorly with my anti-depression med.)

NeverOddOrEven

@keristars My first instinct is to tell you that that would never happen, what with it's widespread use, demonstrated benefits, support from medical professionals etc. etc., but honestly I just can't with any confidence anymore. Maybe 2 years ago, but not now.

So instead let me just congratulate you on finally getting to a healthy place and continuing to fight the good fight!

keristars

@NeverOddOrEven
Yes! That's why I'm worried. I wouldn't have ever thought my medicine would be in danger - but I never would have thought that about birth control, either, even from blowhards like Rush.

And you already have people talking about depression and anxiety as being "trendy" and that folks use the medication just because they aren't doing the Right Things, and they don't really need it. Plus, it was a 3 month ordeal to get my insurance to accept that I need this particular medicine, and in that time, I had to try other ones that we knew didn't work and which made everything worse.

There's no reason anyone should be afraid for their health, whether it's sexual health or mental health or having a cold or allergies to pollen. And yet, here we are.

Lauren_O'Neal

@keristars
Attached please find the following:
- One (1) huge Internet hug
- Two (2) thumbs up for your mameshiba avatar
- A tiny bit of hope for the future, knock on wood

contrary

@keristars oh honey, I'm sorry for everything you've been through. If it makes you feel any better, anytime I see any of these birth control regulation things crop up, I also start to wonder if/when they're going to start applying the same ideals to other classes of medication. I take anti anxiety meds (xanax) and would be lost without them, and a lot of weird pain meds for a back injury that usually don't get prescribed to marginally heathy 20 somethings, some of which commonly get abused. I've never had a pharmacist refuse to fill them, but where I live there have they're really trying to cut down on the amount of prescription drugs on the streets, and I've gotten the feeling from (one) pharmacist that they think I'm a doctor shopper. I get that prescription drug abuse is a problem in our country right now, but that doesn't mean you have to criminalize every person who needs a painkiller/sedative/sleeping pill/etc. Sorry for the kind of unrelated tangent, this just happened recently.

alannaofdoom

@keristars I am piling onto @Lauren_O'Neal's huge internet hug for you.

keristars

@Lauren_O'Neal @alannaofdoom @contrary

Thanks for the support :) And @contrary - I am so with you on the pain meds thing. My favorite part is where people laugh at me because I'm allergic to codeine, so I can really only take OTC stuff (and prescriptions that cost more but are the same thing), so I'm not really in pain if I can do without the major stuff... It's like you're a junky or you're lying, especially if you look otherwise healthy and twice especially if you're even a little bit overweight.

Just let us get the healthcare we need, please!

roaringkitten

i know we've discussed margaret sanger on the hairpin before, but go back and listen to this interview on fresh air re: how women's reproductive issues have always been used by politicians.

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/09/142097521/how-birth-control-and-abortion-became-politicized

atipofthehat

Sign UltraViolet petition here.

"UltraViolet is a community of women and men, fighting to expand women's rights and combat sexism everywhere - from politics and government to media and pop culture."

OwlOfDerision

Oh qrap, I have never been so glad to be British as I am right now. FREE CONTRACEPTION FOR ALL!

p.s. It has recently come to my attention that America is full of dicks. Please accept my sincere condolences :(

@OwlOfDerision *big hugs* thank you for the condolences. Right now, we need them. This is the level of dickishness in this country:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/10-pictures-of-riot-police-at-the-virginia-state-c

Those were taken yesterday in Richmond, Virginia.

WaityKatie

@OwlOfDerision Just jumping in to say that I love the idea of an Owl of Derision.

Xanthophyllippa

@WaityKatie Add in a Party Falcon and it's good times all around!

OwlOfDerision

@Xanthophyllippa You mean it's a hoot!

packedsuitcase

Can I just rage for a second that the same group of people are spouting this bullshit that oppose any kind of national healthcare because they don't want the government to be involved in decisions between a doctor and their patient?!?! Apparently that doesn't count when the thing being discussed between me and my doctor is my uterus. Because I'm just a silly woman that obviously can't make the right decision for myself.

saul "the bear" berenson

@packedsuitcase DUDE you are so right. Why isn't the press actively asking that question? Are they and I'm missing it?

oh, disaster

Thank you for writing this and putting into words what I've been feeling these past few days.

Anchovy Cake

Blurgggg why hasn't he OD'ed on painkillers and viagra yet? When will Satan come to reclaim his spawn?

camanda

@Anchovy Cake I don't think the Dark Lord wants him, either.

fondue with cheddar

@camanda Sadly, you're probably right. Which means he will live forever. :(

camanda

@jen325 And watch the march of progress continue around him for all eternity? Aces! It's better than Guantanamo!

camanda

I'm just adding that this made me rage so hard that I finally grabbed one of the Obama bumper stickers I keep on my bookshelf and affixed it to my car.

Not the "Grab a Mop," though, just the 2012 one. Because I am keeping "Grab a Mop" forever.

Creature Cheeseman

I actually got an e-mail from shithead Senator David Vitter this morning after writing to him a few weeks ago. "I favor "conscience protections" for health care providers who act on religious or moral convictions, and I do not believe that those who are morally and religiously opposed to abortion should be forced to pay for these prescriptions. While we disagree on this issue, I sincerely appreciate your comments."

RAGE

Judith Slutler

@Creature Cheeseman ahahahaha birth control is now abortion, OK then.

I don't even know where to start on Vitter, who is clearly a paragon of sexual morality, right? >:|

saul "the bear" berenson

It is time for the sex workers who have spent time with Rush Limbaugh to step forward. Of course there is already voluminous evidence proving him to be an incompetent hypocritical ass, but it would be nice to have even more evidence. Same goes for Newt.

Faintly Macabre

@Moxie Unfortunately, I think most of them are in the Dominican Republic.

EpWs

@Faintly Macabre Field trip!

EpWs

@laurel I will pay all of my moneys to the male sex worker who gets Rick Santorum. It's not a matter of if, only when.

saul "the bear" berenson

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh Hells Yes.

Pin Feathers

I've been nursing my two month old baby girl while reading this post and its comments, and compulsively feel the need to apologize in advance to my daughter. I want to tell her how sorry I am that she may be called a whore when she decides to become sexually active, especially if she is responsible in using birth control. I want to scoop her even tighter in my arms in hopes that it will soften the blow if the word slut is ever used to describe her. And I want her to realize that she may be a tiny baby now, but each day she will become stronger and more powerful and she deserves to be confident in her choices and sexuality when the times comes.

I hope the birth control "debate" will no longer be an issue when she is ready to use it. And I'm sure that if it isn't, certain men will still try to shame women for making their own health and life decisions. Whatever the case may be, maybe the best I can do is to teach her that she is strong, confident, and empowered to make life decisions for herself.

Well that and to teach her older brother to be humble in his thinking and respectful to women, knowing that he is not entitled to make personal decisions for others because he was lucky enough to be born male. Perhaps if more men in power were aware of this and treated others equally regardless of sex, this "debate" would have ended long ago.

EpWs

@Pin Feathers Thank you for being an awesome-sounding mom. Part of this whole debate is about us wanting to do everything we can to make sure that your little ones have access to everything they need in life when their time comes--without judgement.

NeverOddOrEven

@Pin Feathers Knowing that there are people out there like you, and your children, is about the only thing that keeps me sane lately.

A friend once told me that my husband and I are the types that need to be having kids, to pass on our values (but we aren't/can't). I thought it somewhat glib before, but now I'm starting to think she's right.

fondue with cheddar

@Pin Feathers Parents like you give me hope for the future. THANK YOU.

Pin Feathers

@NeverOddOrEven Might I suggest that even if you never have your own children (which I really hope you do if that's what you want) being in a position where you can still be an awesome adult influence on kids?

My children have a kick ass aunt who became an airplane mechanic at 21 and loves being independent. She's very vocal about this topic because she doesn't want kids, but she loves her niece and nephew to pieces. I'm so glad that they have her to look up to as they grow up, and that she will be a kind, honest voice they can trust. They need as many positive influences as possible encouraging them towards strong values in order to drown out people like Rush.

Pin Feathers

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher @jen325 You're welcome and thank you for the encouragement. I'm doing the best I can. Hopefully that's enough.

EpWs

@Pin Feathers My goal in life is to be the Awesome Aunt. Not planning on kids of my own (I will leave that to responsible wholehearted parents like yourself!) but I am all about being the honest, vocal, independent lady in as many wee lives as pop up around me.

NeverOddOrEven

@Pin Feathers Oh yea, I'm defintely looking forward to Cool Aunt staus once my sister adopts(!). But no kids for me.

srsly

the scariest part of this "debate" is that my employer might decide whether or not i'd have affordable access to keeping my lady parts healthy and free of babies. who can say what other factors might come in to play here?

imperfectly11

Aspirin Is The New Birth Control (dot) com
... HILARIOUS

CleverPseudonym

Honest question: what if the debate itself were framed less in terms of "womens issues" and more in terms of "individual rights" and the Ninth Amendment? Looking at you, Griswold v Connecticut...

sophduck

Ahem. I live in the UK. Last week I went to the doctor, for free. I asked for some more of the birth control pill I have been on for some time. They checked my blood pressure, height and weight. They asked me to pee in a cup so they could test for chlamydia, as they ask all people in my high risk age group to (though you don't have to, obv). I did, just for the hell of it. Then they gave me a prescription for 6 months of my birth control pill (for free). Then I went to the chemist, handed over my prescription, and they handed me back 6 months of my birth control pill (for free). A couple of days later I got a text saying I didn't have chlamydia - altho if I had, all I would have had to do is go back to the docs and get a single antibiotic tablet (for free). I don't recall being called a slut once during the whole process.

It's a truly awful system. No Americans should even think about adopting it. !!!!

EpWs

@sophduck I want to go to there.

sophduck

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Please come, I love a nice cheerful American...

laurel

@sophduck Congratulations. How wonderful.

Jenabeba

@sophduck Amen! Let's hope the current coalition and the anti-abortion-agenda politicians don't ruin this in the next couple of years .....

Diana

I feel like this is the final straw breaking this sad camel's back. I have no fucking common ground with these people. These anti-contraception people, these anti-abortion people, these religious fundamentalist politicians are so fucking stupid, hateful, and unreasonable that I can't and won't compromise or debate with them anymore. Fuck them. Fuck them out of my country! With other issues like gay marriage about which I felt quite passionately, I figured it was just a matter of time - eventually society would grow up and come around. But we are actually going BACKWARDS with this shit! Our own grandparents think we are going insane, because we are.

And you know what? I don't hear Jews complaining that their tax dollars help subsidize the fattening up of pigs for slaughter and consumption, even though that's against their religious beliefs. The government conveniently ignores all the pacifists out there who are appalled that their tax dollars are used on a hideous war. Somehow the only religious voice that gets to have this argument is the fucking Catholic Church and evangelicals *again*. And you know what else? Just once, I'd like to see the Catholics and evangelicals bring out the big guns to police men's bad behavior. I want to see them lobby to outlaw divorce, or to ban masturbation. No, they bring out the big guns only when it comes to trampling on women's rights because they know this country will be happy as a pig in shit to do so. Fuck everything.

I feel so impotent with rage these days. I do not want to coexist with these people, I do not want to live happily side by side with them. I'm so fucking tired of sharing a country with them. I have lost any possible neighborly sentiment towards them, any goodwill or charity. I cannot believe we are wasting the 21st century, an age which could have been filled with unprecedented humanitarian efforts and contributions to human progress, dealing with this ANTIQUATED BULLSHIT.

EpWs

@Diana I want to see them lobby to outlaw divorce, or to ban masturbation.

Yes. If we're going fight to uphold Biblical "values" even when that means going against everything this country stands for and laws that are already in place, let's at least be consistent about it.

(You go girl. We are right here with you.)

fondue with cheddar

@Diana I wish I could thumbs-up this 100 more times. I hate hate, but these people make it so hard for me not to hate them. Where is the love and compassion the followers of Jesus are supposed to have?

PistolPackinMama

@Diana My church-going catholic mom agreed when I said Holy Mother Church does not get to have a say in the sexual morality of its own congregation until it cleans (or possibly burns down to the motherfucking ground) its own house.

The Church has zero credibility left with when it comes to sex because the hierarchy can get all up in our personal business, but can't take care of its own sex abuse travesty? Fuck that for a fucking game of soldiers.

Dear Catholic Church: Now that we don't have to worry so much about godless communism any more (as if we ever did) can we please go back to doing what we should be doing, which is liberation theology and having a preferential option for the poor? And radical human rights protests? Some of your number are very very good at it, and you could stand to benefit from the example.

XOXO

K8

Megasus

@PistolPackinMama Apparently molesting young boys doesn't count, cuz you can't get them pregnant.

PistolPackinMama

@Megan Patterson@facebook Ah. If I wasn't being such a silly goose, Id've made that connection. Thanks for the correction!

AndSomethingElse

You can't blame Rush for not knowing this - how could he? - but the thing about this is that every time a woman has heterosexual sex, so does a man. And since I'm not getting laid without contraception...aren't we all whores now?

redheaded&crazy

@Alexander If only that were the case, but we have to look to the Bible for the True Facts of this situation, which are that only women can be whores.

AndSomethingElse

@redheaded&crazy Oh! Right. Sorry about that. Never mind then.

wicket19

I had his argument last night w/ a conservative male friend. He was upset that this blew up, but when other pundits/comics have behaved the same way, no one noticed. This blew up b/c more women can identify with taking contraceptives than running for vice-president. Women are smart enough to put the slut comment and birth control together: he was calling all women who use birth control sluts.
Another issue that really needs to be dispelled is condoms are the only contraceptive women need. One guy I know truly believes this. Maybe he missed the day in health where they said to use two types b/c you need a back up.
Honestly, I think all women should go on a sex strike because it would drive home the point that we need birth control, and if we can't have it, we don't have sex. We don't have sex, men don't have sex. I think men would get the point.

AndSomethingElse

@wicket19 can you maybe not strike against dudes who are on your side though? thanks!

EpWs

@Alexander See, the key is to get the people In Charge Of Decisions to go without sex. So we either need to get their wives/girlfriends/sex workers to stop putting out, OR we need to get the wives/girlfriends/sex workers of their donors to stop putting out. Or both!

AndSomethingElse

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Agreed. I support this idea 100%.

wharrgarbl

@Alexander I don't know if you noticed this in all the explanations about how birth control works, but, uh, if women can't get their pills, it doesn't matter who they're fucking. Pregnancy risk is there. It's not like you magically can't get a lady pregnant just because you're an okay dude who doesn't mean to. If the "aspirin between the knees" crowd gets their way, that (and a ton of unwanted pregnancies/unprepared-for babies) is what everyone's stuck with from here to getting the political clout to undo the damage.

AndSomethingElse

@wharrgarbl Ooookay...are you suggesting that my girlfriend withhold sex from me until Republicans shut up, even though I - and lots of other sane dudes who enjoy sex with sane women - am actively campaigning on your side?

PistolPackinMama

@Alexander Yes. Pretty much. In a hypothetical way. Because you can be on our side all you like. But if we can't get birth control, you can still help us get pregnant when we don't want to be.

Sex is not a reward to you for being a good guy. More than one person sex is (supposed to be) a mutually pleasurable experience between two or more people that can sometimes be reproduction as well.

What your GF decides to do with you is her business of course, but if she decided "I cannot have PinV sex because I am too scared to be pregnant and can't get birth control"... well. All the niceness in the world isn't going to do much to change that reality.

Think of it this way. A woman isn't withholding sex from men, even nice men. She's protecting herself from unwanted pregnancy for whatever reason.

Also, @EverPresentWordsnatcher, while the dudes in power and their donors need to hear this... I think any on-the-fence-voter or mild conservative does, too. In our latest Senatorial election, Minnesota was 300-ish votes away from a Republican candidate winning what is now Al Franken's seat. Democrat-voters lady-partners of Republican-voting gentlemancaller-partners could probably make some inroads.

Aristophanes would be so proud.

ETA: If male politicians are going to insist on politicizing female bodies, it seems only fair for women to use their agency to do the same, is all I am saying.

keristars

@wicket19
My favorite part of "condoms are all you really need" is that I'm always hearing of guys who refuse to wear the damn things, because it doesn't feel as good. What nonsense!

We need to have a nationwide sex health ed course, but even if that did somehow happen, I doubt it'd make it through the thick skulls out there.

wharrgarbl

@Alexander Of course that's what I'm saying. "It doesn't matter how supernice you are, your sperm can still knock a lady up if she can't get the pill" totally means "You're cut off because women are bitches." Totally.

PistolPackinMama

@wharrgarbl I wonder why Alexander's feelings about the idea of politicizing sex in our favor for once isn't high on my list of things to care about right now...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/04/1070800/-I-ve-spent-the-past-2-days-trying-to-convince-my-16-y-o-she-is-not-a-slut-?via=siderec

Ah. That would explain it.

Rush Limbaugh and every last conservative politician and any other fool on board this train can go to hell.

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama That article is making me want to throw people through walls. All these people can go fuck themselves straight to hell.

PistolPackinMama

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Do they have to put it online, too? Please say no.

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama Absolutely not. Phew.

wicket19

@Alexander Yes, you're right. The guys who support women will get all the sex. You guys deserve it!

LyingCat

Sorry if this is a re-post but here's an amazing but chilling short story about the dystopian future we're headed for if this shit continues: ILU-486

EpWs

@ThievingMagpie Wow. That is insanely good, and terrifying. Thanks for the link!

anachronistique

@ThievingMagpie "Every part of you belongs to you" is such a great rallying cry.

squeegy beckenheim

how about we start a movement to get the generic birth control pills over-the-counter? I would think we could get the evil big pharma behind that.

mascarasnake

@squeegy beckenheim I like your name. And I have watched that show too much.

oddball

Hi. At the risk of getting berated by everyone else on this site, I feel the need to show that a twenty-something female can have different opinions than those expressed here.

What the heck happened to feminism?? For years females have been working towards equality and independence. Now we’re trying to give the government the right to control, yes control, our contraception?

Ok, so she’s whining because it supposedly caused her great sacrifice to pay $1000 a year for contraception while she’s going to a $45,000/yr school for free. Meanwhile a month of pills from Walmart costs, what, $10?

She enrolled in Georgetown knowing it didn’t provide birth control. Oh that’s right, it’s a catholic school. Real shocker. And then she set about attempting to force the school to change its policy. Apparently it’s not enough to be free to choose a school where she could have gotten what she wanted, she needs to force anyone with an opposing opinion or behavior to accept her way and change. REALLY? I happen to think the best form of birth control is simply not having sex until I’m ready to chance having a kid. But I’m not delusional enough to try to force other people to do things the way that I see as most practical. I figure that’s none of my business. Is it too much to ask for the same courtesy???
Yes, she has rights. Georgetown has rights too. They have the right to decide what to do in their own school. Why should Georgetown’s rights be less important than her? I went to a school where it was mandatory to have a contraception plan. I didn’t take my pills (my body can’t cope with the extra hormones). But I didn’t harass the school about it.

Clearly it needs to be said that Rush Limbaugh tends to use absurd humor to get his point across. It’s called sarcasm.

Oh my goodness. One conservative called one girl a slut once. Meanwhile one liberal called one conservative woman a cu*t thirty-seven times in one speech. (Oh, and that liberal? He never apologized. Limbaugh did.)

And lastly. Our economy is shit. Unemployment is off the charts. The US dollar has been downgraded across the world. Iran wants to nuke Israel. Meanwhile, we’re arguing over birth control? Big picture please.

keristars

@oddball Did you even listen to the testimony? You've got some screwed up facts there.

Also, thanks for trolling, please enjoy your porcupine-up-the-ass reward.

Joan Varga@facebook

@oddball They'll ban your ass in a Stepford Wives' minute, honey. Do NOT question their comfortable assumptions. They've googled it, by gawd, and that's an end on it.

You and I, however, actually did read her "testimony" and merely sought to question it. Not allowed. You are a troll!

"Shun the unbeliever! Shunnnnnn! *pointing at you with mouths agape*" You've questioned, quite reasonably, The Narrative. Shunnn!!!!

EpWs

@oddball This is not about making anyone take contraception. It's not about the government controlling what medications you choose to take or not take. It's about making contraception affordable and available for everyone--not through tax money, but through insurance companies. It's about women's health and their reproductive choices--choices being the key word.

I agree with you that it's absurd that we're arguing about this, given the state of the world. It's 2012, why are we still in a massive tizzy about what women do with their bodies?

emilylitella

@oddball just popping up to say that while I don't necessarily ascribe to your logic, I do respect the way in which you presented it and your willingness to voice your own thoughts. If we can't listen to each other's opinions, we're not really much better than all those ridiculous conservative AND liberal pundits sullying our airwaves.
I personally am too filled with rage and fear to try to formulate a statement on this whole hullabaloo.

queenofbithynia

@oddball "For years females have been working towards equality and independence."

Women, too.

queenofbithynia

@emilylitella Really, you respect that? Especially the ending -- we're going to war, so you'll be pregnant and you'll like it and keep your slut mouths shut about your problems? "Big picture please," indeed. This thing is saying, in so many words, that women's rights are a peacetime luxury.

Megasus

@queenofbithynia Also that we should be squirting out lots of little soldiers all the time?

Diana

@oddball
It's crazy to think that there's absolutely no way to link "the importance of women's access to birth control" with "a shitty economy and high unemployment." I can't imagine how contraception could possibly be popping up in my brain at such periods of extreme financial instability. How careless of me.

thenewbrunette

@oddball Um. In what sense is "providing contraception" the same as "controlling contraception"? Even if you did go to a school where it was mandatory to have a contraception plan (which sounds bizarre and unlikely to me, but maybe that's because I'm in the UK, and things are different here), it's not like they were forcing you to take the pills, is it? You said so yourself- you could just not take the pills if you don't want to, and therefore your choices haven't been affected. Unlike a woman who DOES want to be on oral contraception, but can't be because she can't afford it and her school won't provide it- her choices have very much been affected. Sooo... kind of a false equivalence from you there.

Alixana

@oddball Just to respond to a few things so you don't have to bother, you know, reading the thread:

1) YOUR pills might cost $10 from Walmart. There are many more expensive kinds on the market, and women should be able to decide, with their doctors, what kind they need, without regard to cost.

2) Georgetown is the only top 10 law school in DC. Should she have been required to go to a lower-ranked law school, or to move, in order to access contraception? Or does she have the right to go to the best damn school that will admit her in the locale of her choice, and then work to change the things she doesn't like about it? Law schools aren't fungible any more than BC pills are.

3) If you knew anything about feminism, you'd know that the feminist community was and still is LIVID at Bill Maher. As we don't control the media, you can't pin it on us that this has become such a thing and that didn't.

And I can't even with the bigger picture nonsense.

Hobbes

@oddball The issue here isn't your disagreement, but really the way you're presenting yourself and the "facts" you're providing (hint: those aren't facts). You can't accuse Sandra Fluke of whining, make some strange sweeping statement about the cost of birth control (that don't reflect the nuanced medical issues that come with it), accuse those of us who support her of being delusional, and then sit back under the assumption that we are hating on you for disagreeing. Not to mention your super weird invocation of Bill Maher, who is not the issue. Perhaps we could start a separate conversation about Maher, but it's not like we're balancing scales here. The same could be said about a conversation re: the economy, unemployment, and Iran. You've got a false dichotomy there; it isn't an either/or situation. We are ladies with big brains that are capable of focusing on lots of issues! I can be hungry while I read these comments and while I think about the homework I really should be doing. Oh, and now I'm also thinking about baby animals. But also those other things! Isn't that neat?

The only particular issue I'll take is with the $10 birth control thing. I take Yaz specifically because I suffer from PMDD and it is what my doctor recommends to me. Even the generic version would be prohibitively expensive without insurance (provided by my conservative, evangelical employer--woo!). Cheapo Wal Mart birth control would make my symptoms *worse*, making it an unrealstic option. If, you know, you're willing to admit that some women need things like hormone therapy and not just contraception.

Joan Varga@facebook

Joan of Argghh! never lies. Sandra Fluke doesn't either. By her own words and actions I know exactly what sort of person she is. In her own words, I give you Sandra Fluke's only mission in life; disrupt the Health Care system:

" Discrimination typically takes two forms: first, direct discrimination limiting access to benefits specifically needed by LGBTQ persons, and secondly, the unavailability of family-related benefits to LGBTQ families.

A prime example of direct discrimination is denying insurance coverage for medical needs of transgender persons physically transitioning to the other gender.

Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered."

Now, I don't really care to convince the Monolith, but if there's just one teeny, tiny little spark of curiosity in here, somewhere, that can just once say, "Hey, who's feeding me my information, how do they get paid to get that information to me, and how might their paycheck influence their information?" then I've done a yoeman's work in resetting the sails for a true course for women everywhere.

I was banned for asking questions. It's true. That's how the Stepford Wives roll, I guess.

EpWs

@Joan Varga@facebook Paging @Melis to the troll thread, paging @Melis to the troll thread.

slutberry

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I love you

EpWs

@teffodee :D :D :D (I love you as well!)

Faintly Macabre

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Where is Melis?? There is so much room for FIRE here and Melis-brand absurdism.

Melis, did you kidnap Kristen Stewart and go on the run?

Alixana

@Joan Varga@facebook I have asked you a LOT of questions you haven't answered, but I have more! Because now you're attacking Fluke for ... having academic interests? Working on several different fronts towards a common goal of achieving a fairer, more just health care system? I really don't understand this latest conservative talking point that we can't trust her because she's an activist. Is she supposed to have never written or thought or said anything prior to offering this testimony? Wouldn't you then attack her as patently unqualified to even speak on the topic?

Liz@twitter

Look, I agree that contraception should be a covered medication. I'll be the last person who argues that states should be able to make it illegal. But have some perspective if you're only paying $40 a month for birth control. There are many drugs that are medically necessary for many people that, with insurance, cost far more than $40 a month and these people can ill afford it.

Point being, if a diabetic, with insurance, has to spend nearly $1000 a month to, you know, live then $40 is nothing.

slutberry

@Liz@twitter Yup, that's crap, too.

slutberry

@teffodee The fact, not your point. Diabetics should not have to pay $1000 a month to live. That is crap.

queenofbithynia

@teffodee No, her point is crap too. Plenty of diabetics are also fertile women who will have even more difficulty scraping up the $40 they don't have for birth control after they find the $1000 they don't have for diabetes meds.

Imagine that -- women between 12 and 50 aren't just giant walking reproductive diagrams; they have all the other assorted health problems that real people have, too! Plus, you know, they need contraception.

queenofbithynia

@queenofbithynia I mean jesus fuck it is like people think you get one Health Issue per Citizen, so you can have The Diabetes or the Heart Trouble or The Lady. But no, half of all people are afflicted with The Lady. PlUS ALL THE OTHER SHIT.

slutberry

@queenofbithynia Yep. That diabetics need to spend that much money is crap. That ladies who don't want to have ill-advised pregnancies have to spend that much money is crap. Basically, the government should shape up already and start taking care of people. The end.

PistolPackinMama

@Liz@twitter Yeah. Diabetic here, saying, birth control IS a diabetes management tool. Forgive the anecdata (well, don't, actually, since I am an anthropologist and we are all about the illustrative anecdote...

I can think of four (FOUR) women whose deaths from diabetes-related complications were hastened along by being pregnant. Three of those were women under the age of 30.

When I first was diagnosed with diabetes my docs told my parents I couldn't have children. 30 years on, and it's all just been downgraded to YOU MUST NOT BE PREGNANT WITHOUT PLANNING IT ALLLAAARRRRRRRMMMM ALLLAARRRRRRMMMMM DING DING DING DIVE DIVE DIVE.

So this just means, without insurance, I'd be ponying up $1,040.00 sweet dollars for the privilege of not dying of diabetic childbirth and also not going blind from diabetes complications.

AND ANOTHER THING... even if I weren't worrying about being knocked up. For real. I strongly resent having my chronic condition used as a "diabetics have it so much worse quit whining" point.

This isn't about comparative hardships. This is about... women should have access to affordable health care. For all their health care needs. Whatever their needs. Color me commie (I always did like pink and red together). But it is fully ridiculous that we have to worry about this shit at all.

The fact that politics and conservative politicians think it's okay to get involved with stuff like this because ladies are second class citizens and sex is grooooosssssss and icky and therefore how come anyone's insurance should pay for it is fucking ridiculous.

And pretty much not related to why people don't want to pay for decent endocrinology care, which is diabetics cost a lot and many people would rather have money to spend on, I dunno, whatever it is they want to spend their money on than make sure people don't die of a totally manageable condition.

Goddamn does this make me mad.

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama Get it girl. This, allllllllll this. (Also, at some point can I pick your brain re: diabetes?)

PistolPackinMama

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Of course. You can find me at kathleen.allison.teresa at the gmails.

automaticdoor

@PistolPackinMama Intersectionality! It's a thing! People can have more than one thing! My brain meds are super duper expensive but that doesn't mean my birth control shouldn't also be covered because a) if I had a kid unplanned it would have serious birth defects and b) unregulated hormones make my crazy worse!

Joan Varga@facebook

It IS absurd that we're talking about contraception when the larger issue is the Freedom of Conscience. For the love of your future and your children, please try to concentrate long enough on the actual reason for the hearing-- apart from Ms. Fluke-- to understand what is happening. I'm begging you to THINK your way out of The Narrative. I'm begging you to understand how the world works, how insurance works, how wealth is created and distributed through productive and creative output. It is not magic. Health care costs money. It is not free. Your employer pays for it as part of your benefit package. Benefits are not an obligation, they are a "benefit" else they'd be an "entitlement."

You can argue that Health Care should be free, but you can't argue that someone provide it to you against their will.

Argue anything but contraception because NOBODY is banning contraption. NOBODY. Either I'm crazy to keep saying it, or maybe, just maybe I'm not.

If you're right, then you have to believe some pretty awful things about your friends and family and co-workers who don't agree with you. If I'm right, all I have to believe is that you simply have acquiesced a bit too quickly to the weighty tedium of discovery and have better things to do. No one here is awful or evil. Plenty here are far too accepting of things simply on the face of it. That makes you nice folks.

Nice folks are grist for the government mill. They'll grind you down to dust at the last, but grind you finely, all the same.

D.@twitter

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Good for you for even coming up w/ an apt reply. I was half-convinced that a spam bot had written it, it makes so little sense.

Xanthophyllippa

@Joan Varga@facebook Argue anything but contraception because NOBODY is banning contraption.

C'mere. I have a contraption I'd like you to meet.

Lulu22

@Joan Varga@facebook I think I understand where you're coming from, but I disagree. "Freedom of conscience" is fine as long as everyone is getting their needs met and having their rights respected, but this particular kind of "freedom of conscience" prevents many people's healthcare needs from getting met and rights from being respected. See also: rural pharmacists refusing to sell "morning-after pill" prescriptions because of a "moral objection," effectively denying care to women with differing beliefs.

I respect freedom of religion, and that's why I'm against the "freedom of conscience" efforts we're discussing here--they ultimately impinge on others' rights. For ANYONE to have religious freedom, ALL must have religious freedom, which means, in practice, that we must balance these freedoms with one another's in order to peacefully coexist in a democracy. Majority-religious students may not be allowed to pray in school, because it intimidates and excludes those who belong to another (or no) religion. As a provider of health services, I'm ethically bound to offer the same care and counsel to clients whose beliefs differ from mine.

To me, it's not unlike a freedom-of-speech argument: I may despise what Rush Limbaugh says, but I defend his right to say it. The price we pay for our own free speech is sometimes having to listen to bigoted misogynists spout off. Similarly, someone may not approve of another's sex life, or the choice to get an abortion, but the person making those choices has the same rights and freedoms as the person judging her. I may disagree with someone's lifestyle choices, but I affirm their right to affordable healthcare (I don't believe it should be a "benefit"; I believe it's a right). The price we pay for our own religious freedom is respecting the rights of others with differing beliefs.

Healthcare providers are not there to judge or to defend their idea of morality; they're there to provide safe, effective, legal healthcare, period. I believe every woman, man, and child deserves healthcare, regardless of their religious beliefs, and regardless of their ability to pay. I'm not necessarily happy about having to pay taxes toward emergency care for people who are sick because of "poor lifestyle choices," but I'm proud that at least that person will get basic healthcare.

I'm not interested in getting into a big argument with you. It's difficult to have a true dialogue here, anyway. But I appreciate the earnestness behind your words, and I thought you might be interested to hear a thoughtful response from someone who supports religious freedom but does not support denial of services based on "freedom of conscience." I disagree with your assertion that "you can't argue that someone [must] provide [healthcare] to you against their will." I do argue that; it's a basic tenet of healthcare providers. We provide care to everyone (perpetrators and victims, citizens and undocumented residents, the religious and nonreligious), even people we may privately disdain, even those with whom we may disagree.

thenewbrunette

@Joan Varga@facebook "Nobody is banning contraception".

If you can't afford contraception then, for you, it is effectively banned.

Judith Slutler

@Joan Varga@facebook ~*u mad?*~

Megasus

Guys! Guys! Prudie (of Dear Prudence) wrote about the Limbaugh apology!! http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/03/rush_limbaugh_s_apology_to_sandra_fluke_was_awful_here_s_what_he_should_have_said_.html

EpWs

@Megan Patterson@facebook I loff her. We must stand on etiquette at times like these.

Xanthophyllippa

I was at a conference this past weekend and heard a paper by a (male) "scholar" who teaches at a (Catholic) college in which said male scholar argued that 1) oral contraception is not preventive care, and 2) Obama's mandate is coercion. He argued the first point on the grounds that fertility, manifested in the form of menstruation and/or pregnancy, is a sign of a healthy, functioning reproductive system, and therefore preventing the natural function of that system (e.g. by suppressing ovulation and/or preventing implantation) is making it UNhealthy. He argued the second point on the same-old same-old about religion.

It was with great, great relish that I sat back and watched as the audience - a group of men AND women - effectively, intelligently, and (dare I say it?) gleefully ripped him a new one. He visibly and audibly deflated as the Q&A went on.

Oh - and did I mention this was a conference on professional ethics? Yeah.

PistolPackinMama

@Xanthophyllippa <3

OwlOfDerision

@Xanthophyllippa You mean it's a hoot!

redheaded&crazy
redheaded&crazy

"The truth is, this “controversy” is about the exact opposite of “freedom of conscience.” It’s about denying freedom of conscience to religious women. "

Valerie Alexander@facebook

@redheaded&crazy

An actual graduate of the law school, and female constitutional scholar, on the subject

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577263281305035966.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

redheaded&crazy

@Valerie Alexander@facebook I'm all for reading different perspectives. And you know what? I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I've been pretty content to sit back and read what other people have said about the subject.

But I think that anybody framing this as a "simple" demand for reproductive justice is understating the point. Being able to have sex without getting pregnant is a hugely powerful equalizing force for women in modern day society. I recognize that this is a debate about constitutional rights and I really can't comment on that. What I can say, however, is that any institution that does not support reproductive options for women does not support women's rights. I just don't think there's any place for that in 2012. And frankly I think the catholic church is shooting themselves in the foot. Just as they are with gay rights. They are standing on the side of history that positions them as bigots and deniers of equal rights.

Furthermore, I just think it's sneaky to only quote the lowest possible price for birth control. $9/month generics are one option, and that is great. Some birth control is not available in generics as discussed above. Not only that, but the generic pill and the name brand are supposed to be the same formula, yet nevertheless sometimes they end up causing slightly different adverse events. I work in pharma and I can think of examples of this in various domains of medicine.

Anyways, I completely agree with you that the entire birth control debate has nothing to do with the dire economic circumstances being faced by the United States right now, and I think it's atrocious that legislators on both sides of the aisle are letting more important political issues get shunted aside in favour of these headline grabbers. Although as far as I can tell it seems to be largely a Republican-initiated conversation.

Valerie Alexander@facebook

@redheaded&crazy

We have a lot in common, the least being hair color. I dunno about you, but this is my watch, and I find myself with very strange bedfellows. For me, the constitutional issue is huge, even though I know darn well the Catholic Church is wrong.

I was raised Catholic, and my Mom had a tubular pregnancy after her third child. She was told she'd likely die if she got pregnant again, and that she could take The Pill to prevent that. The priest said The Pill was wrong, but she could get a hysterectomy. She was a convert, and willing to agree to that. My daddy was a cradle Catholic, and he said his favorite word (Bull$h!t) in front of the priest and told him that his wife was going on The Pill. She's alive and well, today.

One day when I was in high school, the priest gave a sermon on Abortion, and my daddy, driving on the way home, commented that "You know what I think? I think it's nobody's business." I told him "Daddy, you're pro-choice," which did not go over very well.

Since then, I've found The Church to be so very good about end-of-life issues, but still terrible about the questions that face young families.

I know the Catholic Church is wrong on this one. And yet, I am willing to let them act as a road block to this administration, because the road this administration is on leads to euthanasia and coerced abortion.

I read the Roe v. Wade decision from the Supreme Court Reporter when it was issued. I was 17 at the time, and it was the first article I ever read on the topic that made sense. I thought it would be a wonderful thing to be able to write like that, and later on, I went to law school.

That decision discusses many things, but the part that keeps it from getting overturned is a discussion about power, and the consequences of a grant of power to a secular government like our own. In brief, there is no way to grant the power to intervene in the abortion decision, without granting the power to coerce abortions on a national scale. At the time, the decision was attacked as being ridiculous for even considering such an outcome, but before long, China initiated its population control policy, and the end result were abortions, mainly of baby girls, in the millions.

We are SO much better off donating to Planned Parenthood than lobbying to get our government involved in overriding religious objections to paying for abortions and even contraception, not because The Church is right, but because of the grand of power to the government involved.

whateverlolawants

@Valerie Alexander@facebook "...because the road this administration is on leads to euthanasia and coerced abortion."

I don't follow. And are slippery slope arguments valid?

redheaded&crazy

Coerced abortion is also the part that loses me. I'm trying to understand it, and I see it trying to be explained clearly, and I'm just not getting it.

Slippery slope arguments ... what comes to mind for me is the Republican position leading to back alley abortions.

Slapfight

So if women stop having sex unless they're married/strictly to procreate, what does this mean for men? Because, as we all know, sexually repressed societies do so well. Sure seems like rapes will increase. Maybe that's what Rush is really endorsing.
I am so effing tired of feeling constantly under attack simply for having a uterus. So. Effing. Tired.

kayjay

I'm so late here, but you've echoed the exact thought I was having the moment I heard Limbaugh's barf-tastic rant: "Hey, I use birth control. That douche nozzle is talking about ME!" I took it personally immediately. Every woman should. And every man who has a woman for a mother, or one for a sister, or one for a wife, or one for a daughter should, too.

whateverlolawants

Thank you for posting this. This incident and the surrounding debate has been gnawing away at me for days. Your response was so well-put. It's nice to see The Hairpin get overtly political every now and then- I wouldn't want it all the time (I need escape), but sometimes it is... relevant to our interests.

Horseback.beggar

What if we all went Lysistrata? I mean, it kind of would be punishing ourselves, but...
Okay, I cannot see where I am going with this. I am just going to be frustrated and eat frosting now.

Hobbes

@Horseback.beggar HA! I was about to post the same thing. Great minds...

whateverlolawants

@Horseback.beggar Nah. Just stock up on batteries. Alternatively, if you're sleeping with an anti-choicer or Rush Limbaugh fan, stop.

@whateverlolawants Exactly. If your dude (or your lady, I'm sleeping with a pro-choice lady!) is pro-choice, turn to him right before The Deed happens and in your best sexy sexy voice say "Baby? You feel so good. Know that I'm fucking you for lots of reasons, and a big one is that you're pro-choice. Your politics are so sexy, and your awareness of current issues turns me on soooo much..."

Maybe I just sleep with social justice theory reading nerds who would find that really hot?

Waiting

Thank you for posting an eloquent article about a topic that fills me with RAGE. I am %100 in agreement with you.

imperfectly11

"It's time we began acknowledging that women need contraception because they like to fuck." ... Thank you Jezebel article. I couldn't quite put my finger on why this birth control debate was SO ridiculous other than of course that it is SO ridiculous. Then suddenly the veil was lifted. I keep hearing arguments for birth control because it is for the health of our reproductive systems. And while yes, this is often true... in many cases we are using birth control because we don't wanna have your damn baby, or any damn babies! I used bc for years because my cramps used to be so bad I'd start hallucinating and pass out. Unfortunately bc made me act and feel like a psycho hose beast a lot of the time so I had to quit using it and find alternative means of dealing with my menstrual agony. Now... if birth control had been as easy to get as a pack of condoms I don't see why anyone would give two shits about whether it was covered in our health care plans. But the truth of it is... if you're going to make something impossible for me to get without a scrip from a doctor then by golly you better make that thing available to me thru health care. Let's yank condoms off the shelves and force everyone to have to get a prescription for those suckers and see how that goes when they aren't covered in your plan and a six pack costs you 95 bucks. I had to rant, not because I need bc in my health care plan, not because I even agree that it should be included... I'd way more prefer that it was as easy to get as a bottle of advil and cost less. But I had to say something because it's not okay to argue FOR something for reasons that make the whole picture feel like we are ashamed. I wanna have sex. I don't want to have a baby with some of the people that I have had sex with... maybe they'd make shitty dads, maybe they'd make worse husbands, maybe I have a job, maybe the idea of being pregnant sounds worse than being punched in the face, maybe I don't have money to support a kid, maybe it's none of anyone's damn business why. We need to stop pretending that only "good gals" with suffering reproductive systems will lose out in this battle. #iamnotaslut

onlyinamerica

imperfectly11 hit it on the head.
I too, was wondering what all the fuss was about this birth control issue i keep seeing in the news. Granted the words that were exchanged in the article are a whole different topic but, let's look at what is really going on. Some people get their bc paid for while others do not. Who wouldn't take a free handout ? Look at the rest of american people that will take as much as they can get. Give them an inch and they will take a foot! I could see if bc cost more than $40 a month to raise a fuss but again, it's not about the cost it's the fact that some people get it paid for. If a bunch of people were getting cable and internet paid for there would be just as big of a debate. I'm sorry but if $40 a month is going to break the bank. Then you're better of not using birth control and getting pregnant. Then you can get child support and other federal funding. next you will want the government to pay for the STD you get as well. Condoms are cheaper and if used properly just as effective. If the guy tells you he doesn't want to use one then tell him no sex for you. if he doesn't know how to use one properly then you should probably find a more educated mating partner.
Stop looking for someone else to pay for your mistakes in life.

@onlyinamerica No, $40 being a financial stretch does not mean women should get pregnant for the sake of federal funding. On what planet do you live?

The issue is that contraceptives are not covered by many health insurance plans, and these are medications that many women need. And I'm sorry, but it's not just single young women who slut it up who take the pill, but women who are married and have kids who do not want more children, women who have legitimate health issues and use the pill to treat them, and women who want to be responsible about their family planning -- because bringing children into the world who you want and are able to provide for is a matter of social responsibility.

Are you so ignorant to not understand that for many people in this country, $40 is a considerable amount of money -- that's $480/year, the cost of which falls upon young women, a demographic that makes comparatively less money statistically compared with their older and/or male counterparts. And poverty, or being a graduate student, or having crappy insurance, or going to a religiously affiliated university should not stand in the way of women being able to access family planning and health care resources.

But see, your comparison to free cable and internet is an insufficient comparison because government assistance in raising children does not cover the costs of raising children in a halfway decent manner, and poverty impacts the rest of society. I would much rather my tax dollars (yeah, women pay taxes, too) go to providing family planning for women in need than to welfare because it is CHEAPER in the long run. And Obama's mandate is one that is excellent because an insurance company will no longer be able to deny coverage. This isn't a problem of "my copay is too much," but "oh my god, my insurance company is fucking me over, the only pill that's effective and the right choice for me is $80 and there is no coverage because of my school's health insurance policy."

And the government does pay to treat STDs at this lovely place called Planned Parenthood. You know why? Because treating someone's syphilis early is cheaper, more efficient, humanitarian, and cost-effective than uninsured emergency room visits or death, and is good public health policy.

tl;dr = it is good public policy and cost effective to provide family planning and sexual health resources to everyone. It creates the framework for a healthier population. It is compassionate and humanitarian.

You sound like a spiteful, hateful, selfish person.

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