Recently, House Democrats staged a “show hearing” in support of President Obama’s war on religion. At the event, a
23 30 year-old typical female student “reproductive justice” radical bemoaned the $3,000 cost to keep her well stocked with contraceptives during her law school studies. According to some calculations, that would buy enough condoms to enable this unmarried woman to (on average) engage in “protected sex” 7 times daily.
Due to inappropriate name calling on the part of a conservative commentator, the woman’s “testimony” has received much more attention than it otherwise would have. President Obama, took time away from addressing the country’s crushing deficit (an all-time record $220 BILLION for February ALONE – 75 million times this woman’s total contraception costs) to call her and check that she is okay. According to the aggrieved woman, “he said to tell my parents that [they] should be proud”. It was unclear what her parents should be proud of.
It is interesting to note that this person attends graduate school at the Jesuit run Georgetown Law School. Not surprisingly, their president offered glowing praise for the woman saying “this expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people.” Cardinal Wuerl felt that there were other lessons that he could have drawn from this.
Much ink has been spilled on this debacle. The mainstream media, as always, has done its job presenting this woman as a victim of religious extremists – taking their cues from the Obama administration (including Hillary Clinton). The best analysis comes from Robert Yates in his piece for Crisis Magazine:
I recently had a chance to take a careful look at the testimony of Sandra Fluke before the House Democrats. What I saw disturbed me greatly, and not simply because I am a Catholic who strenuously opposes Obama’s assault on religious liberty. There are a number of other assumptions at work in the thinking of Ms. Fluke and all who share her worldview that cannot go unaddressed. Some of them might be identified by pointing out that this is not, as was initially reported, a relatively innocent 23-year old female law student, but rather a 30 year-old hardened feminist activist who enrolled at Georgetown with a mission to challenge its contraception coverage policies. Others are more subtle.
The first assumption is that ObamaCare itself is irrevocably settled law. The only acceptable debate parameters are the specific provisions and applications of the law, while the question of its inherent validity, legality or practicality is now resolved. It causes one to wonder if the contraception mandate itself, which was audacious and perhaps irrational from the standpoint of electoral politics, was a calculated ploy to shift the debate. Once we begin debating the specific applications of ObamaCare, we have implicitly accepted ObamaCare. The resistance to the general idea is dulled and weakened, if not entirely forgotten.
If that weren’t bad enough, however, it also becomes clear through Ms. Fluke’s testimony that we live in different moral universes that appear to be entirely incompatible. To read the first part of her testimony, much of which focuses on the hardships allegedly endured due to a lack of contraception coverage, you would think someone abducted her and these women from their homes, put them in shackles, and shipped them to Georgetown in crates against their will. Or that a cruel society forced them, to use her words, “to pick between a quality education and our health.”
That her words might be seen as such was anticipated by Ms. Fluke, the prepared and professional activist. In response to the crazy notion that she and other women ought to have expected that a Catholic university did not cover contraception, she replies near the end of her testimony that “we expected women to be treated equally, to not have our school create untenable burdens that impede our academic success.” One may easily reply that women are treated equally: men don’t have access to contraception coverage at Georgetown either. Georgetown will not pay for a vasectomy or a year’s supply of condoms for a male student, and so it isn’t reasonable to expect it to pay for a female student’s birth control pills. Since when were women they only people who might want to use contraception”
It seems tiresome to point out that a privately-run institution has absolutely no obligation to provide specific goods and services to anyone, and that there are countless alternatives for those who want to attend a university that provides them with the specific coverage they would like. If, as Ms. Fluke contends, 94% of the students disagree with the Georgetown policy, then eventually the forces of supply and demand would determine the fate of the university; most people would simply choose a different school, and Georgetown would either change its policy or close its doors. Faced with a plethora of choices, options, freedoms, and liberties laid out like a buffet before them as no people in the history of human civilization have ever enjoyed, however, Mrs. Fluke portrays these women as the helpless victims of injustice. It is quite simply an outrageous lie.
Ms. Fluke actually presented a rather long list of what she and her cohorts did and did not expect, and they all amount to this: we expected to be given exactly what we demanded, immediately, without reservations and without any consideration whatsoever for the consciences or concerns of anyone else.
Yates goes on to say “we are all caught up in the legal aspects of this controversy, but if we consider the implications of these aggressive demands, something more disconcerting emerges.” He continues with more insightful points. Highly recommended – see Addressing Ms. Fluke.