A young woman, who wants the student health services at Georgetown University to cover the cost of her contraceptive choice, is a slut and a prostitute. I give Rush Limbaugh credit. He singlehandedly changed the face of talk radio for the better and created a brand which has made him a multi-millionaire. He parlayed that success into newsletter and merchandizing gold and lives a life of opulent splendor. I have always praised him as a nice guy who was always kind to me whenever we met. Even I, however, did not realize he also has invented a time machine capable of turning back the clock to an era where women were to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.
Georgetown is ostensibly a "Catholic" university which refuses to allow the student health insurance to cover contraception because the Church is morally opposed to artificial means of birth control. (you can use rhythm, but not the pill) It will gladly pay for a male student who wishes to use Viagra but not help the object of his artificially induced ardor avoid getting pregnant. Congress recently held a hearing on the Obama Administration decision to require all employers to offer contraception coverage in any health insurance plan even if they morally oppose it. It seems Obama believes the rights of the Catholic Church stop when they endanger the health and well being of women. At this hearing, not a single woman was included to testify and the members of Congress denied this Georgetown student's request to testify on behalf of the Obama position. I got an earful of outrage from my daughter, Darcy, about all the men but not a single woman talking about a women's health issue. Now, not only can't this student testify, she has been branded with a scarlet "S" by Rush-a-bye who seemed to be channeling the spirit of Cotton Mather or maybe Jonathan Edwards or perhaps Torquemada in viewing a woman's sexuality as an affront against good Christians everywhere.
Darcy went on to point out if you are going to criticize, name call and pronounce moral fiats, at least you should get your facts straight. Limbaugh attacked this woman for having so much sex she needed "us" to pay for her birth control pills. My daughter dismissed el Rushbo for not knowing its a flat fee for a month's worth of pills and whether you have no sex or engage in an orgy of Caligulan proportions, you take one pill a day. Also, lost in this Victorian lambasting is the reality many women need birth control pills for purely health reasons entirely separate from questions about the sexual activity. A Rush a' Rush a' Burnin' love, was also venting about Obama wanting "us" to pay for her apparently lascivious life. As a student at Georgetown, she pays to have student health insurance. She is paying, no one else. As with all insurance plans, you pay and receive a basket of benefits which are supposed to be equal for men and women. The university's refusal to provide coverage for contraception forces female students, already paying for health coverage, to have to go to a private doctor off campus and pay for the visit out of their own pocket. Many students cannot afford it. What's even worse is the fact even if she could afford it, and received a prescription; the university would refuse to fill it.
Men in power, and the institutions they control, (like the Roman Catholic Church), have always been bi-polar about women's sexuality. On one hand, they are attracted and lured and obsessive about its pleasures, while at the same time frightened of its power and temptation to ruin. One need look no further than the story of Eve and the apple to see how women have been portrayed for millennia as wicked enchantresses capable of bringing even the strongest, most virtuous man to his knees. (Samson anyone?) Look what they have done to Rush's libido and wallet as he works his way through his third wife. For most of history, women were left with two role models to choose from....the virgin or the whore...with nothing in between.
Fast-forward to the 60's and the invention of "the pill". For the first time, women could control their own destiny and fertility. They could plan their families and avoid unplanned pregnancies (which result in low birth weight babies many of whom grow up with learning and other disabilities) Women could fully engage in a career and delay having a family just as men could. They became more mobile and able to take advantage of opportunities in the workplace denied them in the past. It was also an opportunity for women to protect their health both mentally and physically. For most of the 20th century, states had made it a crime to disseminate information about contraception. Men rigged the game as much as they could to keep women from controlling their sexual lives and thus removing much of the control men had imposed on them. The moral judgment of slut, whore, prostitute, loose, immoral etc lost most of its power and control. Women seized their right to maintain their own body and men like Limbaugh, Gingrich, Santorum and Romney have never liked the results. Santorum doesn't even believe insurance should pay for pre-natal care and testing because it encourages women to engage in immoral behavior.
The hypocrisy of regressives on this issue is glaring. The same people who scream about the need to reduce the size of government and its influence in our lives...the same ones who denounce Obamacare as a huge intrusion into the private lives of Americans...are the same voices trying to deny women access to healthcare and want the government to guarantee "any" employer can deny any coverage for moral reasons. (This was the proposal defeated in the Senate this week 51-48...a vote which women have to see as too close for comfort.) They want the government to deny women access to reproductive services including abortion. They want the government to mandate a woman be penetrated by a sonic probe to create an ultrasound picture of the fetus. (A law proposed in Virginia and supported by the regressive governor until public ridicule caused him to back off...thank you Jon Stewart)
Limbaugh has transported us back to those times when women were at the mercy of men when it came to health and welfare. He is able to do this, and take along regressive politicians of both parties, despite women making up the majority of voters in this country. I would have said this was impossible...hell Einstein said time travel was impossible...but Rush's time machine proves we are all wrong.
This has never been an issue of religious freedom or the first amendment. My constitutional rights end at the tip of your nose. This is about women having access to healthcare and not being held hostage by moralizing, promiscuous men who want to use them, and control them at the same time. In Rush's universe, a woman who uses birth control is a slut. She wants "us" to pay for her contraceptives, so she is also a prostitute and as such she should videotape all sexual encounters and upload them to YouTube for Rush and his ilk to watch. I couldn't make this up if I tried.
The latest polls show 65% of Americans believe employers should have to provide contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans. Clearly, Rush has a lot of work to do transporting Americans back to a time of higher morality and God-fearing folks. It's no accident the American Catholic bishops are already there waiting.