Does Reproductive Freedom Imply a Right to Free Birth Control?

Yesterday the Senate narrowly rejected a bill that would have exempted employers and insurers from medical coverage mandates to which they object on moral or religious grounds. Opponents portrayed the bill, which was provoked by the Obama administration's requirement that health plans cover contraception and sterilization, as an assault on reproductive freedom. "The Senate will not allow women's health care choices to be taken away from them,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). "The Obama administration," declared Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius, "believes that decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss." Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) saw the bill as part of "a systematic war against women." 

It's a mystery how revising a mandate that has not yet gone into effect takes any kind of choice away from anyone. And Kathleen Sibelius' dismay that employers are involved in these decisions at all is pretty rich, since the Obama administration had a chance to sever the market-distorting, price-inflating tie between employers and health insurance, which is perpetuated by the federal government's tax policies. Instead Obama's health care reforms made this artificial connection mandatory and prescribed exactly what employers have to cover, which is what triggered this whole controversy.

Supporters of Obama's birth control rule conflate liberty with subsidies, insisting that you are not really free to do something (in this case, use contraceptives) unless it's free. According to this logic, observant Jews do not have religious freedom unless the government pays for their kosher food, bloggers do not have freedom of speech unless taxpayers buy them computers, and Americans in general do not have a right to keep and bear arms if they have to pay for guns with their own money. By contrast, the religious institutions that object to the contraceptive mandate are not asking for subsidies; they are resisting them. They object to a regulation that forces them to pay for products and services they consider immoral. They want the freedom to offer their employees health plans that do not cover contraception and sterilization. (For more on this distinction, see Sheldon Richman's essay on negative vs. positive rights.)

Last week Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, told House Democrats why she supports the contraceptive mandate:

I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan. Just as we students have faced financial, emotional, and medical burdens as a result, employees at religiously affiliated hospitals and universities across the country have suffered similar burdens. We are all grateful for the new regulation that will meet the critical health care needs of so many women....

Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy. One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn't covered, and had to walk away because she couldn't afford it. Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception. Just last week, a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldn't afford it any longer. Women employed in low wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice.

Fluke's testimony prompted a sexist tirade from Rush Limbaugh that was not only gratuitously offensive but failed to zero in on the glaring weaknesses in her case for the mandate. Her argument boils down to this: Here is something we want but cannot afford; therefore someone else should be forced to pay for it. We've already discussed the fallacy behind the second part of that argument. What about the first part?

Fluke says birth control "can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school," which translates into $1,000 a year, or about $83 a month. Even that estimate is suspiciously high. Here is a website that offers a month's worth of birth control pills for less than $20. According to Planned Parenthood, birth control pills "cost about $15–$50 each month." (Condoms and diaphragms are even cheaper.) Even if you include the cost of a doctor's visit to get a prescription, Fluke's figure is inflated. Are Georgetown Law students really struggling to pay $1 for a condom or buy a diaphragm with an amortized cost (including spermicidal jelly) of $2 or $3 a month? If so, abstinence is always an option.

In short, Fluke chose to attend a Jesuit school and now objects because she has to pay out of pocket for birth control, a trivial expense compared to the cost of tuition, books, food, rent, transportation or even the copayments for other medical services. How can this inconvenience possibly justify compelling someone else to pay for her contraceptives, especially when they have religious objections to doing so?

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  • WTF||

    I was really hoping the alt text would simply be "Slut".

  • juris imprudent||

    If she's spending $1000/yr on condoms...

  • RoboCain||

    It's not like she has receipts.

  • Alessandra||

  • Rich||

    Does Reproductive Freedom Imply a Right to Free Birth Control?

    No. Next question.

  • ||

    It is that simple.

  • Jennifer||

    Looking at this solely as a matter of "reproductive freedom" misses the point. There are plenty of reasons a woman would need pills other than pregnancy prevention -- Fluke also mentioned treatment of ovarian cysts, for example -- so you could just as easily frame the question "If 'medical treatment for employees' is made into a legal right/obligation, can employers refuse medical treatments for problems with women's reproductive systems?"

    These guys insisting that it violates their religious freedom to let insurance cover the costs of treating an ovarian cyst -- somehow I doubt they would as readily argue that insurance companies should not have to pay for blood transfusions, for employees with Jehovah's Witness bosses.

    The ideal solution, of course, would be to end the asinine employer mandate, but so long as it remains in effect I'd err on the side of protecting employees.

  • Jennifer||

    Also: 900-character limit on comments now? WTF? Even the Guardian allows for 5,000.

  • ||

    The limit was being abused.

  • Jennifer||

    Hee hee. That is a very government attitude: "Some people can't handle commenting, so banning large comments for all is way easier than handling them on a case-by-case basis."

  • ||

    Are you just noticing that libertarians have an authoritarian streak?

  • ||

    Rather, you are the one who brought it on. They just didn't have time to delete all of your comments one by one.

    And last I looked you required registration on your website, as if anyone reads it.

  • ||

    "Some people can't handle commenting, so banning large comments for all the owners of the site enforcing their private property rights is way easier than handling them on a case-by-case basis their prerogative and if I don't like it, I should post elsewhere."

    FIFY. Get your own site if you don't like the rules.

  • MJ||

    The 900 character limit is web commentary security theater.

    The terrorists have won.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    So as long as there are mandates, then you're Okely-Dokely with expanding them to oppress even more people?

    That's a neat argument.

  • Jennifer||

    Depends on your definition of "oppress." If the worst "oppression" you ever experience is "My insurance company treats ovarian cysts with pills in lieu of prayer," then you have not experienced actual oppression at all.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    So if it's just a little itty-bitty initiation of force, then it's OK, because hey, Somalians out there are getting shot by the ICU.

    Would you agree with this statement? "If the worst oppression you ever experience is being denied a marriage license because you're LGBTQ, then you have not experienced actual oppression at all."

    I mean, really, what is someone's liberty in the face of the Cult of I Want It?

  • Jennifer||

    Actually, this is more analogous to those bigots who claim "I'm being oppressed because I have to see gay people being all happy together" -- the gay couple down the street getting hitched does not harm you at all, anymore than a woman being treated for an ovarian cyst harms you.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    The harm comes into play when one is made to pay for something one does not wish to pay for.

    I see the problem is that you are mistaken as to who is paying for what:

    These guys insisting that it violates their religious freedom to let insurance cover the costs of treating an ovarian cyst

    It is not the passive act of "letting"; it is the active forcing that they object to.

  • Falsum||

    Nobody is being forced to cover anything. Health insurance is a form of employee compensation analogous to a salary or wage. The mandate simply requires that employers not dictate the terms under which their employees use their justly earned compensation. The taxpayer doesn't enter into it.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    the gay couple down the street getting hitched does not harm you at all, anymore than a woman being treated for an ovarian cyst harms you.

    Q: And what harm would come to me if I choose not to pay for this woman's treatment via my taxes?

    A: *The sound of an FBI agent loading rounds into his shotgun*

  • HeroicMulatto||

    By the way, Jennifer, if you haven't seen the youtube video "George Ought to Help," you really should.

  • Paul||

    Actually, this is more analogous to those bigots who claim "I'm being oppressed because I have to see gay people being all happy together"

    No it's not. Now you're projecting bigotry on people who simply don't believe that medication is a 'right'. Godwin much?

  • Zeb||

    No. You can't Godwin without explicitly comparing your opponent to Hitler or Nazis.

  • Paul||

    No. You can't Godwin without explicitly comparing your opponent to Hitler or Nazis.

    I know, Zeb... I know.

  • Zeb||

    Someone has to point it out every now and then.

  • ||

    ....is analogous to atheists claiming they are harmed when a prayer is offered in a public school or a graduation, or a cross is displayed on public land.

  • ||

    I mean, really, what is someone's liberty in the face of the Cult of I Want It?

    "Choice" is such a quaint concept up against Gimmee Free Shit.

  • Paul||

    How about plain old making the problem a little worse? We keep piling more onto mound and wondering why the pile keeps getting higher (increased costs), which causes us to keep piling more more stuff on the mound.

    Since we're not going to get rid of the employee mandate, can we just finally and completely err on the side of employees and go full retard single payer?

  • Jennifer||

    Single-payer for all its faults would likely be better than the hybrid mess being shoved down our throats now, whi8ch combines the "taxpayers foot the bill" aspects of single-payer with the "private insurance companies require big-ass profits" aspects of a free market system. Instead, we're going to privatize the profits and socialize the risks, as we always do.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    However much of a market you can retain is going to be more humane than somewhere like Britain. A given that insurance companies are forced to cover pre-existing conditions, that "big-ass profits" line of yours is a bunch of malarkey. Watch as those profits go down the toilet when the insurance company is forced to accept a 10-year-old afflicted with a lifelong, expensive illness that requires constant care.

  • Jennifer||

    The insurance company won't pay for that; the taxpayers will, just as e paid to bail out the banks and the auto makers and every other "too big to be held accountable" company.

    Though if "keeping costs low" is your primary concern, paying for birth control makes more sense than paying for pregnancy, birth and 70+ years of existence.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    if "keeping costs low" is your primary concern, paying for birth control makes more sense than paying for pregnancy, birth and 70+ years of existence.

    I do not care what costs are - costs are just a demonstration of our priorities.

    The insurance company won't pay for that; the taxpayers will, just as e paid to bail out the banks and the auto makers

    This whole thought is a giant mess. Why should they be held accountable? They would not have covered that very expensive, already sick patient if the Government had not forced them to. I fail to see *why* that is their responsibility.

    The tradeoff the Insurance Cos. made with the administration was the promise of millions of new customers *in exchange* for covering pre-existing conditions. So, yes, the Insurance Cos. will be covering little Timmy's lifelong 40-IQ.

  • Paul||

    Though if "keeping costs low" is your primary concern, paying for birth control makes more sense than paying for pregnancy, birth and 70+ years of existence.

    If we're going to shift this conversation to the larger concept of poor women getting knocked up and having society foot the bill for the resulting mess, then that's an entirely new vector of thought.

    As an angry libertarian, I really have no trouble letting the government provide free birth control to poor women as a benefit if they qualify for low-cost or free medical care, yadda yadda.[contd]

  • Paul||

    [contd]But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about Ms. Fluke's assertion that birth control should be mandated for all employer insurance.

    Not because Ms. Fluke would suddenly find herself preggo and thus forced to prostitute herself on the streets to support her offspring-- Fluke's "theoretical BC pill costs" not withstanding. We're talking about Fluke's assertion that B.C. should be mandated for all employees, regardless of their financial background. That's a 'rights' discussion, and nothing more.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Though if "keeping costs low" is your primary concern, paying for birth control makes more sense than paying for pregnancy, birth and 70+ years of existence.

    Which is precisely why uninterested third parties shouldn't be paying ANY of the costs. One would think Ms. Fluke would rather pay $1k on BC than $10K on pregnancy care and child rearing. But since it's not her money, she wants money for whatever choice she decides. The only logic to it is pure greed, nothing more.

    You know the eventual result after the insolvency of the system becomes apparent will be the application of the exact math you use - government pays for BC but not a penny for pregnancy care.

    If anything, the welfare state should be ENCOURAGING child birth because new people are the only way the system can sustain itself and you can't count on immigration forever.

  • Invisible Finger||

    whi8ch combines the "taxpayers foot the bill" aspects of single-payer with the "private insurance companies require big-ass profits"

    That's nitpicking. A corporation can profit off the taxpayer and split its profits amongst its officers and employees or a government agency can take that exact same amount of money and do the same. We're basically just making the insurance companies government agencies in practice anyway.

  • Dave Anthony||

    I prefer big ass profits to big ass fraud and waste.

  • ||

    Medicines are prescribed for various reasons. If a doctor prescribed a medication for ovarian cysts, then it is treated as medicine for that. Insurance companies will deny coverage based on the diagnosis, not the treatment.

    Just like some companies will cover a certain drug if being used for pain relief, but will not cover it if it is being used to wean them off of heroin after their substance abuse max has been met.

    It's not too hard to figure this out. You're arguing in bad faith.

  • ||

    I agree that the mandate should go the way of the dodo, but why is the second best solution to force the employers to support behaviors they disagree with?

    If women's health is the issue why can't they just re-write regulations to require health justification (cysts, etc.) for birth control prescriptions?

    Sure it would be abused, but it's better than a wholesale cave.

  • Jennifer||

    They SHOULD re-write the regulations but clearly refuse to do so, just as anti-narcotic regulations are not re-written to give adequate pain relief to the dying. Ours is a punitive, nasty government -- left- and right-wing both -- and it's quite obvious that "letting women suffer easily treatable cancers" is preferable to "letting women have sex without fear of pregnancy," just as "letting a dying cancer patient scream himself hoarse in agony" is preferable to "letting someone maybe get high." (Cue the "But letting insurance companies pay for antibiotics threatens my religious freedom as a Christian Scientist!" apologias.)

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Why am I not surprised that you have no other volume other than "11"?

    They SHOULD re-write the regulations but clearly refuse to do so

    Why should there be regulations on this subject at all?

    "But letting insurance companies pay for antibiotics threatens my religious freedom as a Christian Scientist!"

    It isn't "letting", and I am now thinking you are using that verb deliberately. It's forcing. Is that so hard to understand?

  • Jennifer||

    Forcing medical insurance companies to pay for medical treatments just isn't something that registers on my "oppression" radar, sorry. Especially given that by 2014, Americans will most likely be *required* to pay premiums to some insurance company whether we want to or not.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Forcing medical insurance companies to pay for medical treatments just isn't something that registers on my "oppression" radar, sorry.

    Of course it isn't!

    Letting gays marry just isn't on mine, because hey, I'm not gay, so why should I spend any extra effort asking for equal rights for them?

  • Jennifer||

    Again, the argument for why you are harmed if a woman gets treatment for ovarian cysts is identical to the argument for why you are harmed if a gay couple gets married: you're not being harmed at all, though you might be offended. Technically, you could argue that your taxes might go up to cover the tax breaks given to married gay couples.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Again, they are being forced to pay for it, not just "letting it happen". You really need to acknowledge that point: I've made it no less than three times, and others have pointed this out to you as well. Stop ignoring that people are being forced, not just objecting to "letting".

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Furthermore, let's stipulate that this BC is medically necessary. Well...so what? It isn't that expensive. If I had to budget for something that was medically necessary for me to survive, and it was cheap enough that I could do so, that would be the thing I would pay for *first*, before food (but after rent, of course).

  • ||

    Forcing medical insurance companies to pay for medical treatments just isn't something that registers on my "oppression" radar, sorry.

    Does the fact that you will be forced to pay for those treatments through increased premiums, and that you will forcibly, by law, be forbidden from not paying for those premiums register on your oppression radar?

  • Jax||

    That's a specious argument no one is forcing them to use the contraceptives. Since when is a businesses freedom more important than an individuals? No one is forcing them to use the contraceptives.

    Being against contraceptives because of a book written by a bunch of goat-herders in the bronze age is not a valid reason anymore. If I have to be forced to buy health insurance then they should be able to be forced to pay for the everything that comes in the plan. simple as that.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Looking at this solely as a matter of "reproductive freedom" misses the point. There are plenty of reasons a woman would need pills other than pregnancy prevention

    That still doesn't excuse Fluke's obvious hyperbole about birth control pills costing $3000 a year. Even a low-functioning law school student should know that citing a figure like that in public forum is going to get her fact-checked in about 30 seconds.

    Her testimony didn't even cover those things you mentioned. It all boiled down to, "The state needs to subsidize our desire to go bareback." It didn't have jack shit to do with the other medical issues you cited.

  • Jennifer||

    Her testimony didn't even cover those things you mentioned.

    Yes, it did. Just not the part quoted here.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    So why claim a fantastically high cost figure for birth control pills?

  • ||

    It happens all of the time. It's used for effect. Just like when Obama said the stimulus created or saved "hundreds of thousands of jobs."

    People listen to the claim. The fact-checker rarely gets as much play.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I know--it was rhetorical. I don't expect anyone defending Fluke to actually answer it, same as when I asked PP defenders why PP couldn't get alternage sources of funding when the Komen foundation initially cut off their grants.

  • Jennifer||

    She didn't claim birth control costs $3,000 per year; she said that without insurance it would cost $3,000 over the course of law school.

    For all your sniping about the need for fact-checking, perhaps you could apply it to yourself once in awhile?

  • Zeb||

    I agree to some extent. I think that if employers are going to be forced to provide insurance, then all should have to do it on the same terms. No special exceptions for anyone. If the law as written violates religious freedom, then the law ought to apply to no one. A law is either constitutional or not. Picking and choosing which religions are legit enough to get an exception violated equal protection.

  • ||

    Picking and choosing which religions are legit enough to get an exception violated equal protection.

    I'd say that forcing a clearly religious organization to endorse and execute an action that is antithetical to their belief system, no matter how silly or antiquated it may be, is squarely at odds with the 1st Amendment.

  • Zeb||

    Right. Then the whole law has to go. No special exceptions. I'm not arguing for the mandate. I'm arguing against special exceptions because it violates equal protection. If my silly made up religion doesn't get exactly the same religious freedom as the Catholic church, then there is no religious freedom at all. As soon as you have a judge deciding whether or not your religion is real, religious freedom is completely dead. If a law violated anyone's constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom, then it has to go. Making special exceptions also violates religious freedom.

  • Zeb||

    "Congress shall make no law". The first amendment deals with a law as a whole, not particular applications of a law.

  • ||

    People keep arguing that it is not right to make a religious group pay for something that is against their religion. I think you are all missing the bigger point... why should I, as an individual, be forced to pay for something I object to. I don't personally object to contraception, but don't make me pay for yours. I DO object to abortion and I should not be forced to pay for it.

  • Michael O.||

    Jennifer, if you look at plans currently in place at Catholic institutions (there was a popular PDF being circulated recently), many of them have specific exceptions for non-contraceptive medical uses for contraceptives. That's because the Catholic Church isn't against the Pill itself, just what they view as immoral uses of it. In any case, if your concern is ovarian cysts and the like, that could easily be solved by mandating that sort of treatment only, which is not morally objectionable to the Church, and not mandating treatments used for reasons of contraception - something easily distinguished by a doctor's prescription.

    The difference between the two also gets at one of the Church's problems with contraceptives - while medicine is for fixing the proper functioning body, contraceptives are actually about stopping the proper function of the reproductive system.

  • ||

    ...and the insurance company in question denied the coverage of BC pills because they said the diagnoses of ovarian cysts was faked, and the lesbian only wanted the pill for the birth control benefits.

  • Die, Fascist Twat!||

    Fuck off and die in a fire, you statist cuntslut. I will just as readily say Jehovah's Witnesses should be exempt for having to pay for other people's blood transfusions. If you insist on making others subsidize your murder pills, your subsidized purchases should all be laced with strychnine so that we can rid the earth of one more of you genocidal fascist parasite sluts.

  • Laura||

    Slumming it, Mr. Limbaugh?

  • Margaret||

    Why didn't your mother abort you, slut?

  • ||

    As I understand it, Ovarian cysts are not a major threat to women's health. They occur naturally, mostly benign and unlikely to develop into cancer. If they rupture and otherwise harm the patient, then I imagine insurance will pay for the appropriate surgery.

    Are women entitled to 80-100 dollars a month for birth control and / or preventative treatment of relatively minor illness like Ovarian Cyst? Religious institutions will be rightly skeptical about covering contraceptives for healthy young woman who demands it for her "health".

    Most insurance already cover contraceptives. You can obtain generic brands. This is much ado about nothing.

  • Vivian||

    Ovarian cysts can hurt like hell and aren't generally a threat to women's health, but they are a great annoyance.

    When I was treated with birth control pills for them, I used our insurance's mail order pharmacy and got name-brand pills, a 3 month supply for $40. So $120 a year, $360 over the course of law school, had I gone that route. A far cry from $3,000.

    I think she may have exaggerated a little.

  • Joe R.||

    There's another libertarian solution I haven't seen mentioned yet: make the pill non-prescription.

  • ||

    This.

  • Vivian||

    Agreed.

  • Jax||

    If I have to be forced to buy health insurance then they should be able to be forced to pay for the everything that comes in the plan. simple as that. I'll vote to get rid of having to pay for health insurance but as long as we are all in the same boat I won't let "religious freedom" be another way for religious institutions to not pay their fair share; They're already tax exempt I'll be damned if they get out of this too.

  • Ur||

    My policy on law is "Do unto yourself as you wish to do to others." For instance, if you're calling for others to "sacrifice" for the country while living it up on the taxpayer's dime, you should be among the first ones sacrificed Apocalypto-style. If you want government to be in charge of rationing health care, you should be forced into the system yourself and be placed at the back of the line the same as any of your peasants.

    If this (thirty-year-old far-left pro-abortion anti-Catholic) slut wishes to have the state force payment for her contraception on people against their consciences, I believe we taxpayers should get to choose the form of contraception imposed, and our choice should be to abort her retroactively with a quick slug between the eyes. The gun rental and bullet shouldn't cost all that much, and it's the only contraception she'll ever need.

  • Jennifer||

    "Fascist twat?" "Slug between the eyes?" And people wonder how the "opposition to birth control is actually misogynistic hatred of women" meme came into being.

  • ChrisO||

    Her first mistake was to go to law school. I shudder whenever a young person tells me they're thinking of doing that. So many unemployed, experienced attorneys out there...

  • yonemoto||

    they are hoping that most of those unemployed experienced attorneys will commit suicide in frustration in the intervening three years.

  • wareagle ||

    no, her first mistake was selecting that particular law school. I mean, whodda thunk it - a Jesuit school that does not provide free contraception? No damn wonder she's in law school; the bright kids are in engineering school or IT training.

  • yonemoto||

    Word of warning: There's no sex in engineering school.

  • ||

    Sure there is, but only in the civil engineering program and sad, random conference hookups.

  • Joe R.||

    You two went to the wrong school.

  • Zeb||

    If you are gay or a woman there probably is.

  • politically incorrect||

    if you are gay, a woman, and a civil engineer there definitely is, or so I hear.

  • plusafdotcom||

    interesting... there was when I went to RPI back in the late 1960s!

    Have things changed THAT much since then?! I doubt it!

  • WTF||

    How can this inconvenience possibly justify compelling someone else to pay for her contraceptives, especially when they have religious objections to doing so?

    Fuck you, that's why.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yeah, it's amazing that a seasoned observer such as Jacob still gives the Left the benefit of the doubt. The justification is that they can.

  • Southerner||

    Yeah, it's amazing that a seasoned observer such as Jacob still gives the Left the benefit of the doubt.

    I know. I stopped doing that a long time ago.

  • Fluffy||

    In short, Fluke chose to attend a Jesuit school and now objects

    Silly Reason! She was forced to attend Georgetown instead of frickin' Suffolk.

  • ||

    Last I looked GW was just up the street and non denominational.

    We started with the simple idea that everyone gets to believe and act as they wish. Now that is not good enough. Fluke doesn't just get to choose to use birth control. She gets to got to a college run by a group that objects to birth control and force them to pay for it. Because if you can't force others to act against their consciences to pay for your preferences, you really are not free.

  • Joe M||

    I'm just wondering how long it takes for the obvious paradoxes of this model to destroy it.

  • Sparky||

  • ||

    It doesn't really get destroyed as much as collapse into a "fuck you the rules apply to those who we say does" kind of thing. For example, the Catholics can be forced to buy her birth control, but PETA will never be forced to serve steaks in the company cafeteria.

  • AuH20||

    John, it's just like it should be illegal for a church to preach against homosexuality (or for those who agree with those views to express them on a publicly owned college campus) but okay for anyone to shit on religious people, conservatives, or those who deny global warming.

    Why? Because, by definition, everything we disagree with is hate speech. And hate speech isn't free speech.

  • Zeb||

    "And hate speech isn't free speech."

    THat's a good one too. How do they figure that?

  • Joe M||

    "The Obama administration," declared Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius, "believes that decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss."

    Disentangle insurance from employment, duh.

  • ||

    "The Obama administration," declared Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius, "believes that decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor HHS SECRETARY, not a woman and her boss."

    /FIXED

  • ||

    If you have a good time at Georgetown, it's a Fluke.

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    I dunno....I smoked weed for the first time in the Georgetown dorms. That was kinda fun.

  • ||

    Whooosh!

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    No, I got it.

  • AuH20||

    Well, you DID get the joke, but then you got high.

  • ||

    I see what you did there.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    it took me a while, but i finally got it! a liver fluke is no laughing matter, though.

  • ||

    How much dick is she getting? If she can't afford $20 a month for the pill, maybe she should date guys who can afford their own rubbers.

  • ||

    Why won't anyone take libertarians seriously?

  • ||

    Furthermore, why don't the women libertarians here (all three of them) object to the rampant misogyny? Are they afraid they'll never get another man if they object too strenuously? They're like Amish wives.

  • ||

    I'm a woman libertarian, and I don't see any misogyny.

    Why is it misogynistic for men to comment on the sex lives of women? Men comment on the sex lives of other men at least as much. Women comment on the sex lives of women. People talk about sex all the time. It's a completely libertarian thing to talk about sex freely and make sexual commentary about each other. It's conservatives who don't like to talk about sex. Libertarians have no problem with the word "fuck", or with commentary about other people's sex lives, both positive and negative.

  • nicole||

    I would never trust a barrier method or a man to be the only thing between me and a pregnancy. The pill is more effective than condoms at preventing it. Just sayin'.

  • ||

    Maybe you should just give a blowjob instead.

  • ||

    anal sex....
    hand jobs....
    Louisiana pile driver
    Alabama hot pockets
    Missisipi trombone
    so many possibilities

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    That reminds of this scene from 40-Year-Old Virgin. That's some funny shit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS3RBsJgqs0

  • Killazontherun||

    I was hoping for the free range nipple in the one three minute date scene. Little bummed.

  • ||

    If you were a Congressman, you could have suggested these alternatives to her.

  • ||

    If some Congressman had actually done that in the open public hearing, that guy would have immediately gotten my vote for greatest Congress critter ever.

  • ||

    Great. Your decision. You (and/or your partner) pay for it.

  • nicole||

    And we do. I just think anyone suggesting people use cheap-o condoms is being facetious about the whole thing, because they are not the same.

  • ||

    You have to fuck a whole lot or be really unlucky to get pregnant faithfully using a condom. The chances are pretty small.

  • nicole||

    According to, yes, Wikipedia, the typical-use and perfect-use failure rates over the span of a year for the pill are 8% and 0.3%, respectively. The typical-use and perfect-use failure rates for a male latex condom are 15% and 2%, respectively. That's a pretty big difference.

  • ||

    But that is 15% of the time it fails. But it failing just means there is a chance you get pregnant. The low odds of getting pregnant after having sex anyone time still apply.

    So worse case, with a condom, you have a .15 times the low odds of getting pregnant in the first place. That is pretty low, especially if you avoid having sex the few days a month when you are ovulating. Still can happen. But the odds are pretty long.

  • nicole||

    Actually "failure" in this case means pregnancy.

  • ||

    Actually "failure" in this case means pregnancy.

    As it always does when talking about sex.

  • ||

    It can't mean that Nicole. You don't get pregnant 15% of the time you have unprotected sex. If that were true, everyone in America would either have multiple bastard kids or multiple abortions.

    It has to mean 15% of the time, the thing breaks and lets sperm get through. Then it becomes like any other time you have unprotected sex.

  • nicole||

    It's over the period of a year, not each time you have sex. So if you use male latex condoms in a "typical" manner, there's a 15% chance your partner will get pregnant in any given year.

  • ||

    Ok Nicole. According to wikipedia, the 15% rate is for average users, meaning that it includes the times they fuck up and use it wrong. And it is a 15% chance over a year. Properly used, it is 2%, which more what I thought it would be.

    I didn't account for people not using it properly. You are right.

  • ||

    Not using it right!!!??
    Did they see the banana video and actually put it on a banana??

  • Llama||

    She may be right, but it doesn't really matter whether she's right or not. She's just trying to justify why I have to pay for her pills.

    Just FYI, I am a woman and I use contraception, which I pay for. It costs me about $35/month for my pills. That just means I forgo Starbucks 6 days a month. I would be interested to see how many times the lovely Ms. Fluke went out to dinner, bought a latte on the way to class, went out for beers, bought a new pair of shoes, went to the movies, or engaged in any other non-essential spending. I would guess a money-savvy person could probably wring $50 out of her monthly budget by eliminating some non-essential spending items. Ms. Fluke is just another example of the portion of society that doesn't feel like they should have to be responsible and make adult decisions about how they spend their money.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I would be interested to see how many times the lovely Ms. Fluke went out to dinner, bought a latte on the way to class, went out for beers, bought a new pair of shoes, went to the movies, or engaged in any other non-essential spending.

    Even given your point, I still don't get why she felt the need to claim that birth control costs her $3000 a year. My girlfriend gets them from PP for $10 a month. I realize that the cost of living is higher in DC, but it can't be that much higher.

  • kilroy||

    How's that compare with abstinence?

  • yonemoto||

    well there's been at least one virgin conception.

  • kilroy||

    [citation needed]

  • yonemoto||

  • yonemoto||

    ...and other stories like it. figure at least one of them has got to be true.

  • yonemoto||

    I particularly like this one:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......onception/

  • J_L_B||

    Yeah but he wasn't the usual child.

    He did some pretty cool stuff like the water into wine thing.

    He also worked as a carpenter, so it was far from the usual occupational result of the product of an unplanned pregnancy.

  • Killazontherun||

    Nicole, having known your pleasant contribution to the discussion for months now, I have to say that any man who is not willing to put his nuts in a microwave to kill off the little fuckers for you is both a fool and undeserving of your time.

  • Jon Snow||

    If that were true, everyone in America would either have multiple bastard kids

    What of it?

  • #||

    im pretty sure those stats are for pregnancy rates

  • blubi||

    per year means there is a coitus/year presumption. By Fluke´s $1000/yr the figure could be off by about a factor of 10.

  • blubi||

    per year means there is a coitus/year presumption. By Fluke´s $1000/yr the figure could be off by about a factor of 10.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    I get it, Nicole. I agree that condoms are not a good substitute for the pill,

    Besides, I freakin hate condoms, might as well inject my dick with novocain and then have sex.

  • ||

    She takes the pill, triple socks him, and uses a diaphragm and spermicide. That adds up. Her ovaries are uber-pure.

  • AuH20||

    AS THE DRIVEN SNOW!

  • Zeb||

    And then she makes him go in the bathroom and jerk off.

  • Killazontherun||

    Triple socked!?! Why don't I just put on the strap on and let junior go limp? It would not be nearly as unpleasant.

  • +||

    It's a political, not biological issue. People who don't understand capitalism (a political-economic system) make these kinds of mistakes every day.

  • Killazontherun||

    For a prime example, see Jennifer above.

  • NotSure||

    I have come across more than just one person who very seriously believes that that freedom is about getting free things.

    This women is really stupid, what does she expect from an organisation that openly believes and states it is against contraception ??? Next someone is going to join the Vegan society and complain about the lack of meat on the menu.

  • ||

    That is funny but an important point. I would like to have a liberal explain why the feds couldn't force PETA to serve steaks in the company cafeteria.

  • Ex nihilo||

    Maybe force them to serve dog. Poetic justice. I am not a liberal except in the classical sense.

  • ||

    USDA dietary guidlines include meat and dairy. If a business is going to serve food to its employees, shouldn't they have to meet the guidelines? And why should PETA get an exception to the requirements? Why should their employees be deprived of a USDA approved healthy meal?

  • Ex nihilo||

    John,

    There is actually a bigger question that is being missed. If you can force Catholics to provide birth control, can you force vegans to feed their kids animal products per the USDA guidelines. Else it becomes child abuse or endangering a child by not providing 'proper' nutrition.

    We CAN force you to buy AND eat your veggies.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    And since meat and dairy are on the list, you can force Jews to eat them in the same meal. You know who else forced Jews to eat meat and milk in the same meal?

  • ||

    You know who else forced Jews to eat meat and milk in the same meal?

    Did the nazis actually do that? Seems to me, under war rationing, that feeding people who you don't even count as people valuable meat and dairy supplies would be logistically unwise.

  • Southerner||

    The way I heard it, the Nazis just ate the Jews.

  • BakedPenguin||

    IIRC, PETA - at best - doesn't give a flying fuck about, and at worst, actively hates dogs. They've been domesticated, and therefore contaminated, by the hand of man. It's Original Sin, only against Gaia instead of Yahweh.

  • Ex nihilo||

    BP, that is why I said make them serve dog. They are so pious about pet welfare and yet kill upwards of 95% (IIRC) of the animals they take into their selters. Major asshates in my book.

    I was specifically refering to John saying make them serve meat, in this case dog, as per USDA guidelines.

    They like money, power, prestige, moral smugness, etc. - animals, not so much.

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure USDA also forbids serving dog. Or at least raising it for food.

  • ||

    Can you imagine if we released all the Yorkies into the wild?

  • juris imprudent||

    Coyote buffet - all you can eat!

  • Xenocles||

    "...to serve dog."

    It's a cookbook!

  • ||

    Maybe force them to serve dog.

    With their adoption rates where they are, they've probably got plenty of meat on hand at all times.

  • Chris Rock||

    Put the dick down! Bitch, stop fuckin'!

  • WTF||

    Hey, she could earn extra money on the Stripper Pole.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Tuesday afternoon squad, at a second rate club won't bring in the cash.

  • Ice Nine ||

    One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn't covered, and had to walk away because she couldn't afford it

    The horror! The horror!

  • Major Johnson||

    how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter

    If only she hadn't started with "Six dozen of your largest condoms, please!"

  • ||

    So embarrassed that she repeated the story in front of Congress.

  • ||

    You wouldn't be completely comfortable talking about your sexuality in a room full of grandfatherly fuckwits drooling over your every word?

    Prude.

  • Twit||

    One time I went to a restaurant with no prices on the menu. When I got the bill, I realized it was far more than I could pay. I escaped through the bathroom window. Made me feel shocked, confused and upset.

  • NotSure||

    I suggest the government regulate this, those expensive restaurant bills are violating my fundamental right to eat.

  • ||

    FOIE GRAS FOR THE MASSES!

  • Major Johnson||

    Not embarrassed and powerless, though.

  • ||

    Uh, you have fingers. Or she could use her boyfriend's fingers. or tongue...

    Sure, I am all for sending my helmeted soilder into the cave of venus, but

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Did you feel othered by this microaggression?

  • sarcasmic||

    Bastiat time!

    Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

    We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
  • NotSure||

    Who is Bastiat, something that was written over a hundred years ago can't be true in this modern world.

  • Ezra Klein||

    Totally. Who even knows, like, what words meant and stuff back then?

  • Ezra Klein||

    'specially them Frenchy words. It's like half of them letters are silent.

  • Matt Yglesias||

    Bastiat's dead, and the world is clearly a better place for it.

  • Spencer Ackerman||

    Bastiat? I'd throw him and that promiscuous bee-otch Fluke through a plate glass window.

  • David Frum||

    I grow so sad and weary of hardcore right wingers rolling out partisan, Bastiat-based talking points to attack well meaning liberal initiatives, like directing the Catholic Church (or its insurance companies, which are mostly Church-owned) to pay for contraceptives. Only when we get past this mindless partisanship can we as a nation progress.

    I propose a compromise: in even months, the Catholic Church provides for contraceptives and abortions if necessary. In odd months, Conservatives can read G.K. Chesterton and Bastiat to their heart's content.

    See? Compromise isn't hard if you're open to bipartisan cooperation.

  • Dick Holster||

    Wow, whoever's doing these spoofs, you're starting to creep me out with your uncanny accuracy and precision.

  • Tony||

    Socialism...confuses the distinction between government and society

    Do you mean to tell me that society existed before government? [Puts fingers in ears] Lalalala you are still talking but I can't hear you lalalala....

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    What is this "society" that you speak of?

  • Question...||

    ...obviously that's a Tony spoof, but why would Tony be concerned about birth control? That's for breeders, after all.

  • ||

    Jacob--This post is entirely too calm, concise, logical, and fact-filled to even register on the average lefty's radar.

    NEEDS MAOR TANTRUMS.

  • sarcasmic||

    She's got a perty mouth...

  • Sparky||

    She's got the whitest teeth I ever came across.

  • Georgetown Basketball Team||

    Us, too!

  • Restoras||

    I see what you did there...

  • Realist||

    "Does Reproductive Freedom Imply a Right to Free Birth Control?"
    Of course not.

  • Elvis ||

    If they manage to find that non-profits are required to subsidize the exercise of their employees' constitutional rights, I'm going to get a job with the DNC and sue to get them to pay for my exercise of Second Amendment rights. Sauce for the goose...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here is something we want but cannot afford; therefore someone else should be forced to pay for it.

    Correction: Choose not to afford. The costs are not prohibitive, but the lasses are choosing to use their money for other purchases.

  • The Lasses||

    Screw you! We need those shoes!

  • Tman||

    ^^^ This.

    All of these folks whining about how they can't "afford" birth control makes me wonder what in the hell they spend their money on. I bet you dollars to donuts there are plenty of frivolous items in Ms. Fluke's budget that could be done away with so she could afford to keep fucking without having a baby.

  • Sandra Fluke||

    I MUST have my daily Starbucks latte, you patriarchal oppressor!

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    Yeah, like attending a private university for starters!

  • Brian||

    I Second this. Could they have picked a less sympathetic figure? A woman on food stamps and working two jobs at the catholic hospital would have been far better than a chick who can't afford the pill because her elite law school is too expensive.

  • Russ 2000||

    HA! Someone else is paying for that too.

  • Restoras||

    As in, an iPhone, in all likelihood.

  • ||

    There is a psychological effect of having insurance paid for by someone else. If one medical thing is covered, it makes you feel like you should put off or avoid the other until you can cram it in under the policy. Hence the common practice of many people avoiding medical treatment that would cost a few hundred dollars until they can get insurance through their employers. Same for dental. Why get a tooth cleaning now, when you can wait until you've got a job and have dental coverage?

    Nevermind that you're only going to spend $100 extra to pay for the teeth cleaning out of pocket, you might be able to get that cleaning FREE next year!

    Basically, people get so used to having free/cheap medical care provided by others that their expectations are reset. If you are accustomed to $10 co-pays for an office visit, suddenly $40/month for a prescription pill becomes a prohibitive expense.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    She probably spends more on makeup each month.

    Not that I blame her.

  • ||

    Does the woman in the photo work in the circus biting bars of steel in half?

    I suspect she'd be good at it.

  • ||

    HULK FUCK!

  • Dan||

    I don't understand why someone should be forced to pay for someone else's good time.

    It is like they are powerless and must have sex when ovulating.

  • The Lasses||

    You just don't get it.

  • ||

    If we pay for her birth-control, we all get a turn, right?

  • ||

    Thread winner.

  • ||

    Geez, how you'd like to be the caboose on that train......

    Yuck.

  • Spoonman.||

    Look, I think abstinence-only education is stupid, but you have the right not to have sex, lady. Millions of young men succeed at it every day.

  • ||

    fap fap fap fap

  • H man||

    Millinos of women do as well. They're called wives.

  • H man||

    Millions. Is this thing on?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    *mild applause*

    Go back to 1995, Paul Reiser!

  • Dan||

    Yeah! There should be a "right to sex" law. I want government funded prostitutes for every young man to show up at their place on Friday night!

    And the prostitutes better be on birth control dammit!

  • ||

    not nearly enough...good health demands daily spurting...that gooey, sticky stuff staying in your body??? That can't possibly be good for you.

  • AuH20||

    True fact: British reseachers found that around 3 to 4 orgasm a week reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

    http://www.mensjournal.com/3-orgasms

    So the next time your SO gets mad at you for jacking it, tell her it's for your health.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Tried that argument...didn't work.

  • Restoras||

    Me too but I still do it anyway.

  • Zeb||

    Did you try "if you don't like it, then you need to give me a blowjob every day."

  • Spoonman.||

    Since the Obama administration is currently arguing that the power to require citizens not to do something (buy a certain product, e.g. marijuana) means that they have the power to require citizens to do something (buy a certain product, e.g. health insurance), what prevents President Rick Santorum from banning insurance plans from covering contraception?

    Me today, you tomorrow, right, RC?

    (Also, President Rick Santorum is a very scary idea.)

  • cowardly commenter some guy||

    That's the argument I keep making to my liberal friends.

    "Why do you want to give this government powers that you would not want a Republican government to have? You know there will eventually be another Republican government!"

    They never seem to get it.

  • Brian||

    You just don't get it. Once their policies are implemented, and the government has created the perfect world, no liberal will ever lose an election again and partisan politics will be reduced to arguing over the flag should be red with white stripes or white with red stripes.

  • robc||

    I think they do get it and just dont care. The important thing is power.

    The first time I read it, I thought Rand's anti-life screed was over the top. As the years go back, not so much.

    I have decided that there are only two reasons for anyone to reject libertarianism:

    1. They dont want to take responsibility for their actions.

    2. They want to control other people.

    At first I thought it was mostly #2, now Im leaning towards #1.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    They "get it", but the next logical response ("then we shouldn't have any Republicans / Republican thought should be illegal") causes an input error, and they realize how bad it will sound, so they shut up about it.

    Trust me, though, if either party could outlaw the other's speech, they would do it.

  • AuH20||

    I think that they actually believe that the Constitution protects THEIR pet causes (contraception, abortion) but not the rights (guns).

    So, if a Republican President comes to power, so what? Roe is still on the books.

  • ||

    Yes, Grasshopper. When you can seize the Krugerrand from my hand . . .

  • ||

    [insert obligatory smartphone-bill reference]

  • Sandra Fluke||

    Hey, jerk, I need that for phone sex!

  • ||

    The official song of leftism: You Got, I Want

  • ||

    While for the Christian conservativist: Send Me Your Money

  • End Child Unemployment||

    If she was earning $3,000 over a summer, working 10 weeks full time that works out to a $7.50 take home wage, which you could gross up to $9.50 assuming 21% government theft rate. If she is in law school and the best summer work she can find pays $9.50 per hour, she should quit law school and do something she's better at. I went to a no name business school in the northwest and my summer and other internships all paid at least $15 per hour.

  • WTF||

    She doesn't have time to work full time for ten weeks. Not with all that fuckin'.

  • ||

    I made better than that 20 years ago, at a 10th tier law school in the midwest. How did she do so poorly going to Georgetown?

    My guess is she could have made more money. But she didn't want to work for one of those icky capitalist law firms. Feminist human rights law doesn't pay quite as well as K street.

  • ||

    She'd make more if she ever bothered slowing the ice cream truck down long enough for the squalling brats to catch it.

    Yeah, she's full of shit if she wants us to buy into that, that is all she makes as a summer associate.

  • ||

    If you do "God's work" for an NGO or political organization, you are going to get shit wages. That is just life. But we are supposed to subsidize her choices.

  • ||

    Exactly! if she wants to screw around to the tune of $1000/year then she needs to be able to afford it or take her chances. If she can't afford the lifestyle she wants then she should get a job to pay for it or get a different lifestyle. She just doesn't like those choices. She wants what she wants and wants someone else to pay for it.

  • nicole||

    Shit, I made better money than that temping as a receptionist over the summers I was in college. But that's not very high-status now is it?

  • ||

    And it is not something you can brag to your friends about all of the "good" you are doing.

  • nicole||

    Exactly. This whole story is a giant "tradeoffs, how the fuck do they work?"

  • cowardly commenter some guy||

    I'm guessing she's just lying about how much she makes over a summer like she lied about how much BC costs. Who cares about facts when you have a point to make?

  • yonemoto||

    no it's accurate. If you're a law student you might be lucky to be paid at all. Supply and demand, bitchez.

  • cowardly commenter some guy||

    Ok, true. But this comes back again to her own personal choices. She could make much more than $3000 in a summer waiting tables if she wanted to.

  • ||

    With overtime averaged in, I probably made about that same wage hauling rocks and digging holes working for a landscaper in the summers 10-12 years ago. I'm embarrassed for this dumb bitch.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dude, you're missing the point.

    The point is that birth control is a basic human right, and as such these women shouldn't have to pay for it themselves.

    Having the right to something means having the right to have the government force people to pay for it on your behalf.

    How can you have a right to something and have to pay for it yourself?

    That ain't fair.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If that's the case, I want guns. Lots of guns (Second amendment). And a publishing house (First amendment). And three or four houses with biometric locks, panic rooms, and safes (Fourth amendment).

    Pay for my rights, dammit!

  • sarcasmic||

    The Second amendment guarantees the right of a militia, specifically the National Guard, to have guns.

    Free speech is limited to speech that liberals do not find offensive. Judging by your wanting guns, you would likely offend liberals. So no press for you.

    That last bit indicates you are a delusional right winger. Combine that with your wanting guns makes you unfit to live in society.

    The militia will be dispatched to your location shortly.

    That is all.

  • Jeff||

    According to this logic, observant Jews do not have religious freedom unless the government pays for their kosher food, bloggers do not have freedom of speech unless taxpayers buy them computers, and Americans in general do not have a right to keep and bear arms if they have to pay for guns with their own money.

    Fixed.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    This is who the dems picked as the poster girl for the mandate? I thought the republicans were the stupid party?

  • Playa Manhattan||

    "Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. "

    My wife's entire pregnancy cost less than that with insurance provided by her law school. I don't know of any higher educational institution that doesn't offer highly subsidized insurance to every student...

  • Old Mexican||

    I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan.


    You can change schools any time you want, sweetheart.

    Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.


    Then change to chemistry, or engineering, so that it costs you nothing.

    I didn't know that having sex was a requirement to study law, by the way.

  • yonemoto||

    Not having sex is a requirement to study chemistry (or biophysics) in grad school!

    We do get paid a modest salary though. Tradeoffs!

  • Zeb||

    Ha. Yeah, when there are other fields that will pay you to attend grad school, that is not a very compelling complaint.

  • nicole||

    You know, thinking back to the Chick-fil-A thread as well, shouldn't this women just leave Georgetown? I mean, obviously not everyone would follow the logic the way I would be willing to, but the religious affiliation of a school was a major consideration for me when I was looking at undergrad stuff and now that I'm older I think it would be an even bigger deal. "Jesuit school? No contraceptive coverage? Sorry, Ima have to boycott that shit and go somewhere that better reflects my own personal values." It's that simple.

  • ||

    But Nicole that would require them making a sacrifice. Georgetown may have been the only top 20 school that admitted them. And they have always wanted to work in Washington.

    You really can't expect these women to make a sacrifice, like going to a less than top 20 law school, to live by their convictions. That is just sexist of you.

    And yeah. I like to drink. So I never considered going to a place like Baylor or BYU where such things are not allowed.

  • ||

    What? Do you honestly expect her to forego the extra hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential future income that comes from going to a tier 1 law school, just so she doesn't have to pay for her own contraceptives?

    What kind of bourgeois monster are you?

  • nicole||

    Well, I for one expect her to do it to make a statement to Catholics about the unacceptability of their position on contraceptives. Of course, it's not worth it to her to sacrifice her own future income for that, but it's just fine to sacrifice mine.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Baylor and BYU won't pay for students' booze? That's an outrage!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They should have medicinal liquor in their health insurance plans. No exceptions. Why are they oppressing students with their religion?

    Do you know how much it costs to keep a student in booze over several years? Should they have to pay the cost themselves?

    And without booze, students like Fluke wouldn't even be in a position to worry about birth control, if you know what I mean.

  • ||

    Exactly Eduard.

  • ||

    Jobbu needs rum.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why can't she just tell dude he's got to go buy some rubbers if he's gonna stick it in her?

  • Suzy Roundheels||

    What if he says no?

  • Dan||

    Guess she'll just have to fuck him anyway...

  • Zeb||

    anal

  • sticks||

    IF he says no, find a new guy.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    Go to a different law school then. FUCK!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I don't see anything objectionable about what Rush Limbaugh had to say. It isn't a) any different than the things we say and b) it's true.

    The part I object to the most strenuously is that she has been permitted to pretty much get away with the claim that birth control costs $3,000 a year. On what planet?

  • sarcasmic||

    Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.

    They're talking about a six year period (no pun intended).

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Law School is three years.

    I didn't realize how stupid the people at Georgetown were. Check out this gem from Fluke's testimony:

    One student told us that she knew birth control wasn’t covered, and she assumed that’s how
    Georgetown’s insurance handled all of women’s sexual healthcare, so when she
    was raped, she didn’t go to the doctor even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections because she thought insurance wasn’t going to cover something like that, something that was related to a woman’s reproductive health.

    Because Georgetown didn't cover BC, they thought that it wouldn't cover rape. This is how people really think, isn't it?

    Somedays I feel like going full Moriarity and start fucking with (and sometimes killing) ordinary people just for fun.

  • sarcasmic||

    Law School is three years.

    I'm just going by what they said. They said that it costs three grand to cover contraception over six years.

  • ||

    which works out to around $83/month as claimed in the article.

  • ||

    I...I...I just don't know how to respond to that level of stupid.

  • G-town Hamlet||

    Get thee to a community college!

  • ||

    That's bullshit. If you report rape to the police, the first thing they're going to do is ask you to go to the hospital and get an examination. If you tell them you can't afford it, they'll tke care of it.

  • ||

    Maybe she thought you have to pay for police reports at Georgetown.

  • Laura||

    The only thing I hear Georgetown Hospital does differently is that if you're raped, they won't give you the morning after pill.

  • nicole||

    From what I've seen, she says that's the cost "during law school," so that's the cost for 3 years. That actually sounds about right to me, at least if we're including the annual doctor visit required for the prescription. I think when I've had my pills not covered, they've been about $50 per "month," where there are 13 months in a year. So that's $650 and the doctor visit could run you $250 if you have to pay out of pocket (but I have no idea if these folks are able to just have their normal annual checkup with their normal low copay and still get the script).

    There are cheaper ways of getting the pill, like through Planned Parenthood, but in my experience those have been need-based or sliding-scale type things. I don't think I could go to PP and get the pill for $10 a month or whatever unless I can show that I am low-income.

  • ||

    But she is low income.

  • ||

    A doctor's visit won't cost you $250 out of pocket. She has medical insurance through the school, so it's probably a $30 co-pay.

    Even a normal doctor's visit really isn't $250. It's more like $100.
    Depends on how pricey your doctor is, but an urgent care center will charge $150-$250 for a walk-in visit, so an appointment for an office visit is likely much less.

  • nicole||

    Well, that was the real price for the last time I saw an OBGYN without any insurance coverage. It makes a big difference when you can't get the negotiated discount.

  • ||

    Planned Parenthood gives you the pill for free, condoms for free, and if those fail they will perform an abortion for free. WTF. Not one single baby is born in this country that isn't wanted by its mother.

    Birth control is easier to get for free in this country than FOOD.

  • Zeb||

    "Not one single baby is born in this country that isn't wanted by its mother."

    I don't think that follows. People are weird.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary.

    Shorter version: I couldn't possibly make it three years without dick!

    Like everything in life, there is a song appropriate to this situation:

    Lady Saw - Life Without Dick

  • ||

    are on public interest scholarships

    That is the key words there. She should never be expected to forgo dick or find a guy with a job who will pay for contraception because she is out in America's toughest neighborhoods doing God's work.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    What the hell is a "public interest scholarship"?

  • AuH20||

    It means she is supposed to help poor people after graduation.

    Now, you would think that that would mean Public Defender, but in this case it means pulling in 6 figure at some women's action fund trying to argue why Shell needs to pay millions because it's bathrooms suck.

  • yonemoto||

    I have zero sympathy for her argument. I've had to go for way more than three years with no sex. I'm not paying for her fucking birth control.

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear: yes you fucking will.

  • ||

    And for the record, she is not that unattractive. She is just a frump. She needs to go on What Not to Wear and get a new wardrobe, hair and makeup.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shorter John: I'll fuck anything with a pussy.

  • ||

    You say that like it is a bad thing sarcasmic.

  • AuH20||

    Shorter John: A hole's a hole, man.

  • ||

    looks like you are in the club too

    sarcasmic|3.2.12 @ 11:48AM|#

    She's got a perty mouth...

  • sarcasmic||

    Here's something you never hear a guy say: "Stop sucking my dick, or I'll call the police!"
    -George Carlin
  • ||

    LOL/ Well no women ever looks that bad with...

    Well you know the rest.

  • ||

    Just wait a few years till her frown-jowls fully develop.

  • ||

    She does give off that "don't touch me with your male gaze" look.

  • ||

    Nothing better than a good jowl-fuck.

  • Bill Clinton||

  • ||

    Reproductive Freedom = Freedom to Not Reproduce?

    I really don't understand this debate at all. How is the choice to engage in an activity solely for personal pleasure a health care issue?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Because human biology is a microaggression against women and Sandra Fluke didn't go to law school to hear any of your MANsplaining to the contrary.

  • Slippery Slope||

    Don't we get people, including libertarians, saying things like heroin addiction are a public health care issue?

    Cock addiction would follow the same logic.

  • ||

    This is like the worst contraception thread ever.

  • Abdul||

    They should have killed it at birth.

  • Tman||

    Yeah, maybe we should lighten things up and talk about abortion.

    That always brings out the calm rational arguments.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    +1

  • AuH20||

    Honestly, it is the unfortunate influence of Marxism on leftist, especially feminist, thought.

    A lot of Marx's argument boils down to, "Sure, you have freedom of speech and can vote, but as long as you have to grovel to someone for your paycheck, you can't really and truly exercise these rights. Without money, your 'rights' are meaningless."

    Interestingly, there is a lot of early American political thought that worries about this same issue. They worried that as people moved from self-employed farmers and tradesmen to being employed by someone else in a factory, there would be a problem with disinterest- the idea was that in the voting booth, you were supposed to be disinterested about the outcome and vote for the best choice, not the one that your boss told you to vote for. The fact that the secret ballot was not a basic thing probably didn't help.

    GD character limit. Continued...

  • ||

    The original socialists were back to the land types.

  • AuH20||

    Oh, Rousseau and the like? Hell yeah. Socialism was our natural state. It was the evil civilization that had fucked us up.

    However, Marxism is an explicitly industrial philosophy. That's why the Marxist were cool with killing a shit ton of people to properly industrialize their countries- it was a vital step. The Marxist are also of the belief that there is innately enough abundance for everyone, it's just the greedy capitalist who are keeping it for themselves.

  • ||

    I was thinking even older than that. Thomas Moore and the original utopian socialists.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How much of More's book was meant seriously? It was a criticism of the status quo, but was it actually trying to prescribe literal legal changes?

  • ||

    I am not sure to be honest. He meant it all ironically?

  • AuH20||

    Now, the concern of early American political was fixed by a secret ballot. The larger worry that people would vote themselves shit was valid, but people vote shit for themselves now out of greed.

    The Marxist conceptualization of rights grew. "Hey man, if you don't have healthcare, what happens when you get sick? Without free healthcare, your other rights are meaningless. This is your life, man."

    One more. Fuck the char limit

  • AuH20||

    Feminism has sadly become a basically leftist ideology. Yes, I know Individual Feminists like Cathy Young are putting up the good fight, but for believing in things like the rule of law, the are called "Anti-Feminsit Women Blamers". No, seriously. Meanwhile, you have a lot of strains of feminism (off the top of my head, I know Black Feminism but there are others) which are explicitly anti-capitalist. So they accept the Marxist conceptualization of rights, and talk about things like, "Well, poor women don't really have a right/meaningful right to abortion/contraception if they can't afford it!"

    Therefore, it is up to the state to pay for it. Actually, I sometimes wonder if the feminist line that "abortion is healthcare" isn't so much an appeal to the middle and more of an appeal to their fellow travelers who view healthcare as a right to be provided by the state.

  • WTF||

    SF'd the link

  • AuH20||

    Damnit!

    Here is the Cathy Young link. Man, I hope Cathy doesn't read tripe like feminting- I would be so pissed off if I was her:

    http://feministing.com/2012/01.....-backyard/

  • ||

    Good article. You nailed it!

  • Spoonman.||

    I think when I've had my pills not covered, they've been about $50 per "month," where there are 13 months in a year.

    Really? My wife's were $9 a month on her very high deductible plan at her last job.

  • nicole||

    I'm talking when I had no insurance at all. She was probably at least getting a negotiated discount even with a super high deductible plan.

  • ||

    Is that the total cost, or is that a $9 co-pay? If the latter, then the pill was covered by your wife's plan through her employer, which is what Fluke and the Democrats are asking for, that health care plans should treat the pill the same as all other prescription drugs.

  • ||

    Usually you get the insurance company's rate. Or at least that's what I get on things like lab tests and scripts with a high deductible plan. You pay the full amount but at the negotiated rate.

  • Sandra Fluke||

    Next up - free Viagra for everyone, so my boyfriend can get more than semi-hard for me.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I can't believe the dude has a sperm count above single digits, what with all the snoggin' you're doin'.

  • ||

    To the left, if you really, really want something, it becomes a right.

  • AuH20||

    Actually, my pretty liberal sister is going to Georgetown right now to get her Nurse Practitioner. I should talk to her, although I highly doubt I will agree with her about this.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    Is she pretty liberal, or pretty and liberal. It matters. A lot.

  • AuH20||

    Number 2, as all my high school friends will not let me forget.

  • pdog||

    "Fluke says birth control "can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school," which translates into $1,000 a year, or about $83 a month."

    You can buy 90-day supply of birth control pills, without insurance, at wal-mart for eight fucking dollars.

  • T||

    There's no WalMart in DC, man. Do you expect her to spend valuable fucking time taking the Metro to the 'burbs just to buy birth control?

  • Christina||

    What kind of Pill costs $8 for a 3 month supply? I ask because I want to use it in an argument against my lefty friend who works for an HMO.

  • pdog||

  • ||

    students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships

    I'm guessing I really don't want to know what that is. Some sort of Parasitism Studies program, no doubt.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    +1

  • ||

    You can buy 90-day supply of birth control pills, without insurance, at wal-mart for eight fucking dollars.

    And support the kkkorporate patriarchal oppressors?

    Are you nuts?

  • ||

    "believes that decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss." Or a woman and her government or just a woman's government.

  • woman's government||

    No, no, I'll pull out in time, honey, I swear I will!

  • Paul||

    Are Georgetown Law students really struggling to pay $1 for a condom or buy a diaphragm with an amortized cost (including spermicidal jelly) of $2 or $3 a month? If so, abstinence is always an option.

    Not only no, but fuckin-a no. I've seen a shit-ton of college students driving late model cars, and sometimes have owned more of them in their short lives than I have.

    Plus the endless stream of iDevices, Macbooks, Smartphones and trips they take would make my credit card blush.

    So we can walk the theoretical cost beat on this story until the cows come home.

    It's not and never was about cost, and Fluke and her lawyer know that. It's about the perceived "right" of birth control pills. You either believe it's a right, or you don't.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's not and never was about cost, and Fluke and her lawyer know that. It's about the perceived "right" of birth control pills. You either believe it's a right, or you don't.

    Then that's ultimately what they need to be arguing, and more specifically, WHY it's a basic right. By introducing the cost factor, she blew her whole argument to shit.

  • romulus augustus||

    Tell me about it. The local college students rallied last year to whine against education cuts from the State. The rally was all over front page for two days and several editorials supporting them were written. About two months later the same paper runs a story where they interviewed a bunch of students about where they went on spring break and how much fun they had. In my day, spring break was a chance to earn a few bucks helping neighbors clean up winter lawn debris. Oh, you kids get off my lawn!

  • Joe Blow||

    So she's a nice Catholic girl at a Jesuit law school, and birth control is costing her $3k/year?

    Amazing.

    I had no idea the Rhythm Method was so expensive.

  • ||

    Sandra dear, contrary to what you seem to think the entire world isn't a conspiracy to rob you of your happiness.

    And yes, I called you "dear". I'll treat you as an equal when you start acting like an equal. Not before.

    When (if) you become a grownup, you will discover that a lot of life is setting priorities and making decisions based on those priorities. Most folks don't have the money to do everything they want to all at once, so we have to set priorities and budget our money.

    I know, it seems so awfully unfair. In reality the concept of fairness has nothing to do with it.

  • Paul||

    I'm not sure when Ms. Fluke graduates, but I suspect she's got a bright future working for the Biden administration.

  • Loki||

    Is it just me, or do they seem to be bitching and moaning over not being to go bare-back anymore? Which is particularly stupid considering "the pill doesn't protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted disease."

  • ||

    That is a good point. But I doubt she thought that deeply about the subject.

  • nicole||

    As noted above, the pill is more effective at preventing pregnancy than condoms are. And you take it yourself, rather than depending on your partner. I'm sure a huge number of these people are still using condoms for most sexual encounters. Many of me ladyfriends use multiple methods of BC.

  • Ashlyn||

    If you have frequent sex with a steady, long-term partner, condoms can actually get rather expensive. The pill can be the better deal in that case.

    But the BEST deal, if you can afford to pay the upfront cost, is an IUD. For four to five hundred dollars, you get ten baby-proof, worry-free years.

  • AlmightyJB||

    My auto insurance should be forced to pay for oil changes and routine maintenance and my home owners insurance should pay for lawncare and routine maintenance. What's insurance for again? Also, why does that lesbian need birth control? Maybe she could get the money by quiting school which obviously isn't doing any good sense she obviously can't think for herself.

  • ||

    And when premiums start going up you'll demand that everyone who doesn't own a car buy auto insurance in order to help you pay for your car care.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exactly, no such thing as a free lunch.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Also, I'll personally pay for her birth control if she personally pays for my two daughters college tuition.

  • Zeb||

    bloggers do not have freedom of speech unless taxpayers buy them computers

    This is kind of a nitpick, but an important one, I think. Bloggers need freedom of press, not freedom of speech. Why does freedom of the press always get ignored? The press is not just serious journalistic outfits, it is all forms of mass communication.

  • T||

    Mass communication implies somebody reads the blog.

  • Zeb||

    "Means of mass communication", then.

  • ||

    Aww looks like she'll have to grow the fuck up and take reaponsibility for her own vaginal habits.

    Free tampons and pads next?

  • ||

    Aww looks like she'll have to grow the fuck up and take responsibility for her own vaginal habits.

    Free tampons and pads next?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Feminists bitch about Viagara subsidies for older men, so let's split the difference and end subsidies for Viagara AND birth control for women.

    Problem solved. It's really not that difficult in the first place, though.

  • Feministing||

    Damn right we bitch. Men are the cause of EVERY problem on the planet.

  • Teh Joooos||

    We thought WE were the cause of every problem on the planet.

    Which is it?

  • Russ 2000||

    Why do I get the feeling someone else is paying Ms. Fluke's tuition?

  • ChrisO||

    She's on a "public interest scholarship," according to her testimony. I don't know if that covers her entire tuition, however.

    Georgetown Law is hella expensive, and law students rarely get much of a break in the way of full scholarships, since they are a huge profit center for universities.

  • Bill Clinton||

    I'd hit it.

    But only if someone else pays for the contraception.

  • ChrisO||

    Think of it this way. Every dollar spent by the insurer for Sandra Fluke's birth control pills is a dollar not spent on someone else's actual medical care.

    Forget all the religious crapola. Birth control is one of the expenses of life and shouldn't be part of insurance coverage. Food is more medically necessary than birth control, and I don't see any proposal that Georgetown's insurer be forced to pay Sandra's grocery bills.

  • Jerry Sandusky||

    Looks like she's still got her baby teeth.

  • ||

    I just wanna know where the line forms for the free computers. It's about goddamn time I got something back.

  • ||

    Not only is it stupid to suggest that women can't get contraception unless it is provided by their medical insurance, but it wouldn't even make financial sense to pay for minor expenses such as contraceptive out of medical insurance unless you premiums are being subsidized by someone else.

    Only in the fucked up universe of employer-based and taxpayer-subsidized insurance, does it make any financial sense to force insurance companies to cover minor routine expenses.

    If people had to bear the full cost of their insurnace premiums themselves they would soon realize that it's insane to pay for these things indirectly, via an insurer, since an insurer MUST by necessity charge you more for it in order to turn a profit.

  • Christina||

    Jacob Sullum and others hint at it, but there is a huge variance in the cost of contraception, depending on what you get. Yes, it is possible to spend $90/month retail for the very convenient Ortho Evra or Nuva Ring. Mirena can run about $900 retail. BUT, and this is huge, the Pill is actually quite cheap because just about all formulations of it are available in generic forms. So really, a cash strapped woman should pay only about $25/month retail for BC.

    Of course I can't help but remember my days as a poor, uninsured, 20-something who was having lots and lots of sex. My BF was simply buying condoms in bulk online. Sure, it was not as nice as Nuva Ring (which I used once I got insurance), but I never got pregnant!

  • ||

    Also, it's free from planned parenthood if you are poor. End of story.

  • Ashlyn||

    If you pay the full retail price for a brand name prescription birth control pill like Loestrin, it can cost you $80 a month.

    If your bff's mom is an OBYGN, you can get free samples to last you six months.

    Most people do not find themselves in either of these positions. I think you know that, Miss Fluke.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    How about this:

    We taxpayers stop ponying up for both Viagara AND birth control.

    Yeah, that's fair. AND bipartisan.

  • Mrs. FIFY||

    Especially Viagra for child molesters and other rapists. I don't know about the "bipartisan" part, though: all Democrats are allies to rapists and child molesters, as well as anti-Catholic sluts like Fluke.

  • Jax||

    I don't know why any insurance company would ever not cover contraception. The amount they would pay during a pregnancy would far outweigh any savings from not paying for the pill.

  • ||

    They are certainly free to offer it. What we object to is forcing them to offer it. With no co-pays or deductibles, even when the organization paying for the premiums objects to paying for it.

  • ||

    It's free before it's required.

  • ||

    Based on her logic, I should claim that since I wear glasses my rights to "see" are being violated because my health insurer does not provide for eye coverage. I have to pay for my glasses and eye care out of pocket and it is not my choice to have bad vision. I also broke a tooth and my dental plan did not cover crowns so that is out of pocket for me at $700.00. Again, not a choice I made like having sex is. Many common expenses for basic needs to see, hear or eat are not covered by some plans but we do not see such a battle over them. Again, some of these conditions are not a choice. The way I see this, I'm not only paying for her, I'm paying for the guy who wont buy a condom.

  • ||

    of course, she could always pay for her own insurance, too.

  • yebisu||

    Sexist tirade by Limbaugh? Seriously? i don't think the author of this article even listened to what Rush said because he basically said exactly what this article is trying to argue.

  • ||

    I'm noticing that feminists (perhaps in response to the argument that contraceptives are affordable in generic versions) are now expanding the definition of contraception to include treatments for certain diseases, like ovarian cysts.

    I'm no OB GYN. Do they actually recommend female patients to spend 80-100 dollars a month on hormonal contraceptives to prevent Ovarian cysts, which are supposed to be mostly benign?

  • ||

    The cost given for yearly birth control might be reasonable if you insist on having a certain type. I used to pay $50/month with insurance, so it would have been a lot more without insurance. The thing is, I switched to a generic that works just as well, and now it's free with insurance for me. I happened to notice on the bag, though, that this generic retails for $9/per month for someone without insurance. That's practically cheaper for someone to pay than using condoms regularly would be. Beggars can't be choosers - take responsibility for yourself and find less expensive birth control that you can afford on your own.

  • Indigo||

    I don't think it is "free" if it is part of an insurance policy, of which you pay a premum for.

  • Indigo||

    I don't think it is "free" if it is part of an insurance policy, of which you pay a premum for.

  • Bradley||

    The proper libertarian response here, which Sullum tries to get at, is to ask why insurance is being used to cover things that are not unpredictable catastrophes but regular, foreseeable expenses. Because the prices are so high? OK, then why is that? Why is an individual's insurance tied to employers (or universities) at all? What grounds is there for requiring women to grovel at a doctor's feet to be permitted to buy a drug that should be sold in vending machines?

    You fuckers have been baited into criticizing Fluke's sex life. I'm sure that's satisfying and all, but it misses the underlying issues and plays into every stupid liberal claim that libertarian ideology is a cover for right-wing social views.

  • ||

    We paid out of pocket and it cost around $250 a year.

    Even as broke as we were that was nothing.

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