Let’s start with this: Rush Limbaugh’s comments this week about Sandra Fluke, a 30 year old law student at Georgetown, were outrageous and completely wrong. His apology was weak and insincere. I mean every preceding word, and that’s all I’m going to say about Rush in this post.
Next let’s say this: While she is a victim of Rush’s vicious comments, Sandra Fluke lied (under oath, in front of Congress) during her testimony, and she is not an innocent person plucked off the street to testify about birth control insurance payments. She is an activist chosen by Democrats for a reason, and she was used (probably willingly) for political purposes.
Third, this: Despite the distraction Rush has created, the principle that the government should not tell religious organizations that they have to provide coverage for procedures and medicines that violate their beliefs is exactly right. It has also been completely lost in the emotions of this situation.
Let’s talk about Fluke and her situation since the Democrats, and she herself, chose to make an example of her. Fluke chose to go to Georgetown, a Jesuit school, where the school’s belief on birth control is known, the healthcare policy not to pay for birth control was known, and yet she chose to go there (on a public aid scholarship no less, so now at age 30 she has her birth control and her law school tuition paid for by someone else).
Her testimony was false. She testified that birth control pills would cost her $3,000 for her 3 years in school. My best research on birth control pills shows the retail cost, without prescription, is somewhere between $9 and $20 month. So in the worst case scenario, these pills cost $240/year, or $720 for 3 years. At the best case, they are $324 for all 3 years.
Liberals no doubt are celebrating this whole incident, as is President Obama. Rush has made the entire Republican party look like misogynist cavemen who are out of touch with women’s needs, Fluke is presenting herself as the oppressed woman, and the President as the oppressed woman’s defender.
Lost in all this is the key principle that matters: Our government should not be telling religious institutions what they should or shouldn’t pay for if it violates their basic tenets. That Fluke needs her birth control paid for by others, that birth control is viewed by most as a good thing, matters not a bit in the face of this principle.