Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law student who was called a “slut” and a “prostitute” by Rush Limbaugh last week, appeared on “The View” this morning. She utterly floored me with her articulation, composure and professionalism.
Three weeks ago, Fluke was barred from testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committe about women’s access to affordable birth control. Instead an all-male panel trashed President Obama’s compromise on health care reform that if religiously-affiliated employers won’t pay for contraception for their employees, insurers must pick up the cost themselves. Sandra Fluke was later given an opportunity to testify to a group of Democrats, although it was not official, in which she explained how female students at Georgetown are struggling to pay the cost of birth control. Rush Limbaugh then attacked her on air, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and demanded she post videos of herself having sex online. Keep reading »
Earlier today, the Senate narrowly defeated a proposal called the Blunt Amendment that would have allowed employers and health care insurers to opt out of paying for birth control (and other medical services) if it is contrary to their religious beliefs. The vote was 51 to 48, with Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine the sole Republican to support it.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) proposed this amendment in response to the Obama administration’s decision that if a religiously affiliated employer refuses to cover the cost the cost of birth control, the tab must be picked up by the insurer. Democrats countered that Obama’s compromise should suffice and that the Blunt amendment would give employers power to make medical decisions for their employees. Keep reading »
You’ve probably read — on The Frisky or elsewhere — that religious employers are at odds with the Obama administration over the requirement, under the health care reform law, that insurers cover the cost of birth control if the employer itself — say, a Catholic school — refuses. These employers say it’s against their conscience to have insurers that cover birth control (despite the fact many do already, anyway). Now, someone cheeky over at the Tumblr for Obama’s reelection campaign mocked up this permission slip so employees can ask their bosses for permission to take contraception. Thankfully I work at The Frisky, where having lotsa sex and not getting preggo before you’re ready is encouraged! [BarackObama.Tumblr.com]
Every woman will have access to birth control under the Obama administration’s latest decision regarding health care reform, which was meant to appease Catholic bishops who balked at a previous iteration of the rule. White House officials stated on Friday that insurers must create a policy that doesn’t offer coverage of contraceptives that can be used by religiously-affiliated employers that object. But insurers also have to offer a plan that covers contraceptives without co-pays or deductibles and they are required to reach out and offer it to women. Explicitly religious employers, such as houses of worship, are still exempt from covering contraception in their prescription plans. Keep reading »
Who’s been called in as “experts” on cable news to discuss the current debate over birth control? More men than women, that’s who. Across all the networks, 91 men appeared to talk about the birth control debate, while only 55 women appeared on-air. The greatest disparity was at the Fox stations, but the “liberal”-leaning network of MSNBC didn’t do much better. When the debate primarily affects women’s lives — in this case, their very bodies — more female voices need to be heard. Shame on these networks for allowing guys, whatever their opinion, a greater voice in the debate. [Think Progress]
This is a sad story that underscores how the age requirement on the morning-after pill doesn’t work: a math teacher in Austin, Texas, resigned after she was caught having helped a student acquire the morning-after pill. Two weeks ago, a 16-year-old came to her teacher, Tracy Lee Steinberg, 32, in tears and told her she was afraid that she was pregnant. Steinberg told the student she had a bright future and that she would help the 16-year-old get the morning-after pill, which is only available over-the-counter without a prescription for women ages 17 and up. Steinberg got money for the Plan B from the student and the student’s boyfriend, purchased it at a Planned Parenthood, and the student took it.
But when the student started experiencing normal side effects of Plan B like nausea, the student — surely in fear — told her mother she’d taken the morning-after pill and that Steinberg had gotten it for her. The mother called the school district and the administrators notified Steinberg she’d be put on leave. Instead, Steinberg offered to resign. Keep reading »
If you’re big whores like we are, you’re intimately familiar with the panoply of birth control options out there. The Pill. The patch. The Depo Provera shot. And of course, good old condoms. So we are delighted to hear there is a new option for those of us who are not responsible enough to feed and care for a goldfish, much less a baby: the birth control ninja. This tiny ninja hangs out inside your ladyparts and kicks the ass of any sperm that tries to sully one of your precious eggs. Quick, get yours now before the religious right gets them banned! [YouTube] Keep reading »