Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Rush-Sandra Fluke Debate

Here are some links regarding the Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh controversy:

Sandra Fluke’s submitted testimony: here.

Rush Limbaugh’s explanation of his position and defense of his controversial remarks: here and here. (On the first Rush link, there is a video of Sandra Fluke’s testimony.)

Both are worth taking a look at, in my opinion. For one, Sandra Fluke and Rush disagree about whether or not contraception is affordable and accessible. Rush argues that condoms are cheap and that Planned Parenthood’s own figures demonstrate that contraception is not as expensive as Sandra Fluke says. Fluke, however, responds to this sort of argument and provides reasons that contraception is so expensive.

Second, Rush sees the debate primarily in terms of sex. He asks why women can’t limit when they have sex, rather than demanding that society pay for their contraception (either through taxes or premiums). Fluke, however, argues that there is much more to the issue than that. There are women with problems that can only be redressed with contraception. She refers to a 32 year-old friend who had “to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries” (Fluke’s words). Because her insurance would not cover this medication, it got to the point where the doctor had to remove her ovary. Now, she experiences early menopause, which can lead to “increased risk of cancer, heart disease [and] osteoporosis” (Fluke’s words). Plus, she can no longer have children.

As many of my readers know, there is more to the debate than this: Rush calling Sandra a “slut”, people trying to get Rush kicked off the air, etc. But I’m choosing to focus on the parts of their arguments that have a degree of substance.

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