"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another County Heard From

I'm always amazed and appalled how liberal feminists will claim to speak for all women.   Nearly all the women I happen to know are conservative and pro-Life, so these feminists certainly don't speak for them.   Nor do women like my wife, who was summa cum laude graduating for college, appreciate the condescension of these liberal feminist women, who nearly always arrogantly assume that theirs is the intellectual, "progressive" position, while women who think differently must be under the thumb of some patriarchal male.   (Believe me, in my house I may be the titular "patriarch," but I'm about four steps down the "under the thumb" chain, just up from the hound.)

Anyway, it's nice to see an article like this one in the WSJ by a woman graduate of Georgetown Law taking to task the position espoused by Sandra Fluke and others last week that Georgetown, a Catholic Jesuit institution, should sacrifice its religious beliefs to provide free birth control to its women students.   The highlighted sentence at the end puts the issue in the clearest possible perspective:

In her testimony, Ms. Fluke claimed that, "Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school." That's $1,000 per year. But an employee at a Target pharmacy near the university told the Weekly Standard last week that one month's worth of generic oral contraceptives is $9 per month. "That's the price without insurance," the employee said. (It's also $9 per month at Wal-Mart.)

What about Rush Limbaugh? I won't defend his use of epithets (for which he's apologized), but I understand his larger point. At issue isn't inhalers for asthmatics or insulin for diabetics. Contraception isn't like other kinds of "health care." Yes, birth-control pills can be prescribed to address medical problems, though that's relatively rare and the Catholic Church has no quarrel with their use in this circumstance. And the university's insurance covers prescriptions in these cases.

Still, Ms. Fluke is not mollified. Why? Because at the end of the day this is not about coverage of a medical condition.

Ms. Fluke's crusade for reproductive justice is simply a demand that a Catholic institution pay for drugs that make it possible for her to have sex without getting pregnant. It's nothing grander or nobler than that. Georgetown's refusal to do so does not mean she has to have less sex, only that she has to take financial responsibility for it herself.

Should Ms. Fluke give up a cup or two of coffee at Starbucks each month to pay for her birth control, or should Georgetown give up its religion? Even a first-year law student should know where the Constitution comes down on that.

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