PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Women's Healthcare and Politics

My usual stance on politics is to not have one. I'm like the France of political opinions. I stay completely neutral, shy away from discussions, and quietly vote on election day, never telling anyone who I vote for. I'm a registered republican, but I'm here to tell you that I don't always agree with them. Sometimes I agree with Democrats, sometimes they both repulse me. Right now, I don't know WHAT I am (no jokes please).

Women's healthcare has become a big issue to me. I wouldn't have been able to even consider having a PBM had women's healthcare and healthcare in general not made the strides that it has. Now, there is the issue of healthcare reform, "Obamacare" if you will but that's a different story, for a different blog (that I'll probably never write). There have been twice in recent memory that women's healthcare has taken a big hit. At, oddly enough, both of them seem at odds with the Catholic doctrine. Although I am Catholic, love my faith, but I also have my own working brain thank you.

There was the thing with Planned Parenthood/Susan G Komen. One woman (Karen Handel I believe) got herself in a nice position at SGK. She was known politically for being very anti-abortion, however she had been under fire for not being anti-abortion enough. Well, she was about to change that. She wrote new policy for SGK which mandated that funding be pulled for SGK. Since SGK had been a huge funds source for PP's women's healthcare sector, the sector that offers free breast exams and mammogram referrals this caused quite a stir. Now we all know that PP also offers abortions. If you talk to the right person they'll compare them to an "abortion mill" but in reality they only perform 3% abortions of all  their services offered. So this Ms. Handel was going to pull this funding in order to prove a point. That she was defunding what she coined an abortion mill. Never mind, the large percentage of women who would suffer because they could not afford to get screenings anywhere else. Needless to say, all craziness ensued and eventually Ms Handel stepped down and SGK gave PP back their money.

Now, the tide has shifted to birth control. The main issue was because the government wanted to mandate that ALL employers, including Catholics are required to let their insurance they offer to employees cover birth control. Now this is not asking the employer themselves to pay, or the tax payers. This is simply writing into the insurance policy that birth control will be covered on the PRIVATE insurance that these people pay for, that is in no way subsidized by the government. Now, since I'm a supporter of the separation of church and state, I did take issue with this. However, this mandate of the separation of church and state is written into the Constitution and it was one of the fundamental tenets our country was founded on, so I didn't ever think that this would pass, However, I knew that since this was a now "hot button topic" and we're smack in the middle of an election year that this would cause quite the spectacle. And boy has it.

A Georgetown law student spoke at a congressional sub-committee hearing on why she thinks that the school's insurance should offer birth control coverage. She did say things I didn't agree with (like $3000 for four years for birth control) but she didn't go in front of this sub-committee and talk about sex and why she and other co-eds want to be able to prevent pregnancy and be promiscuous. Instead, she spoke of different reasons why people should be on birth control and what could happen if they weren't. I, for one, have been on prescribed birth control for years. Not because I wanted to be free to sleep with whomever I wanted to without having consequence, but because I prefer not to menstruate at irregular times throughout the month and be laid up in bed with debilitating cramps and pain half the month. WHAT? A Catholic on BIRTH CONTROL? I'm not shy about being on birth control and have yet to find someone who condemns me for being on birth control. So that part of her speech I could identify and sympathize with. I'm also knowledgeable enough about anatomy and science that I understand what could happen with someone who NEEDS birth control and it's with held from them. I also recognized that Ms. Fluke was simply exercising her constitutional right to speak, and whether I agreed with what she said or not did not change the fact that I respected her for stating her opinion in such a way.

Apparently not everyone felt that way.

It came out that on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh went on a vicious personal attack on Ms. Fluke. Even more than usual, his radio show was filled with such vitriol that I was taken aback. His most famous quote is:

"She (Fluke) wants to be paid to have sex. So what does that make her? A slut! It makes her a slut, a prostitute."

This very statement alone (and yes that was a loose quote, but the general idea is there) is enough to make me go "WHAT??" I watched her speech and the word sex was never mentioned. Why, in the world did he make THAT jump?

But he didn't stop  there. I won't rehash his whole radio show but these are the highlights (again paraphrased):

"If you want the taxpayers to pay for your birth control, then we went something in return. We want you to post videos online of you having sex, so we can watch" (Um, ew??_

"She's having so much sex, I'm amazed she can walk"

"Did you ever think about maybe not having so much sex that you need so much birth control that it's causing you financial hardship?"

At this point, I would like to point out the absurdity of this particular statement. You don't take more birth control the more sex you have. It's the same amount- to quote Stephen Colbert they don't "act like little baby deflectors"

"She's an immoral, baseless woman with no purpose in life"

And there were SO much more. 46 to be exact. Then, in the days that followed, he apologized "FOR THOSE TWO WORDS" (Slut and prostitute) and kept reiterating "FOR THOSE TWO WORDS" Again to quote Stephen Colbert "He fully stands behind what else he said. He only apologized to keep sponsors. Which just goes to prove, Rush Limbaugh will do anything with his mouth for money"

Now, Rush Limbaugh is Rush Limbaugh. I get that. He's a radio host, an entertainer. He's no different from a wrestler who cuts a scathing promo against another wrestler and then goes out with them after the show (think Kevin Nash and Scott Hall). What killed me is the people who sided with him. "She is what she is" "Rush called it like he saw it" Religious, birth control, issues aside, in no way is it ok to viciously attack someone like that. For any reason. And I'm pretty appalled at the people standing behind him. I'm fine with people liking Rush and listening to him frequently. I mean, the man gives me a headache, but to each his own.

I would like to repeat that in MY world, it is against my religious, moral, and ethical values to personally attack someone for speaking their piece. She didn't do so forcibly or with disregard to other people's rights and freedoms. And in no way, was sex ever mentioned....until Rush.

I, in fact, admire Sandra Fluke. She took her concerns to the source, to the people who could change what she wanted change. That's how I feel it should be done. This government is set up to hear what the people want. For example, I strongly oppose abortion. However instead of sitting outside Planned Parenthood with signs (to quote John Mayer's Belief- "Is there anyone who, ever remembers, changing their mind for a paint on a sign? Is there anyone who really recalls ever breaking rank for something someone yelled real loud one time? He then goes on to say- "Some need the exhibition, some have to know they tried") people need to VOTE for anti-abortion laws, write their congressman, etc etc. Picketing Planned Parenthood for anti-abortion reasons is like protesting against a bar for selling liquor. They're going to do what they do until it's illegal.

I guess that means I've got something of a brain. And I take birth control.

Guess I'm a slut, eh Rush?

No comments:

Post a Comment