Esme’s Blog: The Battle Over Birth Control

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With millions of Americans under water on their mortgages and unemployment still over eight percent, the debate over birth control suddenly had become the hot button issue of the presidential campaign.

Rush Limbaugh’s personal attack on a Georgetown University Law student who testified in support of insurance coverage for birth control has even some Republicans reeling. In case you missed it, Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut,” a “prostitute” and suggested she post sex videos on line.

Rep. Senator Scott Brown called on Limbaugh to apologize. Sen. Rick Santorum called the comments “absurd,” but went on to note they are coming from an entertainer. President Obama jumped in calling Fluke to show his support.

Earlier this year, Santorum backer Foster Friese created a furor by saying in his day women held aspirin between their knees for birth control. Women are traditional swing voters and the birth control controversies have Democrats salivating that birth control will be a wedge issue that will send women into the Democratic voting column.

Among women, Mitt Romney beat Santorum in Arizona by 17 points and in Michigan by five points. As for Rush Limbaugh he is unapologetic, saying the controversy is “hilarious.” As Santorum pointed out, he is an entertainer who has generated an awful lot of attention for his show, and an awful lot of attention on an issue that seems to be here to stay in 2012.

Late Saturday afternoon, Limbaugh apologized to Fluke for his “insulting word choices.”

More from Esme Murphy
  • uh huh

    Birth control has no place in politics whatsoever!

  • Observer

    Here is an excerpt from Karen Garcia’s “Sardonicky” blog which tells it like it REALLY is:
    “…If the Republicans can conjure up a new phony culture war out of thin air, the Democrats are more than willing to play along by filling the victim role. They want you to feel aggrieved right along with them. Heaven forbid they should actually speak truth to power and call out war crimes past and present, and the real plutocratic agenda of the Republicans, who don’t care one whit about birth control, or virtue. The GOPers pretend that government is trying to impose its socialist will to hurt the freedoms of the private insurers and the “job creators”. That the mainstream media are actually taking this latest fakery at face value, and treating this ridiculous War on Female Health with any seriousness is pretty amazing. Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned tomorrow or next week or next year. Planned Parenthood will continue prescribing free birth control and mammograms to women who need them for the forseeable future. Rush Limbaugh only has a platform reaching far beyond his stupid radio show because the “left-leaning” cable shows give him one. His misogynistic rants make the corporate Democrats and the corporate talking heads who love them look good. He helps fill the vacuum, ….”

    • D.S

      The thing is, it’s becoming LAW in several places not just Rush blowhard’s talking points. They are changing the law and policy.

    • Al

      Always the same lame division blame game, who’s side are you on? Both parties only want to talk about what the other side is doing wrong. Do we blame the Republicans or Democrates when the reality is both! Why do we always look to the federal goverment to take care of us and tell us how to live? In this case, the federal government has no right to envorce it’s current morality on any of us, let alone make us pay for it too! Free birth control is not free people. We the people pay for it. We pay for everything! Why is this so hard for people to see and understand? My god do we think this crazy spending is helping anyone? Want some truth, or as close as you can get these days? Hear what Ron Paul is saying and really listen.

  • Hank Rearden

    Not government spending, not $17 trillion in debt, not unemployment, not Afghanistan, not $1.2 trillion deficit, not 0bamacare. It is birth control.

  • richard

    Can anyone believe limbaugh about anything? Does he have any credibility ? Does he have an ounce of integrity? Can it be denied he is crude and ignorant? Can he be thought of as a Patriotic American? Where are all the republician leadership? Why do they sit back and allow this dispicable excuse for a human being go on and on and on. Who are the people who follow him? What could they be thinking?
    I guess he is one of the downsides to free speech and we’ll just have to put up with in inaneness and stupidity.

    • tan pup

      Though I agree, Rush is an idiot who caters to fellow idiots, both male and female who can’t be educated beyond their chronological age, for monetary gain, but the ultimate reason is called “free speech”.

    • Sheep richard

      You are representative of the problem today. You’ve asked nine questions yet you have no answers.

    • No sheep here

      The other downside? Obama’s BULLY pulpit!!! Think like I do or else!!!

  • John

    Intgeresting that only comments supporting Sandra fluke are being posted, and mine in support of Rush is not shown. But, that is your left-wing perogative I suppose. It is your blog, after all.

    • Best3800

      Anyone defending Rush really needs their head examined, in fact anyone who listens to Rush needs their head examined.He is disgusting at best,no matter what his slanted topic is. Dividing America will be his only accomplishment on this planet!

  • Rational Thinker

    So if there’s so much indignation coming from the GOP over insurance companies/employers providing birth control, why do said companies pay for drugs like Viagra?

    • with rational thinker

      Exactly, and its high time men payed out of their pockets for getting snipped, to prevent pregnancies. Talk about that, fat slob,. Rush.

      • shwiehl

        The Catholic church seems strangely silent on that one. In their own line of reasoning, they shouldn’t have to cover vasectomies or hysterectomies because it interferes with the natural process of conception. That has received little mention or attention, but I think it’s a question the Catholic church should have to answer. Exactly how far is this going to go?

  • Republican Otter

    Rush does what Rush does best, he creates an uproar to make water cooler talk. I thought the mantra for the left movement was “US out of my uterus” I guess this only applies 99% of the time.

  • DougT

    Rush is ..Right!

    So, a college student is a source for the democrats in defense of an oppressive and anti 1st amendment the controller in chief put forth?

    Sex might be a ‘right” but the consequences are the responsibility of the players – not the public and not health care providers that are opposed to the overreach of the federal government….

    • Help the young women

      Won’t you rather pay for some birth control than pay for the abortions/unwanted children that could result from unprotected sex? I personally don’t have sex or use birth control, but birth control can also control symptoms of periods for some women that get severe pain during periods. I was taken away from my parents and adopted because my parents couldn’t take care of me. How many children need to go through what I did?

      My “parents” kicked me out of the house at 18, stole my money including for school, refuse to fill out the financial aid form so I could get financial aid for school, stole my investments all while I am a grad student living on a stripend that is maybe 1/4 of what they make at their jobs.

    • BettyC

      Except that Rush completely misrepresented what she said. She testified that a friend who needed to take the BCP for a non birth control medical reason was denied coverage for that medication until it was too late. She did not mention if she was personally taking the pill and did not comment on her own sex like. And contrary to what Rush believes women do not need to take a new pill every time they have sex. The fact that you think Rush is right says a lot about your charecter too And that’s not a compliment

    • Tom

      @ Doug T

      The GOP and Rush and the Cathoilic Church complain about Gov’t “overreach” and the Govt trying to tell us what to do, when you have the same GOP, Rush, and the Catholic Church to get the Gov’t involved with their social issues!

  • DougT

    The irony is that a federal mandate for contraception coverage renders women’s personal sexual choices a matter for public debate. The folks plucking sex out of the private sphere in this situation are the mandate supporters, not its opponents.

    The outrage against Rush is highly selective. He considers himself an entertainer, and routinely says outrageous and/or un-PC things in the service of being provocative (in both the good and bad senses of that word). By rights, anything he says should be judged against the standard of liberal political entertainers like Bill Maher, Janine Garafalo, or if you like, Keith Olbermann. Yes, Rush’s audience is orders of magnitude larger, and his influence on the conservative movement equally outsized. But that doesn’t make him John Boehner. So why is Nancy Pelosi acting like the whole of the congressional conservative opposition to the mandate just accused an arbitrary 20-something woman of sexual promiscuity?

  • Common Sense

    Health Insurance companies exist to make money.

    If it costs them $100 per month to pay for your contraception, they will charge you a premium of $115 per month.

    Which would you rather pay,$100 or $115 per month? It’s cheaper to buy your own.

    Health insurance for contraception makes absolutely no sense at all. It’s asinine.

  • DLW

    Seems some folks never heard of “Woman suffrage” nor do they have the cognitive ability to understand equal rights, and despite the fact that we passed laws, we are far far away from equal rights: In short their arguments here support the old adage “Don’t argue with an idiot, you can’t win” Where do you see America as a country? Doug T, if you are so confident on the consequences, how about a rock solid the law that puts men (not the county or the state) on the paternity payment wagon until the kid is 2? RESPONSIBILITY

    • Buck

      “…until the kid is 2” Huh? What country do YOU live in?

      Men pay full paternity until the kid is 18. Some men are forced to pay even if they are not the biological father.

  • Shemp9971

    (Passion Alert) Yeah, I would just like to say that Limbaugh’s remarks only confirm the notion that the conservative movement has lost it’s way. Limbaugh has only proved that the conservative movement is NOT infallible. The recent death of conservative blogger Jonathan Briehart is a symbolic warning on par with John Belushi’s drug overdose death or Elvis Presley’s final days/drug overdose death. The conservative movement has become cynical, even nasty. They and their followers have lost their way slowly since the end of the Cold War, demoniziing anyone who differs from them. Conservatism won’t disappear, but it’s days of wine and roses are over.

  • richard

    To “sheep richard” I replied last evening to your questions but it was not published ???? I’ll try again.
    The answeres to my first 5 questions are No, No, No, No, No! The next 4 I can’t answere. I can’t because I don’t understand how anyone can agree with this blowhard about anything he says. Why do people agree with someone who lacks any sense of objectivity, perspective, fairness and is completly unaware that there is a “middle ground” for most reasonable thinking people. Perhaps you might enlighten us with regard to the last 4 unanswered questions?

  • Hank Rearden

    Rush is right. Listen liberals.

    • Dr. C. Markey

      Rush is not right for he does not understand how birth control pills work and apparently you dont either. You must be a man.

  • Dr. C. Markey

    Rush limbaugh’s words revealed that he does not have the foggiest idea what birth control pills are for! Married 4times he ought to understand that a woman does not POP birh control pills the way men pop Viagra. She does NOT take one when she has sex. Instead the pill is taken once a day like a vitamin. The purpose of the pill is to prevent ovulation or, as is often the case, to treat serious conditions like menstural hemorrage or uterine conditions. Mr. Limbaugh’s comments were based on ignorance and also on a medieval fear of womanly independence. Obviously he would love to see women veiled and shrouded.

  • Leesway

    Regardless of party affillation, Limbaugh’s deliberate foul mouthed bullying attempt to slilence a womans opionion was nothing short of a hate crime by way of the public air ways. Ladies, put on your big girl panties. This is war!

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