Sandra Fluke

The true moral of the Sandra Fluke Saga

Judging by the explosive reaction to last week’s post about 30-year-old Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke’s congressional testimony on contraceptive coverage, it seems lots of people want to talk about the story. Fortunately, there’s more to discuss.

First, we have some investigative work by Mytheos Holt at the Blaze, who found a Washington Post story which suggests Fluke not only knew Georgetown didn’t cover birth control for students, but decided to enroll there specifically so she could make it a cause célèbre :

Fluke came to Georgetown University interested in contraceptive coverage: She researched the Jesuit college’s health plans for students before enrolling, and found that birth control was not included. “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care,” says Fluke, who has spent the past three years lobbying the administration to change its policy on the issue. The issue got the university president’s office last spring, where Georgetown declined to change its policy.

In other words, Sandra Fluke is no mild-mannered student blindsided by prudish administrators, but a radical who always intended to transform Georgetown’s values through any means necessary. The powers that be didn’t cave in to her demands after three years, so she chose to try her luck at imposing her will through the force of law.

Of course, that raises the question of why she didn’t make any headway. If students are really suffering the way she describes, wouldn’t it only be a matter of time before the pressure of complaining and transferring students compelled Georgetown to give in on its own?

Another Georgetown student, Angela Morabito, has the answer—Fluke’s classmates just don’t care:

A student group called Plan A H*yas for Choice staged a demonstration against the university health plan last year, duct taping their mouths and chaining themselves to the statue of Georgetown’s founder on the university’s front lawn. Then, a funny thing happened – nothing. We left them there.

If that’s accurate, then it would seem Georgetown’s health plan works just fine for most students, who either took the time to learn about the plan before attending or took it for granted that they’d have little need for birth control at a religious school. Contrary to Fluke’s indignant refusal to “compromise,” researching everything a school offers and asks of its students is a basic step of the college experience (especially when spending over $23,000 on an education), and there’s no such thing as a decision without trade-offs. For instance, I chose my alma mater, Hillsdale College, for the excellence of the faculty and curriculum, but I went in knowing that it was also more expensive and further from home than several of my alternatives.

Instead of building a case for Congress to liberate Georgetown students from the crushing burden of having to make informed decisions, the Sandra Fluke saga has merely underscored the need for college students, who are supposed to be in the final stages of the transition to independent adulthood, to take financial and sexual responsibility for their own lives.

  • Sarah

    Bravo! Calvin

  • narniagirl55

    Sandra was well chosen for her role on Capitol Hill. It may have taken a while to find someone who was willing to be in the spotlight but she was a perfect pawn in Pelosi’s game and war against Catholic Institutions (even though she is Catholic but not a very good one.) Sandra Fluke testimoney shows that being sexually active should be a right, but what is sad, is that it is not so. I did not send my daughters to college to “get laid” but to grow up and make mature choices and get a degree to support their job choice. $3,000 for 4 years of college is certainly a LOT of contraception and if her numbers are true, (she claims 40% of the women on campus use them meaning 60% don’t) that is still a lot of sex..I suspect the amount of money she is quoting does not mean more sex but probably more use of Plan B at $49/each use…or the cost of a few abortions at $360-$1,000 depending on the age of the fetus who will die. Ms. Fluke, as a law student, obviously wanted some fame.. However, now that it had backfired on her, she is whining like a two year old for a candy bar. The goal here was to shame Georgetown into buying birth control but it backfired.

    Obama worships abortion on the altar of PP. It is child sacrifice in the womb but a quick look at his abortion voting record shows that he cares little for the babies who died. Telling mothers who abort (“that the baby who survives an abortion is not entitled to health care to keep it alive”. By helping the baby, it would “take away essential care from the mother!”) Would not! (the baby would be wisked off to neonatal care for help) To prove his view, you can read his discourse before and after voting NO 4 times for the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act which would allow medical care for these babies. He also is on video saying “I will never punish my daughters with a child”. ouch! In his view, children are punishment to be eliminated and disposed of (unless of course, they are “wanted”) Abortion is nothing more than glorified child abuse and murder in the womb and the unknowing sacrifice of unborn innocent life is to Satan himself who wants nothing more than to destroy the image of God on the earth. People are made to reflect His glory and Satan hates God with a vile hatred. He cannot destroy God so he goes after our children thus eliminating generations of children that will never speak on this earth. But, we all see their lies, it won’t be long before the dirty secrets of abortion are exposed!They have one thing right..the government needs to STAY OUT OF MY UTERUS by promoting abortion and dangerous contraception.

  • Junk

    What people have actually missed in the whole Sandra Fluke story is that she wants her birth control covered not because she wants to have more sex, but because she needs it to treat a serious medical condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. I happen to suffer from the same thing. I am a devout Catholic and follow the teachings of the Church, but I need to take BC pills or be in excruciating pain every few months and risk losing my ovaries entirely. And I don’t have the money to pay for them myself as a broke college student, so I’m very glad my university health plan covers them.
    I’m totally on board with those who say that we can’t force organizations to violate their conscience, but honestly, the sooner we stop equating the pill with sex, the better. That’s making an unfair judgment on the state of someone’s soul. Seriously, everyone, isn’t it the other side that has to resort to ad-hominem attacks? Where’s the Christian love and compassion?

    • NON JUNK

       hey ‘junk’ – PP and 13 other federally funded clinics are all right there in the Georgetown area – so Ms Fluke can go there for her ‘needs’ – whatever they are – and get them met for free, if she meets the criteria.  OR for very low cost.  Everyone else has to pay, some of us make do on very little, but we make sure that money is tucked away, it is an expected expense of course. 

       Do not confuse, nor seek to twist, what this whole issue is about: she is there because BO and team wanted her there, to be a lackey in their desire to force others to do their bidding. 

       AND in regards to you, since the BO’care plan is starting to seep into our lives, ‘children’ up to age 27 are covered under their parents insurance plan.  So it doesn’t matter if your a ‘broke college student’.  You have several ways to obtain what it is you say you need, for the reason you need it.

    • guest

      we can all agree with you on the unfair judgement part, however ms. fluke went to georgetown knowing their health plan wouldn’t cover her birth control pills.  she could have easily chosen another school or gotten her own prescription insurance plan or gone to a free women’s health clinic.  as a poor college student she may even qualify for medicaid, and now for the last year or so college students under the age of 26 can remain on their parent’s health insurance policies.

    • Well, this is something I never knew. Thanks for shedding light on in Junk.

    • Guest

      What people have actually missed in the whole Sandra Fluke story is that
      she wants her birth control covered not because she wants to have more
      sex, but because she needs it to treat a serious medical condition
      called polycystic ovary syndrome.

      Just a fact check:
      she actually explained that story was about a friend of hers, and Georgetown allegedly already covers birth control pills for
      non-contraceptive use, but students were having trouble getting the
      University to follow through on that policy.

      Another factoid check, from the original column:
      Of course, that raises the question of why she didn’t make any headway.
      If students are really suffering the way she describes, wouldn’t it only
      be a matter of time before the pressure of complaining and transferring
      students compelled Georgetown to give in on its own?

      to Ms. Fluke’s testimony, which Georgetown has not challenged in any
      way,  94% of the student body supports a change in policy.  I realize
      that’s not as convincing as having a random student call her a ‘skank,’
      but there you have it.

      Where’s the Christian love and compassion?

      Never to be found around here.

      • Not only does Fluke not offer a source for that 94% figure, but she also doesn’t specify what she’s referring to. Does she mean 94% of students want the review process for medical-necessity claims changed? That seems the most likely. Does she mean 94% of students want student insurance to cover BC for any reason? That’s more suspect. And most importantly for our purposes, does she mean 94% of students want the government to forcibly do the changing?

      • GaryLockhart

        “Where’s the Christian love and compassion? ”

        It’s very telling that you would be seeking love and compassion for the willful and unrepentant playing of chemical Russian roulette and infanticide. You’re no different than the drunk panhandling for money for his/her next bottle of ripple or the junkie looking to shoot up.

      • guest

        I find more and more people are claiming Christians to be closed minded or judging because we stand up for what we believe in! We do have the right to say WE HAVE CONVICTIONS  and we have them for a reason.  We do not need to say sorry for our beliefs.  I boldly stand up and say I disagree with what you want it is wrong. that is showing compassion! When children want to run into oncoming traffic we stop them and not allow it because it’s not safe it’s wrong.  Point being we are all have the right to have belief and those of us who I feel rightly disagree with you are not not being unloving or incompassionate, we are holding God’s truth for all those to see like a tiny light flickering in the dark.  I hope one day you see the light!

        • Ms_clark

          You can’t be serious. I have seen several outlandish and vile comments coming from several people claiming to be Christian- that has nothing to do with voicing an opinion, claiming this young lady is a slut because she want bc? LORD THANK YOU I live in Canada- all I feel from this site is hatred and venom and it will be the last time I bother taking a read– HOPE YOU ALL SEE THE LIGHT

          • What direct quotes from Live Action authors display hatred or venom?

      • She can take Metformin for PCOS!

    • The point about birth control for medical purposes is covered in my previous post, linked at the top of this post. By Fluke’s own admission, Georgetown already allows for BC coverage in such cases; the only point of contention is whether or not they’re correctly assessing the claims of individual students. Georgetown very well be in the wrong there, but a) it’s not Congress’s role to do anything about it, and b) it’s not a valid reason to change Georgetown’s policy on BC for sexual use.

    • I have PCOS too and you DO NOT need birth control pills for that, actually…you are just putting a tiny bandage on a much bigger problem. If you ever want to have kids in the future, as all good Catholic women should if that is the vocation God calls you to, you should STOP the birth control pills and see you nearest doctor. What you need to ” heal” PCOS is to control you insulin instead. This will help level out all of the other hormones in your body that are causing so much discourse in your body including the very painful cysts in your ovaries! Taking Metformin or any other drug to fix the high insulin in your body will give you better results overall and in the long term. In the short term it will help you on the moral compass by not having to take the birth control pills to start. By the way, I have friends who did take them for the very same reasons you are and now at almost 40 they have never been able to have a baby….after so many years of tricking their bodies with the pill. I will pray for you on this. Please seriously consider this other method, it is a better option for you. Blessings.

    • Let her Mommy and Daddy pay for her BC pills

  • Oedipa Mossmoon

    I can’t really tell what the gist of this article is (or, in it’s own words, what the “True Moral” is). It’s either (a) that Ms. Fluke has an agenda. Yeah, so? Is an agenda only offensive when it’s offends your own agenda? And/or (b) that despite that agenda, she hasn’t yet effected change. That seems to be a prescription for indifference. In other words, if your policy goals aren’t met, then … meh … why bother. That seems odd coming from a pro-life author whose movement would be paralyzed if it took that advice. Is abortion illegal anywhere, Mr. Freiburger? No? Then … meh … why bother.

    • Hint: re-read the last two paragraphs.

      • Oedipa Mossmoon

        Yeah I think your conclusion is folded into (b) that if your policy goals aren’t met, you shouldn’t work towards those goals. Or maybe you’d put it more like this: if your policy goals aren’t welcomed, you should really just be quiet.

        Let’s appeal to to the Georgetown President on this one, shall we? It should be noted, just like you, the Georgetown President does not agree with Ms. Fluke’s policy positions. Nonetheless, he wrote this:

        “She was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a
        model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the
        tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree
        with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free

        • As a blogger who’s been around the block a few times, I’m used to people on the Internet misreading what I wrote. But the way you stick to this – even after being told where to find what you claim to be looking for – is really something.

          • Oedipa Mossmoon

             Okay, man, even though you’re not helping me out with your replies I’ll play along and try to unpack it.

            “It would seem Georgetown’s health plan works just fine for most students … ” because they either researched it before hand or were resigned to the fact that it was a Catholic school. My problem with this is that it implies once one enters into a relationship with an organization, one has no right to try to influence it’s policy. That’s pretty doctrinaire, no? And hypocritical.You’d endorse movement pro-lifers seeking to influence the organizations that they’ve joined. Why does Ms. Fluke deserve scorn for doing the same?

            “I chose my alma mater, Hillsdale College …”. I don’t really care about where you went to college. I don’t know how that colors the discussion at all.

            “The saga has underscored the need for college students to take financial and sexual responsibility for
            their own lives”. OK, here we are. I’m used to writers around here preaching from the gospel of personal responsibility, so I assume this is the “True Moral”. But I still don’t know how living up to one’s own “personal responsibility” would be at odds with lobbying for policies that one thinks are worthwhile. And the Georgetown President agrees with me. In fact he says that Ms. Fluke embodies the admirable responsibilities of civil discourse and free expression.

          • That wasn’t so hard, was it? :)

            Of course people can and should try to change bad policies from within. But they shouldn’t present themselves as being victimized by something they knowingly signed onto in advance. And when their efforts fail, they shouldn’t run to government to force private institutions to change in cases that don’t involve genuine fraud or violation of constitutional rights.

            The reference to my own college experience was that I made trade-offs and dealt with them, just like every college student does. Nothing more, nothing less.

            The policy she’s lobbying for is for the government to dictate to private institutions the services they must offer their students. However “civilly” Fluke made her case, there’s nothing admirable about that. If that isn’t a rejection of individual responsibility, nothing is.

          • Oedipa Mossmoon

            Okay, I see. Her history as an activist should color the way people view her commentary on the topic. I can agree with that. And portraying a false sense victimhood to advance a narrative is disengenous at best, deceitful at worst. I can agree with that, too.

            But here’s the funny thing. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying about Ms. Rose and the LiveAction project of hoax videos that hired actors to play sex workers and sex traffickers. The commentary can’t be taken seriously as evidence, I said, because the source is so obviously a committed activist and radical. And the videos, I said, portray a phony victimhood that can’t be acted on because, well, how do you report a crime  that’s not a crime but just an actor with a crime in a script? And when their efforts fail, should they run to Congress to lobby them to to defund Planned Parenthood? Or run to them to launch show hearings? Oh look! We’ve come full circle! It was just one of those show hearings that … well, you know.

          • I’m sure others on this website can (and have) sufficiently refuted the charge that Live Action perpetrates “hoaxes,” so I’ll simply point out that the LA actors being actors is no more fraudulent than law enforcement officials misrepresenting themselves in sting operations. What’s significant is how PP personnel react to apparent criminal behavior and requests.

            Those reactions would be sufficient to cut of govt aid to PP, but they only scratch the surface. Even if every single PP in the nation were as legally clean as a whistle, the case for defunding them would be clear: the primary purpose of their business is to kill innocents in direct violation of American first principles, and forcing Americans to subsidize murder is unjust.

            Further, I haven’t claimed Fluke’s status as a veteran activist is what disqualifies her argument; I’ve merely pointed out how it shows she wasn’t blindsided by anything and likely has an agenda that extends far beyond her medical-necessity examples.

    • Kristen M

      Actually abortion is illegal in places. In United States? No. But in other countries it is. Abortion is illegal in Ireland.

      • Oedipa Mossmoon

         Yes, after re-reading, I realized that was lazy phrasing. Thanks.

  • Bijoybalan

    I guess next time you hear about a rape case you will ask what did the woman do to get raped

  • mali13u

    What I find most interesting about the way the mainstream media is spinning this story is in describing Ms. Fluke as “broke” because she cannot afford uninsured birth control.  
    I am also a law student and I can tell you, that she is broke because she is a law student.  
    Tuition for law school is astronomically expensive.  Georgetown tuition is just under $24,000 a SEMESTER, not including general living expenses which approximate $10,000 a semester. Multiply that by 6 semesters and usually 3 years of unpaid internships and you have a very serious load of debt.  In legal terms even “$3,000.00” is “de minimis” – a mere “trifle.” Furthermore, in my own personal experience, birth control is frequently cheaper to acquire WITHOUT insurance coverage than WITH insurance coverage.  I go to a secular law school that doesn’t provide ANY health insurance. We are expected to acquire our own.  With the broad & extensive health insurance I obtained through the American BAR ASSOCIATION student division – which by the way Ms. Fluke and other dissidents could most likely acquire —  my exact pill prescription cost MORE if I used my coverage then if I purchased it independently of my insurance plan.  So, I purchased a mainstream (not generic brand of birth control) independent of my health insurance coverage at a whopping cost of $60/month. 

    It is naive for anyone, albeit a 3rd law student not to a) do their homework and b) recognize that costs “absorbed” by private educational facilities will be passed on directly to the students in one way, shape or form.  This is simply further proof of the over-sensationalizing nature of the media and the extremism that results when people seek a broadening of governmental imposed “rights” that reach far beyond the four-corners of the Constitution. Do the instigators of this unnecessary drama really think we should sacrifice an overtly protected right – Freedom of Religion – for some vague and unsupported implied “right”?  This is a distorted situation that is growing more distorted every day. 

  • Oedipa Mossmoon

    On WBUR Boston now, but audio, I’m sure, will be posted later.

    A Sexual Counterrevolution?

    Historian Nancy Cohen says Rush Limbaugh is just the tip
    of the iceberg, that there’s a sexual counterrevolution out there that
    wants women barefoot and pregnant again.

    • Really! A “sexual counterrevolution.” Have I mentioned how much conspiracy theories amuse me?

  • I came across this commentary by Shelby Emmett, who like Fluke was sexually active during college.  However, Emmett used her OWN money to pay for birth control instead of begging for government handouts like Fluke.  Emmett brands Fluke an “anti-Feminist” which she explains in the excerpt below: 

    See, there is this funny thing about “rights” I don’t think you understand Ms. Fluke, and maybe it is because you are a privileged white woman (and therefore as a white person you can’t honestly think you are a victim of anything, now can you?), but when women did not have legal “rights” we were literally the property of men. Our husbands could rape us and we had no legal cause of action; our inheritance was taken from us; our dreams denied, and our control over our own bodies was held in the hands of men. We had no choice if we got pregnant or not; “No” was not a communication tool to inform others that we did not want to have sex; and personal responsibility and accountability for our lives and our bodies was only something we could dream of and only hope for our daughters and granddaughters.

    Now, sadly, it seems you see “personal responsibility” and “accountability” as an insult to women, as an attack to our “rights” and as some third century masculine ideology created to enslave us. Really?

    Ms. Fluke sadly thinks more like all those evil men denying women our constitutional rights than the women she claims to represent and look up to. Men in this time thought women were too simple, too naïve, too incompetent to have control over their own money, their own destiny, and of course their own bodies—so men had to be responsible for our own welfare—we just weren’t capable of doing it on our own. This is what Ms. Fluke believes. She does not think women are capable of saying “no.” she does not think women are competent enough to plan for their own futures, make tough decisions, and have full autonomy over our bodies; and she definitely doesn’t think a woman has the brain power to plan her own reproductive destiny—she expects others (the taxpayer) to cover this for her (you know, us women thinking and planning may make us faint and all).

  • A paid liberal hack… who’s BF is the son of a Democratic Politician… she should be paying attention in class and let her parents pay for her night duties….