While controversy over one aspect of the Obama administration’s contraception rule – whether and when religiously affiliated employers must comply – has dominated recent headlines, that debate has also recently turned an interesting and somewhat humorous corner. The most recent discussion has also suggested a tenuous grasp of the basics of contraception on the part of sensationalist radio personality Rush Limbaugh.
When 30-year-old progressive activist and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke appeared at a Democrat press conference last week, she spoke of the hardships female students face in affording contraception, as well as health related reasons for prescribed birth control, such as preventing the growth of ovarian cysts.
As Fluke noted, oral contraceptives, which can be costly, are often prescribed for medical issues unrelated to preventing pregnancy. “A woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body,” she told the assembled members of Congress.
Yet, Rush Limbaugh decided to comment about Fluke’s presentation on his program: “[This] makes Fluke a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. ”
But of course, Limbaugh offered a solution to those wild and crazy women suggesting coverage for contraception, “Have you ever thought of not having sex so often?”
Contrary to Limbaugh’s opinion that women will soon be having “lots and lots of sex” if the rule is instated, Stephen Colbert, host of the Colbert Report, pointed out that Limbaugh does not seem to understand how the process actually works. “Yes, because that’s how the pill works — there’s one for each sperm. They act like little baby deflectors,” Colbert said sarcastically.
Host of the Daily Show Jon Stewart also expressed concern about Limbaugh’s understanding of birth control. “He seems to believe anyone using contraception is automatically having a ton of sex, and that contraception is something a woman has to pay for every time she has sex,” he said.
According to an article published on March 2 by MSNBC reporter Julie Appleby, Insurers wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services in September saying that “it is unclear what specific over-the-counter products are to be included.”
However, Stewart has agreed to personally solve this discrepancy as well, as he explained his views on the situation, “To the people who are upset about their hard earned tax money going to things they don’t like: Welcome to the fucking club. Everyone pays for shit they don’t want to all the time. You know what? Reimburse me for the Iraq War and oil subsidies, and guess what? Then, diaphragms are on me. Prophylactics are on the house.”