Sandra Fluke Opening Statement (C-SPAN) (by CSPAN)
TW: Video discusses rape victim; comments on video link very derogatory
What makes me sick about the comments on the video and the comments Rush Limbaugh made about Ms. Fluke is that this video (her statement) never once discusses recreational sex. It talks about the medical need for birth control.
I still think women should have affordable access to bc regardless, but this issue hits home for me because I have PCOS like Sandra’s friend. Before my prescription deductible is met, I pay about $95 a month (28 days) for birth control. If I did not have health insurance that did not cover birth control, it would be difficult for me to make it work while also paying for other medications. I’m so disappointed by the way people have chosen to react to her testimony and personal attacks that have been made against her by public figures.
After Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” for testifying to Congress about the need for contraceptive health care coverage, the Georgetown law student became something of a lightening rod. Now President Obama has called to thank her. The President called Fluke on the phone just before her appearance on Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC Friday, she told Mitchell, and offered words of support and an implicit rebuke of Limbaugh. This comes after Speaker John Boehner criticized the conservative radio host and at least one advertiser abandoned his show.
Fluke told Mitchell, “[Obama] encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women, and what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents they should be really proud.”
Read more. [Images: MSNBC/Reuters]
Allison Yarrow writes about how Fluke isn’t scared of Rush.
Also, watch Fluke’s testimony.
It’s important to point out that among President Obama’s biggest financial backers are precisely the Big Pharma companies who benefit from the mandate. Sally Sussman, head of government affairs for Pfizer, is one of his biggest campaign bundlers, who co-hosted a fundraiser for Obama on Thursday night. Pfizer sells numerous contraceptives that now must be covered by health-care plans. Obama’s financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry run deep. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he collected three times more in contributions from pharmaceutical manufacturers than John McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Peter Schweizer takes a look at how Big Pharma is affecting the current debate over birth control.
Frontpage: Thursday, Mar. 1st
- Senate Takes Up Contraception Bill: An amendment that would allow employers to avoid insurance regulations that they find morally objectionable goes before the Senate for a vote Thursday. Put forward by Republican Senator Roy Blunt, the bill “is about the First Amendment,” said Blunt in a February press release. “It’s not about any one issue.”
- Andrew Breitbart Dead at 43: Andrew Breitbart, publisher, commentator, and new-media advocate who helped build the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post in addition to his own aggregation sites, has died.
- 2 U.S. Troops Dead in Afghanistan: Two NATO troops were killed in what may be the latest incident involving an Afghan serviceman—or insurgent masquerading as one—shooting NATO soldiers.
- Gas Could Spike to $5 a Gallon: Tensions between the West and countries like Syria and Iran may conceivably hike gas prices up to $5 a gallon, especially as the summer months loom and Americans plan getaways.
- Syria Rebels Pull Out of Homs: Following a brutal month-long assault—and threats from the Syrian government that they would “cleanse” and “mop up” the city—rebels have fled from the opposition hub of Homs.
Photo: Carissa Westfall helps salvage products from Nature’s Sunshine Health Foods store in Branson, Missouri, after storms that spawned tornadoes ripped through the Midwest. (Sarah Conrad / Landov) More photos of the day.
President Obama announced a compromise Friday to a controversial policy requiring certain religious organizations cover contraception services for employees. The institutions will now be able to shift responsibility for contraception coverage to health insurance companies.
Frontpage: Friday, Feb 10th
- Rep. Bachus in Ethics Probe: The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama over possible insider-trading violations, the Associated Press reported.
- Bombs Kill 25 in Syria: In the worst violence to hit the northern city of Aleppo yet, twin bomb blasts stuck Syrian military and security compounds on Friday, killing 25 people and wounding 175. No one has claimed responsibility.
- Obama Backs Down on Contraception: According to the Associated Press, the administration has backed down from a fight over requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide birth control for women free of charge under its health care plan.
- Santorum Clarifies ‘Emotions’ Comment: Rick Santorum attempted to clarify yet another controversial remark he made Thursday on CNN, this time saying that he had “concerns” about women serving in combat because of “other types of emotions that are involved,” after the Pentagon announced that frontline roles will be available to both sexes.
- Greeks Start 48-Hour Strike: Just as the European Union breathed a sigh of relief that Greek politicians reached a deal to pass austerity measures needed for an EU bailout and avoid default in March, angry Greek workers on Friday kicked off a protest against new measures in a 48-hour-long general strike all across the country.
Photo: Because it’s Friday (via).