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In recent weeks, there has been controversy over comments made by the nationally syndicated radio show host, Rush Limbaugh over remarks he made about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who went to testify before an all male panel on Capitol Hill – a hearing she was initially denied, to discuss whether President Obama had hurt religious freedoms by a recent mandate that health insurance companies cover contraception. Limbaugh in his diatribe; characterized Ms. Fluke as a slut and prostitute who wanted taxpayers to pay for women’s use of birth control and to have sex.
As a result of his comments, Limbaugh has caused a national debate over women’s rights to proper health care and the use of birth control and whether employers should allow insurance companies to pay for women’s contraception. Let’s be fair, this debate started long before Limbaugh’s comments. In actuality, it can be said that his comments were a reaction to a long running debate the GOP and its nominees running for president have used as their domestic platform; everything from the defunding of Planned Parenthood to the birth control debate being about religious freedoms and the separation of church and state. Evidence of this can be referred back to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill where representatives from the Catholic church spoke on “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State”, February 16, 2012 (Carolyn Kaster – AP).
According to the Bloomberg poll, 77 percent believe birth control should not even be part of the national political debate. 66 percent think the contraception debate is a matter of women’s health and access to birth control; while only 33 percent believe it’s about religious liberty. 53 percent of the American people being polled believe Rush Limbaugh should be fired for his reprehensible comments. While the “right” touts religious liberty and freedom of speech in their defense of Limbaugh, the “left” is advocating birth control as a right to proper health care and a woman’s right to choose.
While many may feel Rush should be fired, others will counter by quoting the Constitution as the right to free speech; but at what cost? Just because we have the liberty of freedom of speech, does it give us a right to say what we want? Should women have to pay for birth control or is it right to mandate employers to allow insurance companies to pay for it? Let’s be clear, this debate is not about religious freedom. This debate is a strategic political farce drummed up by the GOP to denounce women’s freedom and to put in place laws that restrict our right to proper healthcare. So who are the winners in this debate……come November 2012, the people will decide!