Skip to comments.Flukes Testimony
Posted on 03/04/2012 1:54:02 PM PST by Netizen
This is the html version of the file http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/statement-Congress-letterhead-2nd%20hearing.pdf.
Leader Pelosi, Members of Congress, good morning, and thank you for calling this hearing on womens health and allowing me to testify on behalf of the women who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulation. Myname is Sandra Fluke, and Im a third year student at Georgetown Law, a Jesuit school. Im also a past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice or LSRJ. Id like to acknowledge my fellow LSRJ members and allies and all of the student activists with us and thank them for being here today.
Georgetown LSRJ is here today because were so grateful that this regulation implements the nonpartisan, medical advice of the Institute of Medicine. I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan. Just as we students have faced financial, emotional, and medical burdens as a result, employees at religiously affiliated hospitals and universities across the country have suffered similar burdens. We are all grateful for the new regulation that will meet the critical health care needs of so many women. Simultaneously, the recently announced adjustment addresses any potential conflict with the religious identity of Catholic and Jesuit institutions.
When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected, and I have heard more and more of their stories. . On a daily basis, I hear from yet another woman from Georgetown or other schools or who works for a religiously affiliated employer who has suffered financial, emotional, and medical burdens because of this lack of contraceptive coverage. And so, I am here to share their voices and I thank you for allowing them to be heard.
Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, thats practically an entire summers salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy. One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasnt covered, and had to walk away because she couldnt afford it. Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception. Just last week, a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldnt afford it any
longer. Women employed in low wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice.
You might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways. Unfortunately, thats not true. Womens health clinics provide vital medical services, but as the Guttmacher Institute has documented, clinics are unable to meet the crushing demand for these services. Clinics are closing and women are being forced to go without. How can Congress consider the Fortenberry, Rubio, and Blunt legislation that would allow even more employers and institutions to refuse contraceptive coverage and then respond that the non-profit clinics should step up to take care of the resulting medical crisis, particularly when so many legislators are attempting to defund those very same clinics?
These denials of contraceptive coverage impact real people. In the worst cases, women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer dire consequences. A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome and has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown insurance because its not intended to prevent pregnancy. Under many religious institutions insurance plans, it wouldnt be, and under Senator Blunts amendment, Senator Rubios bill, or Representative Fortenberrys bill, theres no requirement that an exception be made for such medical needs. When they do exist, these exceptions dont accomplish their well-intended goals because when you let university administrators or other employers, rather than women and their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose arent, a womans health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body.
In sixty-five percent of cases, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed these prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms. For my friend, and 20% of women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription, despite verification of her illness from her doctor. Her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy. Shes gay, so clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy. After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldnt afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it. I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of her final exam period shed been in the emergency room all night in excruciating pain. She wrote, It was so painful, I woke up thinking Id been shot. Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary. On the morning I was originally scheduled to give this testimony, she sat in a doctors office. Since last years surgery, shes been experiencing night sweats, weight gain, and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the
removal of her ovary. Shes 32 years old. As she put it: If my body indeed does enter early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children. I will have no chance at giving my mother her desperately desired grandbabies, simply because the insurance policy that I paid for totally unsubsidized by my school wouldnt cover my prescription for birth control when I needed it. Now, in addition to potentially facing the health complications that come with having menopause at an early age-- increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, she may never be able to conceive a child.
Perhaps you think my friends tragic story is rare. Its not. One woman told us doctors believe she has endometriosis, but it cant be proven without surgery, so the insurance hasnt been willing to cover her medication. Recently, another friend of mine told me that she also has polycystic ovarian syndrome. Shes struggling to pay for her medication and is terrified to not have access to it. Due to the barriers erected by Georgetowns policy, she hasnt been reimbursed for her medication since last August. I sincerely pray that we dont have to wait until she loses an ovary or is diagnosed with cancer before her needs and the needs of all of these women are taken seriously.
This is the message that not requiring coverage of contraception sends. A womans reproductive healthcare isnt a necessity, isnt a priority. One student told us that she knew birth control wasnt covered, and she assumed thats how Georgetowns insurance handled all of womens sexual healthcare, so when she was raped, she didnt go to the doctor even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections because she thought insurance wasnt going to cover something like that, something that was related to a womans reproductive health. As one student put it, this policy communicates to female students that our school doesnt understand our needs. These are not feelings that male fellow studentsexperience. And theyre not burdens that male students must shoulder.
In the media lately, conservative Catholic organizations have been asking: what did we expect when we enrolled at a Catholic school? We can only answer that we expected women to be treated equally, to not have our school create untenable burdens that impede our academic success. We expected that our schools would live up to the Jesuit creed of cura personalis, to care for the whole person, by meeting all of our medical needs. We expected that when we told our universities of the problems this policy created for students, they would help us. We expected that when 94% of students opposed the policy, the university would respect our choices regarding insurance students pay for completely unsubsidized by the university. We did not expect that women would be told in the national media that if we wanted comprehensive insurance that met our needs, not just those of men, we should have gone to school elsewhere, even if that meant a less prestigious university. We refuse to pick between a quality education and our health, and we
resent that, in the 21st century, anyone thinks its acceptable to ask us to make this choice simply because we are women. Many of the women whose stories Ive shared are Catholic women, so ours is not a war against the church. It is a struggle for access to the healthcare we need. The President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges has shared that Jesuit colleges and universities appreciate the modification to the rule announced last week. Religious concerns are addressed and women get the healthcare they need. That is something we can all agree on. Thank you.
This is more serious than her or any one person's sex life. They are trying to force religious groups to cover birth control against their beliefs.
She misrepresented a lot of things in her testimony and she should be taken to task for it and while Rush should do it, he may find his hands tied at this point and not be able to do it without looking like he is still attacking her.
She misrepresented the woman that might have endometriosis. Sure, surgery is the only way to confirm, but, no Dr should just write prescriptions for unconfirmed diagnosis. The insurance would cover the surgery, so why wasn't the surgery done to get that confirmation?
Her testimony is full of smoke and mirrors. She claims near the end that it isn't a war against the church, but how many times does she mention church, jesuits, or religion?
Rush or someone needs to get a good OB/GYN to go over the testimony with a fine tooth comb and take it apart.
Aren't they? Are men allowed to get the pill paid for in their coverage?
Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary.
So, now her problem is solved. No worries for a gay woman.
Ahhh... the slut speaks.
Thanks. I just don’t want people to miss the real implications here.
Also, here is the link to the PDF
I had to use the google html to be able to copy and paste and wasn’t sure which link to use up above. :)
Fluck that imbecile socialist. (I noticed that myself)
Man, the Society of Jesus, such as it has become, really went south. It’s neither authentically Catholic nor biblical now.
Can this be verified? I am reading all kinds of things that she graduated in 2003 and is a 31 y.o. lawyer. I'm waiting for Coulters column this week who I have absolutely no doubt will eviscerate her.
If Coulter can avoid spending her entire article lamenting about Rush’s calling her a slut. That is a valid thing to touch on, but as well as that she needs to be outed for the obvious: she’s a sympathizer to sluts and a cheerleader for sluttery on the public dime.
That’s why I say, its about more than getting those pills.
Lots of catholic women use bc, you just don’t see them advertising it on tv.
No priest is going to burst into your doctors office to make sure you are not talking about birth control.
At this point does it really matter-whose mind is it going to change the lefty lovin pill poppin Obama supporters I don’t think so.
She specifically targeted a Catholic school for her victim status. This activist did not just suddenly rise up to challenge Catholicism's opposition to birth control. She's been a "reproductive rights" advocate for YEARS.
She is ALL ABOUT the conflicts with religious identity.
Actions speak louder than words. She is ALL ABOUT the conflicts with religious identity.
They’re bucking for Caesar to override the church. Well why do they even bother with the church any more if this is what they’ve got their hearts set on.
"...if it smells like fish,acts like fish......????,,,wait I lost my train of thought"
“...and Im a third year student at Georgetown Law, a Jesuit school”
And she wants the heavy hand of government to force said Jesuit school to do something against its institutional conscience.
This has morphed into a ‘women’s rights’ issue...when it should be a freedom of religion issue.
And somehow the dialogue has become ‘the Republicans are trying to take away a woman’s rights’....when it really should be ‘the catholic church is defending itself’. And make no mistake, the catholic church is not a part of the vast rw conspiracy. It can be very liberal - and it is having a disagreement with liberals.
How did the GOP end up on the defensive on this?
A lesbian who is worried about not being able to give birth to babies to please her mother?
She could always ADOPT since she chose to take HERSELF out of the gene pool.
You know screw (pardon the pun) Rush for apologising. Read her statement:
$3000 bucks for getting laid? How many times are we talking about here to reach $3000 bucks? The woman IS a slut!
My corner pharmacy sells condoms a buck each, how long is law school? 3 or 4 years? Do the math here people.
365 days a year...4 years doing it once a day would equal $1460. Divide $3000 by that...2.05 times a day EVERY day for four years! When I lived in the lower east side of Manhattan in the 1980s I knew HOOKERS who didn't do nearly that much! They would work 3 or 4 johns a week, once each, unless they were crack whores and would do enough to buy crack. RUSH WAS RIGHT! WHY DID HE APOLOGIZE?
And who is going to pick up the costs for STD treatments?
The hook up generation has an active “culture”.
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