How Is Contraception a Political Issue?

Sandra Fluke, one of the weirder figures in public life, just spoke at the Democratic Convention. Her speech was mostly incoherent. She appears to be a person of limited intelligence, which is consistent with being 30 years old and still a student. Her signature issue is contraception: she wants you to pay for her birth control. Is she willing to pay for yours? Not clear.

I can’t figure that out. Is Ms. Fluke having trouble getting her hands on contraceptive devices? She doesn’t actually say that. If she walks to the nearest Walgreens, she can buy contraceptives of several types at extremely low prices. In addition, I’d bet a large amount of money that Georgetown passes out contraceptives for free to students, notwithstanding that university’s status as a formerly Catholic institution.

So what’s the point? How are contraceptives any different from shoes, hamburgers, toothpaste, bubble gum, automobiles, or any of thousands of other products that some (but not all) Americans want to buy? Briefly put: Buy your own freaking contraceptives, Ms. Fluke! Or get your shiftless boyfriend to pick up a condom on the way over.

So where is the political issue? If you listen to Ms. Fluke speak, you might get the impression that someone is trying to stop her from obtaining contraceptives. But of course that is not true. You can get them, cheap, on nearly any street corner, and for free (I speculate) at Georgetown and pretty much any other university. So why does Ms. Fluke insist on whining about contraceptives? Why in the world are the Democrats trying to make this seemingly random, and very cheap, product into a political issue?

There is only one answer: here and there are pockets of Americans who have religious beliefs that bear on contraception and abortion. (Ms. Fluke doesn’t ever talk about it, but part of what she is advocating for is free abortion services.) Some Americans–observant Catholics and others–are barred by religious precept from paying for others’ contraception and abortions. So there is only one political issue that relates to contraception: the Obama administration wants to force every employer, including religious institutions whose theology prohibits such contributions, to pay tiny amounts of money to finance contraception for slugs like Sandra Fluke, so that they can save their $1 a week for higher and better uses. No freedom of choice allowed here! That’s it: other than the Democrats’ effort to jam contraception and abortion down the throats of Christians and others who have religious and moral objections, there is no political issue relating to contraception.

That is the sinister motivation that lies behind Ms. Fluke’s incoherent appearance tonight in Charlotte.

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