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What Sandra Fluke actually said

March 19, 2012 - Jim Anderson
Again, Bill O’Reilly offers an odd opinion piece in Monday’s (March 19) Daily News (“The Fix is In.”)

In discussing the “dustup over Sandra Fluke,” O’Reilly claims the national media is ignoring the facts. Fluke, he says, is a law student who claims she’s having a rough time paying for birth control pills, even though the pills (in his mind) are easily affordable.

“She wants the feds to pick up the tab through mandated insurance benefits even though the pills cost about $9 a month at places like Wal-Mart, and are distributed free at health clinics under Title Ten legislation.”

Further, O’Reilly writes, the national media is presenting Fluke as “a victim of a cruel system that wants to unduly burden American women.”

I’ve attached a transcript of Fluke’s congressional testimony at right.

As a member of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Fluke talked almost entirely about the experiences of other women — not herself. She cited a number of examples of women who, for a variety of reasons, have been adversely affected by a lack of coverage.

She also says this:

“You might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Women’s 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?”

O’Reilly claims the national media is biased in its coverage of Fluke’s testimony, yet his own summary of her presentation appears narrow and misleading. Just as he did in his March 12 item on the same subject, he ignores the fact that birth control medication has other uses relating to health and reproduction aside from preventing pregnancy.

It would be fair, yes, to debate the situations Fluke presented in her testimony.

But O’Reilly, for whatever reason, chooses to make his argument personal and flippant.

There’s also this statement from O’Reilly:

“Of course, Fluke was handed an enormous gift by Rush Limbaugh when he made demeaning comments about her.”

Whoa. How is that again? Demeaning comments are an enormous gift?

Odd. Very odd.



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