Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law Student who was denied a chance to testify at Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) hearing on the impact of insurance coverage for contraception because she was not “qualified” is now the target of the Republican attack machine for refusing to be silent.
Rush Limbaugh took to his show to attack Fluke as a slut, and Patricia Heaton of NBC’s The Middle used her Twitter account to do the same. Classy as always, GOP.
Here’s what Limbaugh had to say.
“Can you imagine if you were her parents how proud…you would be?” he said. “Your daughter … testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them, or the Pope.”
“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
Fluke’s response cut right to the chase.
“I thank the thousands of women and men, including members of Congress, Georgetown University students and faculty, and total strangers of all political stripes across the country who have offered kind words and support following recent egregious personal attacks.
“We are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone is entitled to their own opinions regarding legitimate policy differences. Unfortunately, numerous commentators have gone far beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse.
“No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices.
“The millions of American women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women’s health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced.”
Fluke has Republicans doubling down on ad hominem attacks because her story is not a story of promiscuity or entitlement, it is the same story of millions of American women. Fluke’s refusal to be silenced must serve as a model for all of us. Republican efforts to cut off contraceptive access failed, but barely. The votes are just too close for any of us to say silent.
Photo from gage skidmore via flickr.