Feminism began as a "women's liberation" movement. Women wanted government to remove legislation they considered repressive. They wanted government to get out of their private lives and bedrooms and to allow them to take responsibility for themselves and their bodies.
Now we have Fluke testifying before Big Brother in behalf of an HHS mandate that would coerce Georgetown University and other similar institutions, in violation of their conscience, to pay for medical coverage for abortion, sterilization, and contraception.
Now it's a free country. There is nothing preventing anyone from purchasing contraceptives if they like, many of them quite inexpensively as one can see at any local drugstore. Fluke suggests, however, that her concern is on behalf of those such as herself and other students at Georgetown who find the out-of-pocket costs for contraceptives "untenable burdens" during their tenure as students. She cites a figure of $3000.00 as the cost of birth control over the years a student is enrolled in Georgetown, and appeals to the Jesuit motto of the institution (cura personalis, or "care of the whole person") as a reason why Georgetown should consider contraceptives a health entitlement in order to meet student "medical needs" and not to "impede [their] academic success."
Fluke cites the example of morally uncontroversial non-contraceptive use contraceptives in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. But an allowance for such use hardly calls for a "universal" mandate. But as others have noted, only a fool would deny that the primary purpose of contraceptive drugs and devices is to make sex “worry free” by detaching the procreative act from procreation. Even assuming that Fluke herself were an icon of chastity and virtue, her description of the "crushing demand" for contraceptive and reproductive "services," the "untenable burdens" such expenses impose on students, and her promotion of such services as a health entitlement suggest little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to garner contraceptive coverage for the purpose of facilitating sexual promiscuity and a morally irresponsible lifestyle.
And then what about what President Obama said in his phone call to Fluke? That her parents should feel proud of her? A Georgetown law student who complains that she and other students can't foot the $3000.00 bill that contraceptives would cost over the course of their law-student careers? "Proud"? Nobody finds that a tad odd?
One thinks of Chesterton:
The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered ... it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone...And so we are offended by tiny words with concrete references, like the inclusive use of "man" in the above paragraph, and substitute hypostatized abstract nouns like "humanity." We are offended by those hard small words with specific denotative definitions, like "heretic," "apostate," and "prostitute" -- because they strike us as harsh and unfeeling -- and we substitute loosey-goosey terms for their benign connotative values, like "liberal-minded," "progressive," and "free-spirited" instead.
But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.... The truth is that there is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.
It reminds me of my years in the American South where the term "Christian" used to be employed to connote more-or-less the same thing as "decent citizen," regardless of what the person believed or how he (no, I'm not using the damned plural, "they") lived. Modernity has tied people's minds up like pretzels, so that they refer to third person singulars as third person plurals, and a young woman living like a 'ho' can be told that her parents should be "proud" of her.
"Freedom" used to mean, among other things, freedom from sin, vice, and corruption. Today it has come to mean freedom to embrace sin, vice, and corruption. What once was called the "bondage of the will" now is called "free self-expression."
Today we have become so open-minded, it seems, that we have forgotten what it is to think. "Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out," warned Chesterton; "the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."
[Hat tip to Zachary Mabee for image; and to B.S.O and D.O. for precision in details.]
Related: Fr. John Zuhlsdorff comments:
"I read that Rush Limbaugh apologized for what he called the activist from Georgetown who wants taxpayers to pay for her contraceptives.
"I am sure that Nancy Pelosi will now apologize to other members of the House whom she accused of trying to kill women."