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When I watched this segment from Rachel Maddow's show this Friday evening, I was left wondering if she had read either of these two posts before her show because they hit on all the same points.
From Mother Jones -- Dear Rush Limbaugh: Birth Control Doesn't Work Like Viagra:
Once you wade through the bile and the realization that the country's most popular conservative radio host has devoted hours on his show to attempting to bully a woman into silence for her views on birth control, it becomes clear that Limbaugh, a man over sixty who is now on his fourth marriage, does not seem to understand how birth control works. On Wednesday and Thursday, Limbaugh repeatedly suggested that the amount of sex a woman has is related to the amount of birth control she needs to take, as though women take birth control pills every day they have sex. This is how say, Viagra, the erectile dysfunction medication works. Aside from the morning after pill*, when and how much sex you have is unrelated to the amount of birth control you need.
Limbaugh is a figure of almost religious stature among conservatives—for Republican elected officials, criticizing him is particularly dangerous—so Republican lawmakers have largey remained mum on the Limbaugh's despicable tirades. Some conservatives have tried to defend Limbaugh, however, arguing that his analogy, while crude, gets to a legitimate concern over whether religious organizations and insurance companies should have to "finance" someone else's "sex life."
The trouble with this analogy is that insurance companies already "subsidize" men's sex lives, by covering erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra. That insurance companies were already covering those drugs was part of the reason why the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission ruled in 2000 that insurance companies providing prescription coverage could not exempt birth control. It's almost surreal to have to point out that regulating pregnancy is a legitimate medical need. Read on...
And Digby's place -- Rush Limbaugh Has No Idea How Birth Control Works:
The Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke story is starting to become surreal. It's flabbergasting to watch the rightwing media machine self-immolate not only over social issues when any rational observer knows that economic issues are the safest path back to power, but over contraception of all things. Yes, of course the Talibangelicals have an interest in pushing the Overton Window on this issue over the long-term. But more establishmentarian conservatives must understand that appearing to oppose contraception itself is devastatingly bad for their electoral chances, at least in the short term. And yet they appear to be going for broke on it.
It especially doesn't help when their key spokespeople don't appear to understand how contraceptives even work. [...]
Anyone remotely familiar with oral contraceptives knows that to work properly, women have to take one pill a day over the course of their monthly cycle. It doesn't matter if you have unprotected sex once a month or three hundred times a month. It's still the same number of pills, and therefore the same cost. How much sex someone has is utterly irrelevant to the cost of contraception unless they choose to abstain for the entire month. (And none of this covers the issue of having sex with one person or more than one person, either. When Rush not just misogynistically but simply bizarrely calls Ms. Fluke a "slut," it would seem to be based on an unfounded assumption about having sex with multiple partners rather than a single boyfriend--though neither situation makes a whit of difference to the cost of oral contraceptives.)
Even abstinent women who are not seeking to have children should be on the pill, anyway, absent other more permanent forms of birth control, if for no other reason than in case of a felicitous meeting at best, or involuntarily sexual coercion at worst.
Of course, the reason Rush doesn't seem to understand female contraceptives is probably because he thinks they work like Viagra. Rush assumes that since it costs him money every time he has sex, it must cost a female college student money, too.
Rush isn't just a misogynist and horrible all-around human being. He's also a self-centered moron who doesn't even have the intellectual curiosity to find out how oral contraceptives work. Read on...
But this idiot is who the Republicans and the talking heads over at Fox are taking their cues from. Brilliant.