Speaking before the Democratic National Convention last night, Sandra Fluke attempted to paint a picture for the delegates. She spoke of two different choices and two different futures – one a shining, rosy, perfect future with Barack Obama as president and the other a dim, dark, scary future with Mitt Romney in our nation’s highest position. Fluke exaggerated constantly and grossly misrepresented the positions of both Romney and Paul Ryan. But hey, when your goal is to paint a picture that women will fear, there’s no real point in sticking to the truth. Deception is much more interesting, as evidenced by last night’s performance.
Fluke even started out with a lie.
… Republicans shut me out from a hearing on contraception. In fact, on that panel, they didn’t hear from a single woman …
What? Wait a minute. I know we’ve heard this before, but pro-life women don’t count? For that matter, women who don’t want to pay for other women’s birth control – pro-life or not – don’t count? The New York Times reported months ago that “the committee heard testimony from two women, both opposed to the administration policy.” Hmmm…but not a single woman spoke on the panel. Right, Sandra. Thanks for calling my friends and me basically “non-women,” simply because we disagree with your extreme views.
Fluke then continued with impressive-sounding exaggerations that held little substance – exaggerations about how a Romney presidency would lead us to an “offensive, obsolete relic of our past.” I’m left to imagine exactly what she was referring to, but I know that mothers being stopped from killing their children is certainly not offensive. And ending Planned Parenthood’s funding would actually be a new step of progress, not a “relic” that belongs in our past. Nice words, though.
Fluke also criticized Mitt Romney for failing to take a stand against the “extreme bigoted voices in his own party.” For the record, there are bigots in any political party. But should a politician really spend his time publicly dismissing and disagreeing with all the silly, misinformed, and offensive comments that his fellow party members make? Would the public really prefer to hear what statements a presidential candidate did not make and does not agree with instead of hearing what he actually does stand for? Personally, I think that kind of strategy would merely promote excessive confusion. And President Obama certainly does not constantly take time of out his busy schedule to take a stand against the extreme bigots in his own party. Oh, wait, I forgot. Liberals are never bigots. Or extreme. My bad.
In Fluke’s opinion, presidents and presidential candidates ought to take more of their time standing up for poor, helpless women who are “verbally attacked” by public figures. For some reason, I’m not sure how that promotes women’s rights and the view of women as strong and powerful. That aside, why no call from Fluke for President Obama to return Bill Maher’s money? After all, Maher used very vulgar language to criticize Bristol Palin and then declared that he was not at all sorry. Maybe Bristol Palin isn’t a private enough citizen for Fluke, but still, is it really okay – by her own standards – for Obama to refuse to correct Maher, make no phone call to offer his support to Palin, and readily accept Maher’s dirty money? Seems like a double-standard to me, but I’m realizing that Fluke is pretty good at those.
In her remarks, Fluke decided to describe the America she believes we will inherit if Romney is elected in November:
An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds that we don’t want and our doctors say that we don’t need.
An America in which we have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.
An America where access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it.
Let’s quickly address all three of these lies/deceptions/misinformation. First, any doctor worth his salt will indeed say that a woman needs an ultrasound before an abortion to determine exactly where the baby is and how far along the pregnancy is. Even Planned Parenthood clearly states that women may undergo an ultrasound before an abortion in their clinics. A Planned Parenthood telephone hotline says that they will do an ultrasound before a surgical abortion. And women, if you’re not receiving an ultrasound first, you should be very afraid that the doctor has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. To say that states are “humiliating” women with “invasive” ultrasounds is to call the kettle black. Planned Parenthood itself “humiliates” women with these same “invasive” ultrasounds.
Secondly, I assume that Fluke was referring to the Personhood-type legislation that Paul Ryan sponsored. Nothing in Personhood bills would prevent a woman from receiving life-saving treatment. Recognizing an unborn child as a person with the right to life does not in any way, shape, or form take away a woman’s equal right to life.
Finally, I’m not understanding Fluke’s implication that men never use birth control. You’d think she would understand how a condom is used, especially since Planned Parenthood so freely hands them out. Granted, women are the ones who use hormonal birth control, which must be Fluke’s method of choice. But let’s not act like men, once again, have no say whatsoever. They are indeed one half of the equation when we’re talking about human reproduction.
Fluke drew applause by ending her speech with an appeal to women and men. She said:
We talk often about choice. But ladies – and gentlemen – it’s now time to choose.
I guess when abortion supporters want to elect their choice of a politician, they want men to speak up and act. But when it comes to protecting their own children, paying for birth control with their tax dollars, or ending abortion – well, in that case, men had better sit down and be quiet.