Georgetown law student and part-time reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke wants her Catholic university to pay for her birth control so she can have as much sex as she wants without incurring a serious medical condition known as pregnancy, and I don’t blame her.
Sex feels really, really good. And I think we can all agree feeling good while eliminating the downside to feeling good is a legitimate public policy objective.
The downside in this particular instance is, of course, a baby, who rudely takes residence in the body, ungratefully kicks the abdomen from the inside, and denies the bearer other pleasures, like a glass of wine a day and constant pilates.
Once the baby is out, forget about it — puke on your shoulder, repetitive poop cleanup, sonorous bawling while you’re trying to get some sleep for work — the inconveniences are well documented and have been long understood.
But since the 1960s, the culture has firmly established that everyone should have the right to have as much sex as they want outside marriage. It’s what’s known by scientists who study this behavior as “Free Love.”
What Sandra Fluke is at the vanguard of is the entirely new “Free Love for Free” movement — the next frontier for Free Love — to which religious institutions that hold quaint notions of chastity must adapt and for which they must pay.
With the current out-of-wedlock birth rate at 41 percent, some killjoys may claim that the Free Love movement and the ubiquitous use of birth control have created some unintended consequences. But the intended result of lots of good sex with a multiplicity of partners has certainly been achieved.
I mean, it’s not really clear that birth control is controlling much in the way of births at all. Given this, I think it is perfectly reasonable to demand that employer-sponsored health insurance provide, for free, a variety of tools that are even more effective at warding off a range of adverse health consequences that, in some cases, are even worse than having a baby.
Here’s a list of a few. I think you’ll agree this roster is hardly comprehensive, and that the uses for other people’s money to pay for my lifestyle choices are potentially infinite.
Studies have shown that ingesting alcoholic beverages while eating uncooked animal products helps kill bacteria and reduce the chance of food poisoning, which, like pregnancy, is a preventable medical condition.
So how am I going to have my sushi and enjoy it unless I have access to a good bottle of sake? And not the cheap kind either — it has to be something I enjoy drinking, otherwise I may not drink enough of it.
Some will say, “Hey, it’s my choice to have sushi, why should Catholic universities be forced to pay for me to be able to consume it safely?”
This is an insult. Sushi rights advocates like myself believe that anyone who has been brave enough to try raw fish can attest that it is really, really tasty.
Being denied free access to sake is also an infringement on my right to practice a sacred eating practice related to Japanese culture. I mean, it starts here, and then pretty soon Pat Robertson will be in my home taking away my Kabuki dolls. I have to draw the line.
Guard rails for children’s beds
Scientists have found that children sometimes roll over and fall out of bed. This can result in severe bruises and broken bones, plus injuries to the cat should the pet be resting on the floor next to the bed. Guard rails have been shown to reduce the incidence of kids falling out of beds in almost all cases, with the exception mainly being children who are dreaming about running the high hurdles in the Olympics.
Extra training for commercial airline pilots
This is imperative. Driving takes a long time, so occasionally I like to fly. But airline crashes often lead to a medical condition known as “Blown to Itsy Bitsy Pieces Syndrome,” a dangerous condition from which in fact no one has ever recovered. A little extra time training pilots in flight simulators can help reduce the chances of crashes known to result in this terrible condition.
I think it nearly goes without saying that home intruders can be damaging to your health. If I’m to own a home — and I do choose to own a home — I need to have a large aggressive dog on hand to protect the place.
Health plans could offer a range of options, from Dobermans, German Shepherds and pit bulls to more exotic choices like Great Danes and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I would not support coverage of purchases of Standard Poodles, however, since though they are large and can be aggressive, they look silly and may not frighten off burglars.
You see, health insurance is not just about curing illness. That’s very old school, I’m sorry to say. It’s really now more about sharing the wealth so that I can afford the things that will help me realize my human potential.
I’ll give what I can to my health plan according to my ability. But I fully expect others, like Catholic institutions, to let me take according to my needs.
Keith Koffler is a veteran White House reporter who writes the blog White House Dossier.