Sandra Fluke: readings from many WOMEN we need to hear from
"My mother passed away in 2010 at the age of 71. We frequently had discussions about how younger women did not have a good understanding of what life used to be like for women — even though it was in the not too distant past. One of the stories she told a lot was asking her doctor for the pill in 1963 and being told — you’re a Catholic so you’ll need to get permission from your priest before I can give it to you. I doubt there are many women today that could even believe something like that would have ever happened, but it did. My mother, being a good Catholic went to her priest who told her she would no longer be given communion if she went against the teachings of the church. It was the beginning of my parents leaving the church."
"It was funny to hear talking heads say ‘they’re having so much sex that they can’t afford contraception’, because I have been on birth control for two years and I am a virgin. I take it to regulate my period because it was making me anemic and causing horrific acne. Contraception does not necessarily equal sex, nor does it even really encourage it."
"When I was 16, I had terrible menstrual cramping. It was so severe, when I later developed gallstones. I thought they were menstrual cramps. For a while, birth control pills controlled the agony. During the entire time I was taking the pills, I was getting a Bachelor’s in Engineering Mathematics, and was lucky when I had time to shower—sex was not on my mind. However, during a visit home, my grandmother found the pills and called me a “slut”. I remember how hurtful the comment was. I am so angry at the fact that, some 26 years later, we are having to fight this same battle."
Sandra Fluke has received hundreds of inspirational messages from women and supportive men across the country. Many of these messages have included personal anecdotes describing how important affordable access to contraception is. Some of the anecdotes are posted below with permission. If you'd like to share your story, feel free to e-mail StandwithSandra@gmail.com.