While the media’s still buzzing about The Sandra Fluke Story, Democrats have rolled out a disappointing sequel starring a nurse who can’t get free contraception because she works at a Catholic hospital that doesn’t provide such coverage for religious reasons.
Produced by DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a conference call last Friday featured a nurse at a Catholic hospital in Tacoma, Washington who complained that the hospital’s insurance doesn’t cover contraception. The nurse’s comments echoed those of Georgetown student Sandra Fluke, who has become the focus of national media discussion.
“I currently work as a nurse at a Catholic hospital in Tacoma, Washington that doesn’t offer health insurance that covers birth control,” Megan Iturralade said during Friday’s conference call.
As usual, the sequel failed to live up to the original in terms of both dramatic content and production values.
Gone were the heart-wrenching anecdotes, as Iturralade shared no stories of nurses who had to turn and slink away in shame and embarrassment because the hospital had locked its medicine cabinet.
Gone were the extravagant, unsourced statistics. Iturradale made no claim that forty percent of her colleagues couldn’t afford their scrubs because of the high cost of paying for their own birth control.
“Without insurance coverage contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school,” Fluke told her event.
But, Iturralade simply complained that it’s expensive for her to have to pay for her birth control. “I remain on my parents’ health insurance because it’s difficult to afford the costs of paying for birth control out of pocket,” she said.
Wasserman Schultz’s production even lacked the theatrics and visual element of The Sandra Fluke story. Fluke performed for the cameras at a staged event on Capitol Hill hosted by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Iturralade was merely a faceless voice on a conference call.
Still, “Bride of Flukenstein” did manage to include some shameless product placement, as Iturralade was able to work in a plug for Obamacare:
“Thank goodness for the president’s health care reform law, which will allow me to remain on my parents’ insurance plan until I’m 26.”
“Now, because of the leadership of President Obama women like me will have access to free preventative care, including contraception no matter where we work, because our insurance companies and not our employers will cover contraceptive costs.”
But, Catholic institutions have vowed to fight being forced to provide coverage that violates their faith, so the story is still far from over.
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