Sandra Fluke, Gender Reassignment, and Health Insurance

Sandra Fluke is being sold by the left as something she’s not. Namely a random co-ed from Georgetown law who found herself mixed up in the latest front of the culture war who was simply looking to make sure needy women had access to birth control. That, of course, is not the case.

As many have already uncovered Sandra Fluke she is, in reality, a 30 year old long time liberal activist who enrolled at Georgetown with the express purpose of fighting for the school to pay for students’ birth control. She has been pushing for mandated coverage of contraceptives at Georgetown for at least three years according to the Washington Post.

However, as I discovered today, birth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance. She makes these views clear in an article she co-edited with Karen Hu in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.

The title of the article, which can be purchased in full here, is Employment Discrimination Against LGBTQ Persons and was published in the Journal’s 2011 Annual Review. I have posted a transcript of the section I will be quoting from here. In a subsection of the article entitled “Employment Discrimination in Provision of Employment Benefits” starting on page 635 of the review Sandra Fluke and her co-editor describe two forms of discrimination in benefits they believe LGBTQ individuals face in the work place:

Discrimination typically takes two forms: first, direct discrimination limiting access to benefits specifically needed by LGBTQ persons, and secondly, the unavailability of family-related benefits to LGBTQ families.

Their “prime example” of the first form of discrimination? Not covering sex change operations:

A prime example of direct discrimination is denying insurance coverage for medical needs of transgender persons physically transitioning to the other gender.

This so called “prime example” of discrimination is expounded on in a subsection titled “Gender Reassignment Medical Services” starting on page 636:

Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered.

To be clear, the argument here is that employers are engaging in discrimination against their employees who want them to pay for their sex changes because their “heterosexist” health insurance policies don’t believe sex changes are medically necessary.

Additionally Sandra Fluke and her co-editor have an answer for why exactly these “heterosexist” insurance policies, and the courts that side with them, deem sex changes as medically unnecessary:

In Mario v. P & C Food Markets, Inc., an employee who was denied such coverage brought claims under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security (ERISA) and Title VII. The court rejected the ERISA claim, finding the plaintiff’s mastectomy and hormone therapy were not medically necessary. The court’s ruling was based upon controversy within the medical community regarding that treatment plan. Much of that controversy has been linked to ignorance and bias against transgender persons, and the American Medical Association has declared the lack of coverage to be discrimination.

You see, all opposition to the determination that sex changes are medically necessary, and therefor must be covered by private employer provided health insurance, is based on “ignorance and bias against transgender persons”.

The section on discrimination against those seeking  gender reassignment ends with Sandra Fluke and her co-editor wondering why more lawsuits aren’t filed against private employers on these grounds. Especially in comparison to the frequency with which these types of cases are filed against Medicare, Medicaid, and even the prison system:

The reason for this lack of cases is unclear. Private employee insurance plans do not more frequently cover this need, so it may be a sign that transgender employees do not see the courts as likely to provide any assistance against private employers.

The argument made in this article edited by Sandra Fluke and Karen Hu is quite clear. “Gender reassignment” is a medically necessary set of procedures that must be covered under employee provided health insurance policies. If it is not covered by those policies that is tantamount to discrimination and legal action should be taken against the employer.

So, as you can see, Sandra Fluke is not what she is being sold as. Instead she is a liberal activist pushing some rather radical ideas. Keep that in mind as the left holds her up in the spotlight.

Published by

Stephen Gutowski

Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning political reporter who got his start in 2009 when he founded this blog.

52 thoughts on “Sandra Fluke, Gender Reassignment, and Health Insurance”

  1. Thank you for this most enlightening article on Ms. Fluke. I knew to the bottom of my soul that there was far more involved in the Democrat stagecraft that was trotted out to appear like a “hearing” but was just a press conference to get this fake narrative out. This was crafted in order to trick women for their votes and turn the spotlight off of the Obamacare mandate and war on religion, which the Dems thought would sail through unnoticed but were caught completely by surprise when the Catholic Church vocally spoke out against it. The liberals/progressives/Democrats are liars and disingenuous creeps to foist this kabuki theater upon our country which is already skating on thin ice financially and enduring suffering at the hands of our own government. I recommend Ms. Fluke take her dog and pony show somewhere else, she has already made a fool of herself.

  2. Just thought you might want to know that law schools are *FULL* of this kind of leftist propaganda. There’s NO SUCH THING as a rightwing law school. To get ahead in law school you need to a prolific public sexually vulgar activist.

  3. I’m really puzzled now. My folks taught me about the birds and the bees, but not the birds and the birds or the bees and the bees. But why exactly do lesbians and their male counterparts need contraception?

  4. @non-nymous – While you’re probably largely accurate, it isn’t as bleak as you paint it. Just to name two schools that don’t even remotely embody the spirit of left-wing radicalism, BYU and George Mason University law schools are excellent, and most definitely not known for an overabundance of liberalism dominating their studies. There is yet at least a little hope. In fact, one wouldn’t even remain a student at BYU if he or she was advocating gender-change surgery, let alone public funding for it!

  5. Thing is, if Fluke had been given the opportunity to testify as she was called to do, before an insignificant, barely news-worthy sub-committee, she would have come and gone like a bug fart in a wind tunnel. It’s only because a roomful of uptight rich white men tried to muscle her away from the microphone that she’s now front and center on the national stage. Funny how that works. At any rate, to suggest that she’s some sort of diabolical “liberal/progressive/Democrat” plant is the sort of tinfoil cap stuff that’s driving average sane Americans (and batty ol’ me) away from the Republican party. Is this all that’s left of American conservatism, hate on women, hate on undocumented immigrants, hate on unions, hate on gays, hate on the poor, hate on teachers, hate on the first lady, hate on the French, hate on Muslims, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate?

    It’s beginning to look like the entire conservative plank rests on how many different groups we can sneer at and condemn to hell. We seem to be opening a new front every day against someone else for some fringe issue wholly irrelevant to the COMMON good. We don’t even try to seek consensus anymore. Instead we give life to that old saying, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every issue looks like a nail.”

    Now you’re going to drag transgenders out of the barrel so you can start hating on them, too? If you can’t be dissuaded from that, you might want to at least conduct an hour or so of honest research before you start burning them at the stake. Nothing’s more deserving of contempt to a thinking person than a hater who doesn’t have a grasp of basic easily-acquired information, and it’s apparent from your tack in the above post that your information regarding transsexualism derives from an agenda divorced from global scientific and medical consensus; and I can imagine it’s only a matter of time before you’re calling them offensive names and suggesting some distasteful pogrom that satisfies that extremist need to cleanse the world of anyone who isn’t a mirror image of you.

    I’m a social and fiscal conservative, but I refuse to give up on the fundamental notion that my worldview doesn’t trump at least trying to love and understand my fellow human beings, whether or not I agree with them in every particular. Accusing an entire half the nation of being “liars and disingenuous creeps” who are involved in a mass conspiracy to destroy the nation is the sort of thing that turns reasonable people against our cause. Like it or not, we’re all in this together, not just all Americans but all people. Unless and until we manage to let go of our constant knee-jerk martial posturing we’ll only continue to undermine the work of two hundred-plus years of representative democracy.

    Ya gotcha dogma and ya gotcha love; one of them pays dividends, the other rots your soul.

    Okay, I’ll shut up now and go crawl back under my rock. Thanks for reading.

  6. Student my assets! Sandra Fluke is a profession activist and agitator operating under the cover of ‘student’ to gain access to the target campus.

  7. There is no doubt that the law schools across the country churn out multitudes of lawyers/activists whose sole purpose is to get more onerous laws passed and to distort/ignore the voluminous laws enacted. They are a scourge on society and buy politicians and fight the people to snuff out any sort of tort reform. You wonder why you always need an attorney for anything from a simple will to a criminal charge? The laws are so twisted and bent from years of abuse and frivolous interpretation that it has become a lawyer-made gravy train of ripping of the common man. Fluke and both Obama’s are cut from the same cloth.

  8. Goodness! These beliefs surely mean that Ms. Fluke is indeed a slut and a whore! 🙁

    You guys are now the lowest of the low. Fortunately you’re college children and probably haven’t yet learned the term “ad hominem”. So let’s just add this online rant of yours to the collection of your finger paintings and other juvenalia, although I suspect that you’ll only look back on this in shame when you’ve grown up.

  9. “There’s NO SUCH THING as a rightwing law school”

    Well, there was an attempt, but it failed to get accreditation. Seems the whole town failed as well.

    Pizza can only found so much I guess. You’ll always have Liberty, but then they aren’t accredited either are they? Oral Roberts? Again, not so much. You guys just can’t get a break can you? I wonder why?

  10. Given a choice between the left’s poster child, Sandra Fluke,
    and the right’s, Rush Limbaugh . . . which would you take.
    Limbaugh has his own set of issues*, you see, and at present
    is a net liability to the GOP.

    * Mamma’s boy, drug problems, possible gender identity issues.

  11. Is a woman not allowed to have an opinion? Or must a woman be kept silent unless their opinion matches exactly unto yours? I pity you when you grow wiser and may regret these statements you’ll never be able to take them back now that they’re on the internet.

  12. Andvetr wants us to look at the SQUIRREL OVER THERE!!!! LOOK!! A FUZZY SQUIRREL!!!

    Won’t work, bubba. Rush was right. Selling your soul for politics is a terrible thing, and Sandra Fluke has done just that.

  13. Sandra Fluke is not a plant, is a GU student, and did NOT enroll to contest health care. For any of you who care to check, GU has a well-funded and active LGBTQ Center, as well as transgender employees. I am sorry that so many young people believe that conservative means closed minded. Georgetown actively seeks diversity on its campus, as well as interreligious dialogue. It is an engaging and challenging campus where people of all faith traditions (and sexual orientation) are welcome. Rush Limbaugh defamed Ms, Fluke, and anyone who defends his acrimony and misogyny is as sad as he is.

  14. Please keep it up boys, I would love to bet you all at least $10,000, but I know your student loans are huge. Please, please, keep it up, if you can. I do have some viagra if you need it.

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  16. So, you’ve just learned your first few facts about trans people and their struggles with health insurance, and yet you implicitly deny the idea that others might be ignorant?

  17. Finally someone who comes across a problematic, unscientific train of thought and simply explains its accuracy- hilarious

    Responses to above:
    who starts out with – ” while you’re probably largely accurate ” and thinks we’ll join her on the left- then says there is little liberalism at GW univ- when 90% of the tenure teachers have at some time been on the liberal networks?- and only 23% on fox, cnn

    Cocopuff has been smoking- the hatred of women originatesfrom the left- which was our author’s point- her emotions were compromised- thus exploiting her to believe this flukes story. Trusting mentalities blind possibilties from emerging. We dont need femenism or maleism or either- we need a humanistic approach

    Tj parker- your using that exact tatic yourself if you believe the author is- wheres the proof?
    Also you used those words first- didnt you? Ashamed? Is Projecting is a typical reaction from hearing something u dont like?

    Davebo- a ‘break comes to those who work then wait’ hmmm

    Good point spengler but look at whos got followers and has lasted? Might be smart of ms fluke to start a radio sho

    Andvetr- we’re talking about switching sides from woman to man and vice versa- that implies the right is lost as well if that right is exclusive to a particular gender- typical logical falacy of A misinformed group

    Benefici- he didnt forget ama but did for apa

    Hallofrage- settle down he just wanted sources similar to the case and not an opinion of the results – the line was classic in its attempt the label a small problem (pop%) as a disaster, however

    Duke- im pretty sure she was not anything before this 15 mins of fame


  18. Getting involved with a lover physically (as in sex!) is by choice and should not be taken responsibility by others. We should be responsible for our own actions. If we can’t take care of our own contraception, then forget the stupid sex. LOL. The point is that medical care is something to be more focused on than pleasure.

  19. We are granted with freedom in this world and whatever consequences this freedom will bring, we should not let others pay for it. Thus, if we want to have sex with someone we should know that we need to have protection or suffer from the consequence. But letting the school pay for the cost of a student’s birth control is I think not reasonable.

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