In the Civil Rights Era, people on either side of the debate understood “access” to refer to being able to enter a place and do business there according to one’s ability. Blacks having “access” to the same public amenities — drinking fountains, bathrooms, luncheon counters, seats on buses, voting booths — as whites did meant that whites would no longer physically prevent their entrance.
In that debate, the progressives were right and the conservatives were wrong. This gradually became so obvious that the debate ended and access was granted — which is to say, attacks on access were prevented — with bipartisan support in both houses of congress.
Recreating that purity and that victory has become something of an obsession to the Left. If either side of a debate carries costs and benefits which must be balanced, then compromise is necessary and just. But if one side is monstrously denying something that a struggling person needs, then we are right and pure, they are wrong and corrupt, and we must bring them down. QED.
They constantly attempt to mislead people with rhetoric designed to imply that the question here is about outlawing contraception.
Of course it’s not. You could find only one voter in ten willing to even consider such a proposition.
The question is whether third-parties will be dragooned by yet another government law to cover yet another personal expense.
This is what they call “access” — their ability to compel you to pay for their wants.
When I was 4, I wanted an AT-AT Walker. Lacking the funds for such a purchase, I demanded that my mother buy me one. She refused, and a vivid discussion on the basis of economic decisions ensued. If only it had occurred to me to define my desire for an AT-AT Walker in Civil Rights terms, my childhood would have been vastly enhanced.
The fact that two days ago I sold my Imperial Shuttle, Millenium, Falcon, Ewok Village, and Tie Interceptor for $3 at a yard sale means NOTHING about my NEED for an AT-AT then. My access was denied, and the fascists in the Reagan Justice Department ignored my plight. At least, so goes the logic if we accept the progressive discourse on “access” and “‘freedom.”
Progressives are fundamentally uninterested in freedom, defined as one’s ability to make choices based on your individual needs and means. This “freedom” they continually compare against the reality that not everyone can afford an AT-AT in their garage. Their idea of freedom involves freedom not only from coercion but from reality itself.
The balance in one’s checkbook is a stark reality. You cannot persuade the bank that you have more money than you have, nor that they should grant you infinite credit to make up the difference between your means and your aspirations. What Progressives in general and Sandra Fluke in particular insist upon is that such infinite credit is sine qua non of a just society. And to get around the manifest absurdity, they misappropriate terms like “access”.
What Sandra Fluke wants is for others to pay for her choices. She may claim that to be a right in any way she chooses, but this right, like the AT-AT, exists mostly in the imagination of children and those who know how to exploit them.