Women's Health Awareness

Because health shouldn't be used for political bargain

An open letter to Rush Limbaugh

Here’s the letter I have sent to Mr. Limbaugh:

Mr. Limbaugh,

My name is Rafa Lombardino and I’m deeply disgusted by your attitude against women who take birth control pills.

I am 31 years old, have been married for 10 years, started taking birth control pills at 20 years of age and, in addition to having a daughter who is 3 1/2 years old, I’m currently 4 months pregnant. Do you classify me as a “slut” or “prostitute”?

Have you ever heard of dysmenorrhea? What about endometriosis? Do ovarian cysts ring any bell?

Since I’m currently pregnant after planning for our second child, I’m not taking birth control pills at the moment. However, I have an ovarian cyst growing alongside my baby boy. We’re keeping an eye on it, in case it becomes a bigger threat to my health and pregnancy. Birth control has made it possible for me not to have ovarian cysts formed during my cycles while we were not trying to get pregnant and focusing on the formative years of our first born.

Can you understand the fact that birth control pills are also a medication and, one of the benefits of having a hormonal treatment is that you can plan your pregnancy when the time is right for you and your partner to start a family? Can you understand that birth control pills are NOT like condoms or medication for erectile dysfunction, in that women DO NOT need to take a pill EVERY TIME they have sexual intercourse? Can you understand that women are fighting to have coverage for birth control pills as either a family planning solution OR much needed hormonal treatment?

If health insurances cover erectile dysfunction pills, whose only purpose is to allow men to have an erection in order to have sex, why should birth control pills and other treatments related to a woman’s reproduction health be banned from coverage? I will never need a prescription for Viagra, but is it right to say that men have no right to this medication because, if they do, my insurance premiums will go up? What about uppers and downers, who do treat legitimate diseases such as depression and anxiety, but are abused by people who only want to benefit from their side effects for recreational purposes? Should we get Xanax, Prozac and Oxycodone, among others, out of the list of covered medication?

Birth control pills come in monthly packs of 21 or 28 tablets that you take once a day. The first 21 pills have the hormonal treatment a woman’s body needs to either prevent pregnancy when the time is not right OR treat an array of conditions. The remaining pills are either placebo or contain iron, a much need element during menstrual cycles, since some women may experience an iron deficiency for that week because of the excessive blood loss.

When I was a kid, I had a 12-year-old friend who was not sexually active at all. She was on birth control to treat a condition in her still-forming uterus. I have a 41-year-old friend who has never been able to have kids due to a reproductive condition, but she has always been on birth control pills to treat other illnesses.

Please, stop attacking women’s reproductive and health rights. Please, learn more about the matter before you disseminate misinformation. Please, do not talk about things you don’t know and don’t generalize something such as the sexuality of women taking birth control pills.

Rafa Lombardino


8 comments on “An open letter to Rush Limbaugh

  1. tiger sampson
    March 8, 2012

    Rafa, Please, the woman who Rush referred to that testified before congress was college student with no mention of health problems….she just wanted somebody to pay for her care free lifestyle. Sandra Fluke also is pushing for employers to pay for sex change operations.

    Fluke says:” employers are engaging in discrimination against their employees who want them to pay for their sex changes because their “heterosexist” health insurance policies.

    I don’t want my tax $$ going to somebody who can’t keep their legs out of the air or the gender they were BORN with

    • womenshealthawareness
      March 9, 2012

      Thank you for your comment, Tiger

      Please listen to the complete statement here: http://dai.ly/yEPXqn

      This will give you an unfiltered information on what her exact words were.

      The issue here is that health insurance companies are denying coverage for medication prescribed by doctors as treatment and that is threatening the lives of women.

  2. HChambers (@Omega40)
    March 8, 2012

    Thank you Rafa, for your in-depth open letter to Rush. The reasons you state here are quite valid and hopefully he will see the light someday and then smack his forehead in understanding.

    • womenshealthawareness
      March 9, 2012

      Thank you for your comment HChambers. I do hope that this is no longer an issue for political bargain in about 20 years, when my daughter will be a grown woman, so that she will have access to birth control pills and any other treatment needed to assure her health. Hopefully her generation will be shocked that we had to actually debate this issue in the early 2000s.

  3. Bobbie deVille
    March 12, 2012

    Ms. Lombardino,
    If Limbaugh read your letter I’m sure he would learn a great deal, as I did about your cysts. He clearly didn’t know how the pills worked and using his math of one pill for each fornication came up with a formula of the law student’s sexual activity, fornicating three times every day.
    His errors and your biology are not the issue here. The Catholic Church deems contraception to be a sin and refuses to fund it. The issue is freedom of religion and the first amendment. The mandates we are discovering in the Affordable Care Act will keep the supreme court very busy.

    Thank you for the lesson in women’s hormone treatment. Good luck with the baby.

    • Women's Health Awareness
      March 13, 2012

      Dear Bobbie,

      First of all, thank you for your input and best wishes for the new addition to our family 🙂

      Thank you also for considering the validity of my arguments.

      I just wanted to point out that my biology is not unique among women worldwide. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has had access to birth control pills (paying out of pocket) and prevented ovarian cysts while planning our family.

      The religious argument here is of much interest to me. People seem to forget that the fact that this country was founded on the grounds of religious freedom does not mean that any religion in particular should have its beliefs imposed on the general population. On the contrary, religious freedom means that each individual is free to practice his or her own beliefs without interference of others and, above all, without interfering with others.

      Therefore, the argument that the Catholic Church condemns the use of contraceptives should not apply to the case in each an employee requests access to birth control pills to treat ovarian cysts and (I believe) to plan their families. These are matters of an individual assuring her own health and having the freedom to decide when the moment is right to have children.

      Another side of this argument is the Fair Employment Act. Should religious organizations (or even regular corporations run by fervent religious executives) have the right to regulate the beliefs and lives of their employees, they would be infringing in the Fair Employment Act.

      That is to say that a Catholic Organization, for example, would discriminate against applicants who are not catholic, thus mandating that all current and future employees share the same set of beliefs to the same degree in order to have their employee rights assured within the company.

      Thanks again for contributing to the argument in a respectful manner!

  4. Bobbie deVille
    March 13, 2012

    It does provide a sense of togetherness to bond on this blog site, but my sense is that your desire was a teachable moment for Rush. Did you send this to ElRushbo@eibnet.com , his address, or post to his facebook page?

    • Women's Health Awareness
      March 13, 2012

      Yes, I’ve actually been sending this open letter to the direct email address for several days now, because I don’t believe people can post things to his Facebook page.

      I’ve also posted it to some Facebook pages (fan pages or pages created to denounce his misinformation) and received some positive input like yours as well as some very negative comments (mostly personal attacks) that just reinforce my convictions.

      Thanks again!

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