By Judy Kurtz - 03/21/12 10:39 PM EDT
Susan Santos is a 55-year-old Colorado blogger and housewife, but these days, she’s doubling as a uterus-knitting machine.
Yes, you read that right.
The goal of the initiative: to knit or crochet a vagina or uterus and send it to every male lawmaker in Congress.
Santos says the idea came to the campaign’s creators following Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke. The conservative host released a statement earlier this month apologizing for calling Fluke — who had testified before Congress in support of having birth control covered by health insurance plans — a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show.
Government Free VJJ’s website, which comes complete with patterns such as “Happy Uterus,” claims the initiative is aimed at telling America’s men in government: “Hands off my uterus! Here’s one of your own!”
Santos, who’s working on a book on knitting with one of the movement’s founders, tells ITK she has already hand-delivered her reproductive knitwear to the district office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). While she wasn’t able to put her knit uterus, which takes a few hours to make, directly into the hands of the junior senator, she says, “The staff aide I spoke to swore she’d give it to him personally.”
The knitting whiz also intends to bring one of the colorful items to Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) office. She says according to Government Free VJJ records, nearly 60 knit and woven female organs have been shipped out.
Both Bennet and Udall voted against an amendment crafted by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to deny contraceptive health coverage to employees based on religious or moral objections. The measure was rejected.
No word on whether female members, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — who later said she “made a mistake” by voting in favor of the measure — will also be sent the handcrafted knit goods.
“We want to get the word out,” Santos says. “It’s not just a ‘shame on you’ kind of thing.
“I mean, some of them are going to be ‘Thank you for your support. Here’s a uterus — maybe give it to someone who you think needs to understand a little bit more about this. Or display it on your desk proudly.’”