Remember Sandra Fluke?

Reilly Van Dyke, Staff Writer

She’s back and talking about the fu- ture of women’s reproductive rights after this presidential election.

   Recent Georgetown University Law graduate and women’s health activist Sandra Fluke was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, September 5. After speak- ing publicly about her support for insur- ance coverage for contraception, Fluke was banned by Republicans from tes- tifying at a congressional hearing. She was also called a “slut” by right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in February. Limbaugh went even further, saying she should be required to post sex videos of herself on the internet be- cause taxpayers were paying for her to have sex.

   Fluke gave a speech in the hopes of warning America about what the future may hold, saying, “During this campaign, we’ve heard about two profoundly different futures that could await women in this country. And how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They are not imagined. That future could be- come real. In America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. A man who won’t stand up to those slurs, or any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party.”

   In an interview with Amy Goodman, from “Democracy Now!,” Fluke talked about her response to the comments made by Limbaugh in response to her speaking up about the Affordable Health Care Act. She explained that she considered staying out of the public spot- light after the incident, but after think- ing about the message that would send to young girls and women in this country, she wanted them to know that they didn’t need to be embarrassed or afraid to speak up, especially when it comes to issues involving their bodies, their sexual health, and their reproductive rights.

   “And I thought it was really important to continue to speak out, not only be- cause I cared about this policy and I wanted more and more people to understand what it would do for American women, but also because I really wanted to make sure that young girls in our country didn’t see this as a cautionary tale, that if you came forward and you spoke publicly about something that you cared about, specifically about your reproductive health, about any- thing in any way remotely connected to your sexual health, that this is the kind of thing that would happen to you. So I wanted to show them that these types of sexist attacks are something you can stand up to and that you can call it out for what it is, and when you do, people will support you, and people will back you up. And so, I hope that that’s the message that’s come out of this.”

   Fluke also brought up another interesting point involving her decision to support President Obama in the up- coming election. While speaking about the health services available to women that could be denied in the future if Mitt Romney were elected, she said that we would have “an America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it!”

   With the election coming in November, this could bring many changes to this country that will affect women on multiple levels.

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