Sandra Fluke Warns Of Two Futures For Women In DNC Speech

 
on September 05 2012 10:33 PM
Sandra Fluke at DNC
Attorney Sandra Fluke speaks on the second night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Reuters

Sandra Fluke used her time at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night to deliver a short, powerful speech that roused the crowd and painted the picture of two possible Americas. As predicted, Fluke's speech was a ringing endorsement for President Barack Obama's policies toward women and warned of the damage Mitt Romney would do to reproductive rights if elected in November.

"Too many women are shut out and silenced, so while I'm honored to be standing at this podium, it easily could have been any one of you," Fluke said. "I'm here because I spoke out."

Without directly referencing the vulgar name-calling she endured at the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Fluke clearly alluded to the lessons that experience taught her. She condemned Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's records on women's issues.

"In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs," she said. "Who won't stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party."

"It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don't want and our doctors say we don't need," she continued. "An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don't."

Fluke then turned her attention toward Obama. During her speech Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama were shown clapping and cheering.

"An America in which our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters -- not his delegates or donors -- and stands with all women. And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here -- and give me a microphone -- to amplify our voice. That's the difference."

"A country where our president either has our back or turns his back; a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won; a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn't apply to our bodies and our voices."

Fluke also stumped for the president last month in Colorado, according to ABC News. Fluke also promoted the president's record on women's rights in the state, a key battleground in the election. The Georgetown University graduate's speech was on a star-studded night that also included House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Barney Frank, a slew of veterans and former President Bill Clinton.

Glamour reported that Fluke -- who also has been supportive of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards -- loosened up for her moment in the spotlight by dancing backstage.

"I'll call it the fighting kangaroo," Fluke said of her moves. You can watch a GIF of her performance by clicking here.  

"When I talk to young women, what I think has to be crystal clear is we are talking about our reproductive rights being at risk. This is not rhetoric. The candidates on the Republican ballot are serious about doing this."

Sandra Fluke first came into the national spotlight after being called a "slut" by the polarizing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. While blasting the idea that birth control should be covered by insurance, Limbaugh likened Fluke's denial to speak at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on religious liberty and birth control to a plea for getting paid to have sex.

"It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex," Limbaugh said.

When questioned about Limbaugh's rant, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney initially dodged making a comment before saying, "I'll just say this which is it's not the language I would have used," according to CNN.

Before Fluke even spoke at the DNC, she was already the subject of another controversy. During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" on Tuesday, Fluke responded to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's comments that implied she's only speaking so the DNC can drop condoms on her.

"I think it's clearly offensive to see a bunch of guys sitting around laughing about dropping condoms on a woman," Fluke said. "Obviously, that's offensive. But I try to just not pay attention to it, look past it and focus on the policies that I care about and doing what I can for the president."

Fluke has been outspoken in her support for Obama, citing his legislation in favor of equal rights for women.

"What I want to make clear is the choice that we have facing us this November," Fluke said during her appearance on "Meet The Press." "I think the best way to do that is to really talk about their records, especially their records on issues that matter to women - on women's health, equal pay, and on violence against women."

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