(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
CHARLOTTE – Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law student who gained national fame during the debate on contraceptive mandates when talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh referred to her as a "slut," addressed the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening and told the delegates now is the time to make a choice for President Barack Obama.
"It's now time to choose," she stated. The Georgetown law student was temporarily bumped down six spots in the evening's agenda and observers began to wonder if she was going to appear on stage at all.
When she did take the stage, she attempted to downplay her role in the discussion on abortion and the rights of women to have free birth control by saying it could have happened to any woman in the audience and compared women's rights under a second Obama term to that of a first term if Republican Mitt Romney were to win in November.
"During this campaign, we've heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women – and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They're not imagined. That future could be real," said Fluke.
"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, 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. 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. We know what this America would look like."
Fluke tried to show a compassionate side to President Obama by saying he thinks of his own daughters when he hears of young women being verbally attacked, referring to her own circumstance.
Fluke's invitation to address the convention was an obvious attempt to mobilize not only young women, but to further draw a distinction between Republicans, who have strong pro-life language in their platform, and Democrats, who support abortion on demand. It is what many in the party refer to as the "War on Women."
Conservative columnist and MSNBC co-host S. E. Cupp was not impressed with Fluke's comments and tweeted, "Feminism weeps as Fluke and other DNC women get on their metaphorical knees to beg for government to take care of them."