Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student who was dragged into the national spotlight after Rush Limbaugh referred to her as a slut, said Wednesday it is time to choose between being “a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won.”
In a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., she warned:
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 that 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; an America in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve access to services, and which don’t.
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Fluke contrasted that possibility with the supportive reception she received from a president who reached out to support her, strangers who lifted her up, and a convention that invited her to speak. She encouraged America to choose to be “a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom,” rather than “one where that freedom doesn’t apply to our bodies and our voices.”