Women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke ’03 fired up the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday night in a prime time speech that provided a stark contrast between presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
On election day in November, Fluke said, voters will have a choice between “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.”
Fluke was famously shut out of a Congressional hearing on contraception in February after Republican lawmakers refused to hear her testimony. She was later verbally assaulted by conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called Fluke a “prostitute” and “slut” for advocating the inclusion of contraceptives in health insurance plans, The Sun reported on March 5. Limbaugh later apologized.
In her speech on Wednesday, Fluke painted a dark picture of the nation under Romney’s leadership, saying “offensive, obsolete” Republican positions would lead to “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.”
"I'm here because I spoke out, and this November, each of us must speak out,” Fluke told the enthusiastic audience.
At Cornell, Fluke was an interdisciplinary major in the College of Human Ecology. She served as president of Students Acting for Gender Equality and treasurer of the Society for Human Resource Management, according to the Cornell Chronicle. She now attends Georgetown Law School.