Sandra Fluke: Paul Ryan 'Would Allow Pregnant Women to Die in Our Emergency Rooms'

Susan Jones | September 6, 2012 | 8:40am EDT
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Reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo)

( - When she attended Georgetown law school, Sandra Fluke made a plea for her Jesuit university to provide birth control coverage to struggling students. And as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, Fluke discussed the "offensive" future that could await women if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected.

If the Romney-Ryan team is elected, Fluke said, "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."

Fluke was referring to Ryan's sponsorship of bills protecting the sanctity of life -- including one introduced in 2011 that says human life begins with fertilization; and another, passed by the House, that amends the Democrats' health care law to bar any federal funding of any health insurance plan that pays for abortions.

Fluke and others have interpreted the Protect Life Act to mean that women denied abortion coverage would be left to die. ("When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor, and health care providers do not have to intervene," Rep. Nancy Pelosi said in Dec. 2011.)  

(In fact, the text of the bill does make exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.)

Fluke, in her speech to Democrats, also slammed Romney for standing by when conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh ridiculed her with "hateful slurs." She faulted Romney for not challenging the "extreme, bigoted voices in his own party."

Under Republicans, according to Fluke, this would be a country where "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."

Fluke endorsed a different future under President Obama, where, "First of all, we'd have the right to choose," and "in which we decide when to start our families."

Fluke, now an attorney, headed a "reproductive justice" group during her days at Georgetown Law School.

At an unofficial House  hearing staged by Democrats last February, she said she chose to go to law school at Georgetown because it offers a quality education, but she also expected the school to accommodate students who do not share the Catholic belief that contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization are immoral.

“When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected by this lack of contraceptive coverage," Fluke testified at an unofficial house hearing in February 2012.

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