Sandra Fluke to Speak at Democratic Convention

By Penny Starr | August 22, 2012 | 4:08pm EDT

Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke testifying in February before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. (AP Photo)

( – The Democratic National Committee has lined up several abortion and birth-control advocates to speak at its national convention in Charlotte, N.C., next month.

Those speakers include Sandra Fluke, who as a law student at Georgetown University Law Center told House members at a makeshift hearing in February that fellow students suffer from a lack of access to affordable contraceptives at the Catholic school.

“When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected by this lack of contraceptive coverage," Fluke said at the Feb. 24 hearing. "One told us about how embarrassed and just powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter and learned for the first time that contraception was not covered on her insurance and she had to turn and walk away because she couldn’t afford that prescription.

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“Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception,” Fluke said.

Since then, Fluke has been a rising star on the left, starting with President Barack Obama calling her to congratulate her on her testimony. On Aug. 8, Fluke introduced Obama at a campaign event in Colorado, she had joined conference calls with U.S. lawmakers, and the DNC announced on Tuesday that Fluke will be one of the “women leaders” to speak at its convention Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.

“I was verbally attacked,” Fluke said before introducing the president in Denver. She was referring to controversial comments by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who used derogatory language to describe Fluke. “President Obama came to my defense. He had my back. Mr. Romney said only ‘those were not the words I would choose.’ Well, Mr. Romney, you’re not going to be the candidate I will choose,” Fluke said.

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“President Obama had my back. He has your back,” Fluke said. “Now, we need to have his back.”

Other women scheduled to speak at the Democratic convention include two additional pro-abortion advocates – Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria – billed as a co-chair of the Obama campaign – also will speak.

The other women touted as leaders on the DNC website who will speak at the convention are the first openly gay member of Congress, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for a Senate seat, Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Democrat candidate for Congress from Illinois Tammy Duckworth, Caroline Kennedy, and Lily Ledbetter, for whom the Democrats' "Fair Pay" act is named.

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