In early February, Fluke — who said she is Protestant — joined students from other universities for a news conference about birth control coverage at Catholic institutions. That appearance caught the eye of staff members working for Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who asked her to testify at a hearing on Feb. 16.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) would not approve Fluke as a witness, angering Democrats who then arranged for Fluke to read her testimony at a forum on Feb. 23.
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student thrust into the national spotlight when radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" for pushing for greater access to contraceptive coverage, sat down for an extended interview with CBS News Friday to respond to the remarks.
Georgetown Law Center student Sandra Fluke on Thursday testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee during a mock hearing on women's health and contraception. (Feb. 23)
Fluke did not talk about her own sex life or use of contraceptives as she spoke that day. Instead, she cited experiences that she said law classmates had shared: Students who pay as much as $1,000 a year out-of-pocket for a birth-control prescription, a married woman who stopped taking the pill because she couldn’t afford it, and a friend who needed the prescription for a medical condition unrelated to pregnancy but gave up battling to get it.
“We did not expect that women would be told in the national media that we should have gone to school elsewhere” to receive contraception coverage, Fluke’s testimony stated.
“We refuse to pick between a quality education and our health.”
Limbaugh brought up Fluke’s statement on his talk show on Wednesday.
He equated the demand for coverage of contraception with getting paid to have sex: “She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.”
The next day, Limbaugh again brought up Fluke on his show, saying to Fluke and other women, “Here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
About her own use of contraceptives, Fluke said: “I’m not going to discuss my personal life for very obvious reasons.”
As her week ended, Fluke remained focused on her points as she spoke about the rights of women and the need for civil dialogue instead of name-calling.
“I did not think that this kind of concern could be controversial at this point,” she said.