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Women’s health activist Sandra Fluke touts importance of birth control at SMU forum

Excerpt

The following story ran in the Sept. 25, 2012, edition of the Dallas Morning News.

September 25, 2012

By Tom Benning

UNIVERSITY PARK — Reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke — vaulted into the national political whirlwind earlier this year after being called a prostitute by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh — cast the debate over women’s health Monday as a battle over gender equality.

Fluke, a recent graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a prominent supporter of President Barack Obama, avoided the more overt political talk that has marked her recent appearances and focused instead on how the availability of birth control could impact opportunities for women.

“Over the last few decades, having open and wide access to contraception was something that made an incredible difference in women being able to have careers and being able to be part of our larger public discourse,” she said at a program hosted by SMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program....

And as Fluke and her panel colleagues — Planned Parenthood North Texas president Ken Lambrecht and SMU professors Charles Curran and Linda Eads — answered audience questions, several attendees challenged the event’s prevailing viewpoint and shared their objections to abortion....