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Women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke to speak at SMU on Sept. 24

She will discuss women’s health care, reproductive rights, and the media

September 11, 2012

Sandra FlukeDALLAS (SMU) — Women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke — the Georgetown University law student Rush Limbaugh verbally attacked earlier this year for supporting contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act — will be at SMU Sept. 24 to discuss “Economics and Equality: How Obstacles to Women’s Health Care Access Affect Us All.”

Fluke’s appearance, set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater, 3140 Dyer St. (lower level), will be free and open to the public. It is sponsored by SMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program with support from the Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences, Embrey Human Rights Program and Office of the Provost.

On the heels of Fluke’s rallying speech at the Democratic National Convention Sept. 5, and her March testimony before a Democratic steering committee, “Sandra Fluke is emerging as one of our most outspoken advocates for reproductive rights and women’s health issues,” says Beth Newman, director of SMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program and associate professor of English.

“Our goal is not to stage a debate between adversaries who hurl worn-out sound bites at one another. We want to offer students and the community an informed discussion about the relationship between reproductive rights and women’s health and how the conversation plays out in the media.”

Joining Fluke for the panel discussion will be:

  • Charles E. Curran, SMU’s Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, “who can provide insight, as a moral theologian and loyal dissenter within the Catholic Church, into some of the issues Fluke raised in her testimony last March,” Newman says.
  • SMU Associate Provost and Dedman School of Law Professor Linda Eads, who can add legal expertise to the discussion.
  • Ken Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Texas, “who can speak about how the Texas legislature’s recent defunding of all Planned Parenthood clinics is affecting women’s health,” Newman says.
  • Event moderator Karen Thomas, SMU Meadows School of the Arts Professor of Practice. The award-winning journalist has 25 years’ experience covering the news as well as health and family issues.

For more information, visit SMU's Women's and Gender Studies Program or send an email to

Sandra Fluke speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

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