CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sandra Fluke on Wednesday offered a dire vision of the future if Mitt Romney is elected president, one where rape would be redefined, women would be forced to have ultrasounds against their wishes, and access to birth control would be controlled by men.
Calling GOP positions “an offensive, obsolete relic of our past,” Fluke told delegates at the Democratic National Convention that “we know what this America would look like and in few shorts months that’s the American we could be, but that’s not the America that we should be, and it’s not who we are.”
Fluke was referring to a host of Republican moves, including measures to narrow the definition of rape to include only those that are “forcible,” as well as attempts by Republicans in some states to force women seeking abortions to undergo a vaginal ultrasound and efforts to curb funding for Planned Parenthood, a leading source of contraception for poor and younger women.
She was a symbolic presence in a convention that has been dominated by Democrats reaching out for the votes of women. She is the Georgetown University law student whose comments about the need for Catholic universities to provide contraceptive coverage prompted radio host Rush Limbaugh to call her a “slut.”
Fluke noted that President Obama strongly supported her and spoke out against the slur, while Romney failed to do so. Obama’s reelection would ensure that the nations remains “an America in which our president, when he hears that a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters, not his delegates or donors.”
She also questioned whether Americans would be living under a president who “has our back” or one who “turns his back,” and whether the nation would be “a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to refight battles they already won.”
“Over the last six months I’ve seen what these two futures look like, and six months from now, we’re all going to be living in one future or the other, but only one,” she said.