Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student who has become a key symbol in the War on Women, said at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday that she refuses to engage in a "playground mouth battle" with the right.
"One of the things we have to grapple with in the women's movement and in the reproductive rights movement is that we feel very much under attack. We feel so much under attack that we're taking a very reactionary approach," Fluke advised progressive activists. She noted that she could better connect with those she aimed to reach by staying focused. "We have to start talking about the stories otherwise the other side will talk about them for us."
People in America "are fed up with the over-the-top crazy rhetoric," Fluke said. Her approach is to stay on message, she said, and not engage in a "playground mouth battle" with the right.
Republicans refused to allow her to testify on an all-male panel in February before Congress about the implications of requiring all employers, even Catholic ones who oppose the use of contraception on religious grounds, to cover birth control as preventative care.
Fluke, a Georgetown law student, later testified before a Democratic-organized hearing that her friend had a medical condition that required her to take hormonal birth control, even though her friend identified as a lesbian.
After her testimony, Fluke became the subject of a Rush Limbaugh rant in which he called her a "slut," a "whore" and demanded she upload sex videos for America to watch since she was demanding taxpayers pick up the cost of her birth control.
Fluke is scheduled to receive the "Woman of Courage" award from the National Organization of Women later this month.