Womens’ rights activist Sandra Fluke, who became a lightning rod in the debate over contraception rights this year, said Wednesday that the phrase “War on Women” isn’t just a disagreement regarding policy on reproductive issues or a way to frame the discussion over them.
“To me, the frame is less important than what policies we’re seeing,” Fluke told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. “I do feel like women feel they’re under attack.”
Republican policy on issues ranging from the Violence Against Women Act, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – both at the national level and in Wisconsin – and reproductive health care, Fluke said, have not gone unnoticed over the past two years.
“Women feel that,” she said. “They really do feel like this is a shift, and not in their favor.”
O’Brien cited recent polls showing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had slightly improved his standing among women voters after his party’s national convention last week, but Fluke was quick to point out that the former Massachusetts governor still trails President Barack Obama in those polls, 54 percent to 42.
And recent attempts by Romney and his running-mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), to distance themselves from Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) infamous “legitimate rape” remarks, Fluke said, are “disturbing.”
“He’s taken so many different ones on the issue of access to abortion,” said Fluke of Romney, who recently said he supported an exception allowing rape victims to get abortions. “And I don’t expect to see a leader moving and quivering with the political times.”
Watch Fluke’s interview with O’Brien, aired Wednesday on Starting Point, below.