Reproductive health care advocate Sandra Fluke has filed papers to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in California. According to the Washington Post, the former Georgetown University student is running in the Democratic primary to fill the seat left vacant by the retirement of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).
A spokesperson for the California Democratic Party confirmed to the Post that Fluke has filed paperwork to run in the primary for California’s 33rd District. Other candidates for the seat include former Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel (D) and state Sen. Ted Lieu (D).
Fluke rose to prominence in 2012 after testifying before a Senate committee on the birth control mandate included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.”
Fluke was appearing before the all-male committee to tell the story of a fellow Georgetown graduate student who was unable to afford birth control pills to treat an ovarian cyst. Georgetown, a Catholic university, did not cover contraceptive costs under insurance policies for faculty, staff and students.
Conservatives — led by AM talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh — pounced on Fluke as an example of everything they believe is wrong about liberal women. Limbaugh famously called her a “slut” and said that if she wants free contraception, she should get it by videotaping her sexual encounters and posting them online for him to watch.
Limbaugh’s verbal assault and the right-wing pile-on that followed only elevated Fluke to national prominence and helped to fuel the exodus of women voters away from the Republican Party in the electoral race between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).