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Sandra Fluke hits the campaign trail with Obama

August 08, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • Georgetown University law student and activist Sandra Fluke will introduce President Obama at an event in Denver on Tuesday.
Georgetown University law student and activist Sandra Fluke will introduce… (Lou Rocco / ABC / AP Photo )

WASHINGTON – Law student Sandra Fluke became a national figure last winter after she spoke publicly in favor of requiring insurance companies to cover contraception – and then was criticized by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for those remarks.

The critique might not have been such a big deal if Limbaugh hadn’t used the word “slut” to describe Fluke. He later apologized for his choice of words.

But now Fluke is hoping to use the ensuing notoriety to help President Obama and other candidates she says are standing up for the rights of women around the country.

On Tuesday her speaking tour takes her to Denver, where she is set to introduce Obama before an audience that could play a pivotal role in his effort to win that swing state. Suburban women are especially critical to the Obama strategy there.

As part of the outreach, the Obama campaign also released a new online video Tuesday featuring actress Elizabeth Banks as she talks about her personal experience with Planned Parenthood and her view of the president’s positions on women's health.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney's appeals to women voters have been broad-based and focused on his vision for improving economic prosperity. Though Obama leads Romney among women voters nationwide, new polling data suggests the margin is not as great in Colorado as in other battleground states.

Fluke, who graduated from Georgetown Law School this past spring and has just taken the California bar exam, said she called the Obama campaign and volunteered to help in their outreach.

"This is a pivotal moment for us," Fluke said in an interview Tuesday, as she made her way through Los Angeles traffic on the way to Colorado.

"We have a choice between someone who has stood up for women's health and defended our access to affordable healthcare,” she said, “and a candidate that has outright promised to turn back the clock on women's health and women's rights.”

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

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