The Hill's 25 Women to Watch: Page 25 of 26

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OUTSIDERS

SANDRA FLUKE

GEORGETOWN LAW GRADUATE

If 2012 yielded a political icon, Sandra Fluke would almost certainly be it.

Fluke, 31, was thrust into the spotlight after she was prevented from testifying on Capitol Hill in favor of President Obama’s birth-control coverage mandate.

Now, the Georgetown Law graduate has gone from a punching bag for Rush Limbaugh (the conservative radio host infamously called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” for supporting Obama’s policy) to a sought-after surrogate for Democratic candidates around the country.

The role of Dem-campaigner-du-jour has taken her from Florida to Washington state to Ohio to Massachusetts, where she stumped for Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren last week. 

Fluke’s rising star also netted her a speech at the Democratic National Convention, where she blasted Republicans for desiring a future for women’s healthcare that “looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past.”

Originally from small-town Pennsylvania, Fluke pursued feminist and gender studies as an undergraduate at Cornell University and went on to work at a nonprofit group against domestic violence before choosing Georgetown Law.

Now a resident of Los Angeles, Fluke (pronounced like “book”) recently said she’s ready to talk about more than women’s healthcare and birth control.

“I think, perhaps, anti-poverty work,” she told National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm this month.

“I think I’ll be doing public policy work rather than litigation,” Fluke said. “And I’m sure that that’s going to focus on issues of social justice.”

Asked if she would ever run for office, Fluke didn’t rule it out.

“Maybe it’s something that I would think about someday,” she told the radio host. “It’s not my focus at this particular moment, but I am really concerned that we don’t see enough women in office.”

— Elise Viebeck

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