For me the interesting part of the story is the ever-evolving “coed”. I put that in quotes because in the beginning she was described as a Georgetown law student. It was then revealed that prior to attending Georgetown she was an active women’s right advocate. In one of her first interviews she is quoted as talking about how she reviewed Georgetown’s insurance policy prior to committing to attend, and seeing that it didn’t cover contraceptive services, she decided to attend with the express purpose of battling this policy. During this time, she was described as a 23-year-old coed. Magically, at the same time Congress is debating the forced coverage of contraception, she appears and is even brought to Capitol Hill to testify. This morning, in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, it was revealed that she is 30 years old, NOT the 23 that had been reported all along.
In other words, folks, you are being played. She has been an activist all along and the Dems were just waiting for the appropriate time to play her.
While she is described as a “third year law student” they always fail to mention that she is also the past president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
Does your campus’s LSRJ chapter face opposition in regard to facilitating a comprehensive conversation about reproductive justice? Well mine definitely does! While my campus has a mix of people with different backgrounds, and a rich liberal arts community, the Midwest doesn’t exactly scream bleeding liberal. Some LSRJ chapters at conservative campuses face opposition in the form of other, more conservative, student run organizations; some face it from their administrations, and others from their peers, or the community in general. Whatever the opposition is, it can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening.
The question is, how do we combat this conservative opposition and oppression, in order to facilitate a discussion and educate others about the RJ movement? I am obviously not alone in facing these problems, as Sandra Fluke of Georgetown lead a packed room in a discussion on this question at the first Issue Caucus that I attended at the Leadership Institute, LSRJ’s national conference at Berkeley.
While no solution was definitively reached, and I personally don’t begin to have the “right” answer, I was really charged by the discussion and feel many great ideas were presented. Some campus chapters decided to take an adversarial approach, feeling it important to use those “scary” words the opposition fears.
Further background research on Ms Fluke reveals that she got her start in government in New York in 2009.
Sandra Fluke’s professional background in domestic violence and human trafficking began with Sanctuary for Families in New York City. There, she launched the agency’s pilot Program Evaluation Initiative. While at Sanctuary, she co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which after a twenty-year stalemate, successfully advocated for legislation granting access to civil orders of protection for unmarried victims of domestic violence, including LGBTQ victims and teens. Sandra was also a member of the Manhattan Borough President’s Taskforce on Domestic Violence and numerous other New York City and New York State coalitions that successfully advocated for policy improvements impacting victims of domestic violence.
As the 2010 recipient of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant, she researched, wrote, and produced an instructional film on how to apply for a domestic violence restraining order in pro per. She has also interned with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking; Polaris Project; Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County; Break the Cycle; the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project; NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; Crime Victim and Sexual Assault Services; and the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County.
Through Georgetown’s clinic programs, Sandra has proposed legislation based on fact-finding in Kenya regarding child trafficking for domestic work, and has represented victims of domestic violence in protection order cases. Sandra is the Development Editor of the Journal of Gender and the Law, and served as the President of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and the Vice President of the Women’s Legal Alliance. In her first year, she also co-founded a campus committee addressing human trafficking. Cornell University awarded her a B. S. in Policy Analysis & Management, as well as Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies in 2003.
My only question is, how does someone go from being a champion of domestic violence issues to an expert of women’s reproductive health issues?