Sandra Fluke Presented with Student Policy Award for Reproductive Rights Advocacy

Center for Reproductive Rights, American Constitution Society recognize Fluke’s efforts to broaden women’s access to contraception
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(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights, in partnership with the American Constitution Society (ACS), presented Sandra Fluke with the Student Policy Advocacy award on Saturday in honor of her commitment to reproductive rights and her advocacy for broadened health insurance coverage of contraception for all women.
Fluke was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this year when she testified before a Democratic congressional panel—after initially being barred from the now infamous hearing where only men were allowed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee—on the Obama Administration’s commitment to preserve the copay-free birth control benefit for all women under the Affordable Care Act.
“On a daily basis, I hear yet from another woman from Georgetown or from another school or who works for a religiously-affiliated employer, and they tell me that they have suffered financially and emotionally and medically because of this lack of coverage,” said Fluke in her March 2012 testimony.
Her testimony sparked a heated national debate about women’s access to contraception and religious objections of their employers—which included a number of hostile verbal attacks from conservative media personalities towards Fluke personally.
“We honor Sandra Fluke not only for speaking out forcefully in defense of a long-overdue step forward for women’s reproductive health, but also for her refusal to back down in the face of utterly repellent attacks on her character,” said Bebe Anderson, director of U.S. legal programs at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“In her dignity and courage, she has exposed the stark contrast between those who seek to advance women’s equality, empowerment, and fundamental rights and those whose base hostility toward women only poisons the public debate on these issues.”
“It is an honor to accept this award from such tenacious and effective advocates and defenders of women’s fundamental rights,” said Fluke. “The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Constitution Society are battling on the front lines to ensure the constitutional protections of our individual freedoms are not worn away by the kind of vicious attacks that have been leveled in the contraception debate. I am proud to stand beside them today.”
Anderson, along with ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson, co-presented the award to Ms. Fluke at the ACS 2012 National Convention in Washington, D.C.
“In this critical year that has brought such a deluge of assaults on women’s rights, ACS is excited to join the Center for Reproductive Rights in presenting Sandra Fluke this award,” said Fredrickson. “We are committed to supporting the next generation of progressive lawyers and Sandra is a shining example of what law students can achieve when they are devoted to the principles of the Constitution.”
Protecting and broadening women's access to contraception has been a top priority in the Center’s 20 year history. The Center has undertaken a variety of initiatives to make contraception more readily available, including an ongoing federal lawsuit to lift the FDA’s unnecessary age restrictions on emergency contraceptives and working to dispel the myths espoused by the opponents of the co-pay free birth control provision of the Affordable Care Act.
The Center’s Law School Initiative, which was launched in 2008 to support and invigorate scholarship and teaching about reproductive rights in law schools, has previously given the Student Policy Award to student groups at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and the University of Washington School of Law.