Sandra Fluke Is Relevant, Say Anti-Health Reform Tea Partiers

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A lot of Republicans on the national stage would rather not rehash the battle over Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student who galvanized the left last month when she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh after arguing in favor of contraception coverage.

Not so here outside the Supreme Court, where the justices heard the first day of arguments over health care reform. Fluke was a central topic among the several dozen tea party protesters who gathered outside the court Monday. As a much larger crowd of organized pro-reform activists from labor and other Dem-friendly groups marched in support of the law, one tea partier yelled, “Real women pay for their own birth control!” — a clear reference to Fluke and the fight over contraception access she embodies.Others were more direct. One protester carried a sign that said, “Sandra Fluke I don’t want to pay for your birth control,” which drew criticism from the pro-reform crowd. “Do you agree with what Rush Limbaugh said?” A pro-reform demonstrator yelled into a small group of tea partiers gathered around the sign.

“Do *you* hold the liberal media to the same standard?” A tea partier shot back. A short, heated argument ensued.

Seattle Tea Party Patriot Kelli Carrender told me Fluke is a natural part of the debate as the HCR battle moves to the Court.

“She made herself relevant,” Carrender said. “She’s asking for free birth control.”

Carrender said Fluke has activated forces on the right also. “Whoever pays has the power to decide,” she said. “I surely do not want anyone paying for my birth control so I have the power over what I do with my body.”

Carrender said that Fluke will continue to get shout-outs from the right, despite the controversy following Limbaugh’s attacks. “She said she might be running for office, didn’t she?” Carrender said. “So we’ll see.”

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