Conservatives, with their disregard and vitriol, have virtually willed third-year Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke into national fame. Yesterday, she used her national platform to speak with Melissa and our audience about the rampant politicization of women and their reproductive rights by, well, the Right.
She expressed her cautious support for Friday's White House announcement that, according to the New York Times, would guarantee their federal mandate for health insurance coverage of contraceptives would apply to the many Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies that insure themselves. Also guaranteed, per the report: access to free coverage of contraceptives for women working for and studying at the university.
I say "cautious support" because this announcement, while a defense of their controversial federal mandate, was also a compromise. Fluke, on yesterday's show:
I am concerned that some universities and employers will take the opportunity of the one-year potential delay to continue to not adequately provide for their students' and their employees' health needs. So that's really what I'm focusing on as a next step...this kind of a delay is not something a university has to do, and their university should hear from them if they don't want a delay.
Melissa, Fluke and our in-studio guests also discussed the recent spate of mandatory-sonogram laws -- including an incredible act of what Esther Armah and Allison Kilkenny properly recognized as citizen journalism: the recent Texas Observer cover story about a mother's painful quest to end her second pregnancy after a major birth defect was discovered. Again, I recommend reading the article, and watching the full segment below.
For the past 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act has been extended through Congress problem-free. However this time around, conservatives are threatening the outcome of the re-authorization - that provides protection for women's health and safety - due to oppositions to new additions to the bill. Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who has been at the epicenter of much of the recent women's health debate, joins the Melissa Harris-Perry Show to discuss why the act is such a hot-button topic.