In a development sure to irritate Rush Limbaugh, lawyer and reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke said Thursday that she’s considering running for Congress, thanks to the impending retirement of Rep. Henry Waxman. Fluke rose to prominence in 2012 when House Republicans banned her at the last minute from testifying at a committee hearing on Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Her support for birth control coverage soon made her the target of a series of sexist rants by Limbaugh, and she eventually became a surrogate in President Obama’s reelection campaign.
"I'm flattered that I'm being discussed as a potential candidate, especially for Rep. Waxman's seat, considering his incredible legacy," Fluke said in a statement. "A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running. I'll be making my decision soon."
In 2012, Fluke was set to testify in front of a House committee on the value of contraception coverage for women’s health care plans. However, the GOP blocked Democrats from adding her as a witness on the day of the hearing, the result being a committee hearing on women’s health care that didn’t have any women on the panel. The incident became a symbol of the Republican Party’s general attitude towards women’s health; this was enforced when Limbaugh, a few days after the incident, called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for supporting contraceptive coverage under her health plan.
The backlash was swift. Limbaugh lost a ton of sponsors, while Fluke — who ultimately did testify in front of an all-Democratic committee — went on to campaign for Obama and speak at the Democratic National Committee.