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Meet the woman who could win it for Obama

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Eight months ago no-one knew her name, but Sandra Fluke has become the talking point of the American presidential campaign

Picture credits: Getty Images

When an unknown 31-year-old woman was called a “slut” on live US radio, no-one knew she would become one of the most influential players in the American presidential race. But law student and feminist activist Sandra Fluke is dominating newspaper headlines and even joining Barack Obama on his campaign trail. So how did she get here?

16 February

Fluke (a pro-abortion activist and women’s rights campaigner) gives a speech to a Democrat committee lobbying for contraception to be covered by health insurance. The Republicans refuse to allow to her speak at their committee hearing on the subject, saying she is not qualified enough.

29 February

During his US radio talk show, conservative Rush Limbaugh calls Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” and suggests that if her proposals become law, taxes would be “paying” for women to have sex.

3 March

The comments cause a ferocious public outcry. Fluke receives a personal call from Obama, asking her to join his campaign.

8 August

Fluke introduces Obama to a fired-up Denver crowd. In her speech, she discusses the Republicans’ “war on women”, saying, “I was verbally attacked. President Obama came to my defence.”

5 September

Fluke appears as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention alongside Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Michelle Obama. With the election on 6 November, the extent of Fluke’s impact remains to be seen, but her influence could be vital. And, as she pointed out, “Two profoundly different futures await women.”

What are your thoughts on Sandra Fluke's contraception campaign, and her contribution to Obama's re-election bid? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below

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