Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke will speak at Kansas University in March, delivering this year's Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture.
The lecture, organized by KU's Hall Center for the Humanities, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 27 in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union. It will be free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.
Fluke, now an attorney, was a law student at Georgetown University when she testified in February 2012 at a Democratic U.S. House committee regarding health-insurance coverage of birth control. Commentator Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his radio show, later apologizing for the insults.
She went on to be a supporter of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, and she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in September. Time magazine named her a candidate for its "Person of the Year" title last month.
The lecture, titled "Making our Voices Heard," will concern the need for women to speak up about issues important to them, said Victor Bailey, the director of the Hall Center.
Bailey said Fluke's response to the attacks against her showed why she'd be a worthy speaker.
"Rather than responding in kind, she did, I think, take this media focus and made it into an opportunity to advocate for various social-justice concerns for women," Bailey said.
Before gaining national attention last year, Fluke advocated for the availability of contraception on the Georgetown campus and worked at a domestic violence center in New York City.
The Hall Center has presented the Taylor and Stokstad lecture, named for two leaders on women's rights issues at KU, for about 10 years.