The Democratic National Convention Committee announced this morning that it is adding a fresh crop of female speakers to the 2012 convention line-up, sending a fresh signal that the party does not plan to let the Todd Akin opportunity go to waste. The list of speakers includes prominent abortion rights advocates, Wisconsin’s openly lesbian Democratic Senate candidate, and liberal media darling Sandra Fluke, the contraception activist/Georgetown University law student who gained political celebrity status after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” on his radio show last spring.
Here’s the full list:
- Wisconsin Congresswoman/Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin
- Illinois congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, a disabled veteran who is running against Tea Party firebrand Joe Walsh
- Sandra Fluke
- Caroline Kennedy
- Lily Ledbetter, the inspiration for the equal pay law signed by President Barack Obama in 2009
- Eva Longoria
- Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, who will appear with the other female Democratic Senators
- Denise Juneau, Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and the first American Indian woman elected to hold statewide office there
- Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
- Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
The unofficial “Ladies Night” line-up is a clear indication that women’s issues will be a key focus of the Democratic National Convention this year, as the party seeks to capitalise on Missouri Republican Todd Akin’s recent comments suggesting that victims of “legitimate rape” are at reduced risk for pregnancy.
While the GOP leadership has publicly shunned Akin, Democrats are quickly seizing the opportunity to highlight the party’s staunchly conservative stance on abortion and contraception. Meanwhile, Akin announced Wednesday morning that he will not attend the Republican National Convention, at the request of the party’s leadership.
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