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CNN's Will Cain Grills Sandra Fluke Over Contraception Op-Ed (VIDEO)

Posted: 03/13/2012 11:11 am Updated: 03/13/2012 11:29 am

Cain Fluke

CNN contributor Will Cain attempted to grill Sandra Fluke over her recent op-ed about contraception on Tuesday's "Starting Point."

Fluke, a Georgetown law student, became the center of national attention when radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified at a hearing about the Obama administration's policy on contraception. She has spoken out about the controversy and her stance since then.

Fluke advocated insurance-covered contraception in an editorial on CNN.com on Tuesday. "Restricting access to such a basic health care service, which 99% of sexually experienced American women have used and 62% of American women are using right now, is out of touch with public sentiment," she wrote.

That morning, Cain questioned her use of the word "access" to discuss whether health care providers should cover contraception. "I hope you and I can agree on one term of this debate," he said. "That is, no one is attempting to ban contraception or limit access and make it illegal for women to have this. The debate is about who should be providing it, who should be paying for it."

Fluke disagreed, arguing that health insurance plans that do not cover contraception still pose a significant obstacle for women.

"Not covering it as a health care benefit the way other types of health care benefits are covered is another way to limit access and that’s what many women across the country are currently experiencing,” she maintained.

Cain continued to press her on the issue. He suggested that making contraception a health benefit could be a slippery slope for insurance companies.

"But Sandra, couldn't that same logic be applied to so many other things that health care doesn't cover, such as gym memberships?" he asked. "Exercise is important to health. Couldn't that logic you're using saying access is denied because it's not being offered to you for some reduced price apply to so many things?"

Fluke said that Cain's analogy was "not a fair comparison" to make. "There are many types of preventive health care services that are covered, things like blood pressure medication, for example," she said. "And women are merely asking that their health be taken just as seriously."

Debate over abortion and contraception
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    In this April 5, 2008 file photo, Garry B. Trudeau, cartoonist and creator of "Doonesbury," speaks in New Haven, Conn. Universal Press Syndicate will offer replacement Doonesbury comic strips next week to newspapers that don't want to run a series focusing on a Texas law that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion, officials said Friday, March 9. 2012. (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

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  • FILE - In this Thursday, March 1, 2012 photo, Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, speaks during a news conference held by Personhood Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. The group, which wants to ban abortions in Oklahoma, is launching a signature drive with the goal of amending the state Constitution to define a fertilized human egg as a human being. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University and former president of the Students for Reproductive Justice group there, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee February 23, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Fluke was blocked from testifying at last week's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's contraceptives hearing. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee February 23, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was to hear testimony from Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University and former president of the Students for Reproductive Justice group there, who was blocked from testifying at last week's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's contraceptives hearing. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2010 file photo, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh speaks during a news conference at The Queen's Medical Center looks on in Honolulu, after he was rushed to the hospital after experiencing chest pains during a vacation. Limbaugh, who for a quarter-century of radio dominance has gained clout and wealth with his salvos against Democrats, liberals, minorities, the poor and other disenfranchised groups. On his radio show, Limbaugh called Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke a "slut" who wanted the government to subsidize her sex life. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file )

  • FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2011, file photo Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. is launching a petition to pull radio talk show host Russ Limbaugh's show off the air after his comments about a Georgetown University law student. And in her latest attempt to link her opponent in a tight Senate race to national controversy over contraception, she's asking Heller, the incumbent Republican senator, to sign it. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 11, 2011 file photo shows Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in Las Vegas. Berkley is launching a petition to pull the Rush Limbaugh show off the air after the conservative talk radio host's comments about a Georgetown University law student. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

  • Georgetown University law student and activist Sandra Fluke, center, speaks as co-hosts Joy Behar, left, and Sherri Shepherd listen during an appearance on the daytime talk show, "The View," Monday, March 5, 2012 in New York. Fluke talked about conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and the comments he made on his program after she testified to Democratic members of Congress in support of a requirement that health care companies provide coverage for contraception. Fluke told ABC's "The View" on Monday that she hasn't heard from Limbaugh since he issued a written apology late Saturday. (AP Photo/ABC, Lou Rocco)

  • In this Feb. 28, 2012, photo, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to reporters following a Republicans strategy session at the Capitol in Washington. The Senate is debating Republican legislation aimed at taking a bite out of President Barack Obama's health care law. The measure, sponsored by Blunt, would allow insurers and employers to opt out of any requirements to which they object on moral or religious grounds. That includes the recently rewritten policy that shifts the cost of contraceptive coverage to insurers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Democrats speak with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 1, 2012, after they defeated a Republican effort to roll back President Barack Obama's policy on contraception insurance coverage. From left are, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Filed by Katherine Fung  |