Free speech is a complex area legally, but it’s important to recognize that there are distinctions between one’s ability to express an opinion versus one’s ability to use F.C.C.-regulated airwaves to do so, and also one’s ability to engage in speech versus one’s ability to engage in slander.

Georgetown Law graduate Sandra Fluke, in a New York Times Magazine interview this weekend. Fluke was launched into the national spotlight after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” for speaking out in favor of affordable contraception.

(An additional excerpt from the interview, after the jump.)

Interviewer Andrew Goldman asked Fluke, “If issues like abortion access and reproductive health are so important to you, why did you choose to go to law school at Georgetown, a Jesuit university?” She responded:

You’re saying I should have read the admissions literature more closely? I made the choice to go to Georgetown based on the factors that most students take into account. They offered me a scholarship, and they have the best public-interest law program that I saw, and they have some really fabulous faculty around feminist jurisprudence. It’s unfortunate that women have to choose between comprehensive affordable health care and the best quality education they can have.

That’s a little long-winded, no? She could have answered the question with a single word: “T14.”

Our Lady of Contraception [New York Times Magazine]

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