Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke said on the Today Show that she was stunned by Rush Limbaugh's recent attacks on her, after she supported a provision in President Obama's health plan that would require insurers to provide coverage for contraceptives.
On Wednesday, Limbaugh called the woman a slut and a prostitute, saying that Fluke wanted Americans to subsidize her sex life by paying for her contraception. Yesterday, Limbaugh said Fluke should post videos of her sex life online, since the public was paying for her birth control.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with a half-dozen other members of Congress, repudiated Limbaugh for his "vicious attacks" against Fluke. And Carly Fiorini, the National Republican Senatorial Committee Vice-Chairman, said on CBS's "This Morning" that the language is insulting and distracting from the issue.
Fluke appeared at an unofficial Congressional hearing after she was turned away from testifying about women's access to contraception at an all-male panel hearing. Fluke said that a fellow student ended up losing an ovary, because she couldn't afford contraceptives which would have prevented cysts from growing.
The Senate yesterday narrowly defeated the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers and insurers to opt out of parts of President Obama's Affordable Care Act on moral grounds.
But Republican presidential candidates are still talking making this an issue on the campaign trail, voicing their support for the Blunt amendment.
Washington Post conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer earlier wrote that Rick Santorum lost this week's primaries, in part, because the candidate focused on birth control.
Speaking on Fox News, Krauthammer said:
“On contraception, an issue which has been decided, settled in the country a half century ago, he’s on the wrong side of that. And you saw that in the women’s vote! Santorum came dead even on the men vote. And the women’s vote he lost by 5% and that’s what cost him the election."
- David Mark, senior editor for Politico
This segment aired on March 2, 2012.