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Rush Limbaugh apologizes to Sandra Fluke for 'slut,' other remarks

March 03, 2012|By Kim Geiger

Reporting from Washington — Rush Limbaugh apologized on Saturday for calling a woman who had spoken out in support of expanding contraceptive coverage a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his show.

His comments about Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown, drew rebukes from people on both ends of the political spectrum and caused sponsors to pull their ads from his show. President Obama weighed in on Friday with a phone call to Fluke in which he expressed support for her and thanked her for speaking out.

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week," Limbaugh wrote in a statement posted to his website. “In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”

Fluke drew Limbaugh's attention after she spoke in favor of the Obama administration's policy requiring health plans to cover contraception at a mock congressional hearing organized by Democratic lawmakers. In her testimony, she advocated for an employee's right to contraceptives as a part of health insurance coverage. She did not argue that the government should pay for contraceptives, but said employers and universities that offer health insurance plans should ensure such coverage is included in those plans.

“I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress,” Limbaugh wrote in his apology statement. “I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities….If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?”

Limbaugh went on to say that he believes “it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a presidential level.”

In her testimony, Fluke argued that contraceptive coverage was important for women’s health and she focused on its medical uses beyond preventing pregnancy. She told the story of a friend who lost an ovary because she did not have access to birth control, which might have prevented the growth of a cyst.

Limbaugh had characterized her argument as an attempt to “be paid to have sex.”

 “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” Limbaugh concluded. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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