By Mike Lillis - 03/01/12 01:23 AM EST
House Democrats went after Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday for his attacks on a university student who recently testified before Congress on women’s reproductive health.
Limbaugh on Wednesday called Georgetown University Law Center student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her support of the Obama administration’s new birth-control mandate.
Limbaugh’s attacks, the Democrats said, “are outside the circle of civilized discussion and … unmask the strong disrespect for women held by some in this country.”
“We call upon the Republican leaders in the House to condemn these vicious attacks on Ms. Fluke, which are in response to her testimony to the Congress,” they added.
Aside from Pelosi, Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (Md.) and Diana DeGette (Colo.) — as well as Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D.C.) — endorsed the message.
Fluke has become something of an unwitting celebrity on Capitol Hill this month after Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee denied the Democrats’ request to have her testify on Obama’s new birth-control mandate. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) argued that the policy concerns religious freedom, not reproductive health.
Democrats pounced, hoping to portray the Republicans as out of touch with women’s healthcare needs. To highlight the saga, Democratic leaders had Fluke discuss the issue last week before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
That testimony led Limbaugh to claim Wednesday that Fluke “wants to be paid to have sex.”
“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan [sic] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?” Limbaugh asked. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.
“She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
Pelosi and the Democrats are hoping such statements from conservatives will help them with independent voters — particularly women — in November.
“Democrats will always stand up for women’s health and women’s voices,” they concluded in their statement.