Ottawa Citizen

Student gets Limbaugh apology

- DAN WHITCOMB

Right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, roundly criticized for branding a law student a “slut” over her support for President Barack Obama’s new policy on contracept­ion coverage, apologized on Saturday for his “insulting word choices.”

The furor over Limbaugh’s comments, made on his influentia­l radio program, prompted Obama to call Sandra Fluke, the 30-year-old Georgetown University law student and women’s rights activist, on Friday to express his support.

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

Fluke, who has advocated making contracept­ion available to all women, has been caught in the middle of a contentiou­s election-year fight between Obama and Republican­s over his policy that requires health-insurance plans to cover contracept­ion.

Religious-affiliated organizati­ons, the Roman Catholic Church and social conservati­ves have protested the policy as an infringeme­nt on religious liberty. An effort by Republican­s in the Senate to overturn it failed this week.

Fluke told lawmakers in a Democratic House of Representa­tives hearing last month that students at Georgetown, the Washington, D.C., school that is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country, suffered financial hardship because contracept­ion was not covered by their health-care insurance. Her comments drew the ire of Limbaugh.

“What does it say about the college co-ed Fluke who goes before a congressio­nal committee and essentiall­y says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” Limbaugh said on his show. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

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