US politics are notoriously nasty. Throw the media's talking heads (especially those from the far right) into the mix and things get even uglier. Currently, the US administration is discussing the option of making coverage for contraceptives, in particular the pill, a required part of medical insurance. The proposal has sparked outrage on the part of social conservatives.
A law student from Georgetown, Sandra Fluke, recently spoke before the House in support of the proposal. Rush Limbaugh, perhaps the most popular of the conservative talking heads, weighed in on her testimony and set off a furor. He suggested that by making contraceptives a required part of health insurance, women like Sandra were being paid to have sex (i.e., because her contraceptives would be paid for by her insurance, which in his head equates to paying her to be able to have sex).
On Wednesday, the radio host [Limbaugh] disparaged Fluke, saying the law student wants '"taxpayers to pay her to have sex."
"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?" Limbaugh asked. "What does that make her? 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."
On her part, Fluke said in an interview with CNN that she felt "upset and outraged" when she first read online that Limbaugh had personally attacked her.
"I felt probably the way many women do when they are called those types of names," Fluke said. "Initially hurt and then very quickly upset and outraged because somebody is trying to silence you."
On Friday, President Barack Obama called Fluke to offer his support to the law student, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Even all the Republicans are calling out Limbaugh. Read about their responses here.