Dems want Boehner to "repudiate" Limbaugh's comments

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- A group of Democratic members of Congress are continuing the political war over contraception and the latest move puts House Speaker John Boehner on the spot. Seventy-five lawmakers are urging the speaker to "repudiate" comments made by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The Democrats signed a letter to the speaker over comments Limbaugh made on his show on Wednesday calling a Georgetown University law student and women's health advocate a "prostitute" and a "slut" after her testimony before a mock Congressional hearing on birth control coverage.

Using the airwaves to launch a "direct attack on a private citizen is unacceptable," New York Rep. Louise Slaughter wrote to Speaker Boehner. "Mr. Limbaugh repeatedly used sexually charged, patently offensive, and obscene language to malign the character of this courageous young woman who has chosen to be the voice for many of her peers," the letter said.

Boehner's spokesperson declined to comment on on the letter.

Fluke's testimony barely mentioned sex. She said a year's worth of contraception costs up to $3,000 over the course of law school, and for many women, birth control is used to treat medical issues, including polycystic ovary syndrome. (Watch her testimony below.)

"That's a thousand dollars a year of sex -- and, she wants us to pay for it," Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

Limbaugh also said about Fluke: "What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?"

Democrats called Fluke in after she was cut from the witness list at another hearing on the issue led by Republican committee leaders, who said she was "not qualified" to discuss President Obama's contraception coverage mandate.

New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney criticized the first panel of that hearing for including five men and no women, saying "any woman is more qualified to talk about women's health needs than any man."

Fluke argued that she would have been a legitimate witness.

"I'm an American woman who uses contraception, so let's start right there. That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health care needs," she said.


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