WASHINGTON -- Officials at Georgetown University came to the defense of Sandra Fluke on Friday, criticizing radio host Rush Limbaugh for calling the third-year law student a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she spoke out on birth control insurance coverage.
John DeGioia, president of Georgetown, sent a letter to students and faculty praising Fluke's congressional testimony. "She was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction," he wrote. "She provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people."
In contrast, DeGioia had harsh words for Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke, saying they "can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student."
At Georgetown Law, 137 professors and staff members have signed a letter in support of Fluke. "As scholars and teachers who aim to train public-spirited lawyers, no matter what their politics, to engage intelligently and meaningfully with the world, we abhor these attacks on Ms. Fluke and applaud her strength and grace in the face of them," the letter says.
On Wednesday during his radio show, Limbaugh attacked Fluke for attempting to testify at a controversial House hearing in favor of the Obama administration's ruling on coverage of contraception by insurance plans. Limbaugh claimed that "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."
After his initial comments sparked outrage, Limbaugh doubled down by offering to buy aspirin for all female students at Georgetown Law to place between their knees. That remark, a sarcastic encouragement not to have sex, echoed comments made by major Rick Santorum donor Foster Friess earlier in February.
Fluke responded to the controversy on Thursday in a press statement. "No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices," she said. "The millions of American women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women's health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced."