Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, already under fire from Democrats over his language in discussing a Georgetown University law student who testified about contraception, ratcheted up his rhetoric on Thursday, saying the student should post an online sex video if taxpayers are forced to pay for contraception.
Limbaugh on Wednesday had referred to student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” for supporting a requirement that health insurance cover contraception. On his radio show Thursday, Limbaugh went a little further:
"So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had called on Limbaugh to apologize Thursday about the “slut” comment, made after Fluke testified recently about contraception before an unofficial Democratic committee.
Here's what Limbaugh said on Wednesday’s edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
"What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], 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? 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. What does that make us? We're the pimps.
"The johns, that's right. We would be the johns -- no! We're not the johns. Well -- yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word."
Fluke had been turned away in February from testifying before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Obama administration's policy requiring that employees of religion-affiliated institutions have access to health insurance that covers birth control.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh, one of the loudest voices of the conservative movement, had strong words for women who want contraception coverage. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.
The Health and Human Services Department ruled earlier this year that, under the new health care law, religious-affiliated institutions such as hospitals and universities must include free birth control coverage in their employee health plans.
That mandate has raised a storm of criticism and protests from Catholic leaders and others who disapprove of contraception on religious grounds. The issue continues to divide the Congress. On Thursday, the Senate defeated a proposal that would have allowed employers and health plans to opt out of paying for medical services that are contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Fluke later testified at an unofficial Democratic-sponsored hearing on Feb. 23, where her comments about the importance of reproductive health care to women drew applause from a small group in attendance, including Pelosi.
She said that contraception can cost a woman more than $3,000 during law school.
On Thursday, Pelosi denounced Limbaugh's comments about Fluke and called on GOP leaders and members to denounce the “slut” remark:
"When Sandra Fluke testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee after Republicans attempted to silence, she courageously spoke truth to power. As a result, today, she has been subject to attacks that are outside the circle of civilized discussion and that 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. Democrats will always stand up for women's health and women's voices."
Fluke released a statement Thursday in response to Limbaugh's rhetoric, saying "numerous commentators have gone far beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse.
"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.
"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."
Meanwhile, a bomb squad was called to Limbaugh's house in Palm Beach after a suspicious package was reported there.
Security staff for the iconic conservative talk show host found a package with an electronic plaque that they believed was suspicious and contacted authorities, WPTV reported.
But the package, delivered to his North Ocean Boulevard home, was actually a "business opportunity" from a radio listener, a Palm Beach Police spokesman told The Palm Beach Post.
Read more about the Limbaugh bomb scare at NBCMiami.com
When the bomb squad opened the package at about 7 p.m., it saw that it contained an electronic plaque on President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, spokesman Fred Hess said.
Police were able to get in touch with the sender in Pennsylvania, who apologized for sending a package that could be construed as dangerous, according to WPTV.
NBC News' Luke Russert and msnbc.com's Sylvia Wood contributed to this report, which includes material from NBCMiami.com.
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