Sandra Fluke has been at the center of a media firestorm after political commentator Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and “prostitute” on his radio show after she testified before Congress that health insurance companies should provide birth control to women despite their moral objections.
Fluke appeared on “The View“on Monday to respond to Limbaugh’s attack on her and to defend her position.
When she sat down, host Barbara Walters asked her, regarding Limbaugh’s comments, “When you first heard this, what did you think?”
“Initially, I was, of course, shocked and stunned,” responded Fluke. “I tried to see this for what it is. I believe that what it is is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and men who support them, who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important health care need that they need to have met in an affordable, accessible way.”
Watch Part One of Fluke’s “View” Interview:
While Limbaugh has publicly apologized for his remarks about Fluke, when Walters asked the law student if she had received a personal apology from the radio host, she responded, “Let me be clear that the statements he made on air were personal enough, so I’d rather not have a personal phone call from him.”
After hearing Limbaugh’s apology, in which he described his earlier statements as “an attempt to be humorous,” read aloud by Walters, Fluke responded, “I don’t think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. Especially when that statement is issued when he is under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull their support from the show.”
Joy Behar wondered whether Limbaugh should be fired. “I’m going to leave that up to the sponsors, up to Clear Channel Communications, and the members of the American public who support those companies,” said Fluke, who called out conservative TV and radio personality Glenn Beck for jumping on Limbaugh’s attack bandwagon. “This was not one person who went crazy and made ‘funny’ outrageous statements. This is, evidently, a segment of our political commentators who think it’s acceptable in today’s society to say these things about women.”
Having heard that President Obama had called Fluke personally after hearing Limbaugh’s comments, Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked about the content of their conversation.
“It was very kind,” said Fluke. “He offered his concern, wanted to make sure I was doing all right, and wanted to express his support and thank me for speaking out on what he considers to be an important matter of public policy.”
Finally, to clear up the misperceptions about what exactly she’s fighting for, Fluke told the hosts, “The idea that this is about taxpayers or the government paying for contraception – it is absolutely not. This regulation covers private insurance and it wants to have this type of medical drug treated in the way that’s similar to how other types of medical drugs are treated. It his healthcare; women need this medication to prevent seizures, to prevent cysts from growing on their ovaries. I’ve heard from so many women who’ve talked about why they need this critically, not to mention the important medical need of preventing unintended pregnancies.”
Watch Part Two: