Limbaugh sorry for 'slut' comment

Sun, Mar 4, 2012, 00:00

Controversial US conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has apologised to a law student he branded a “slut” and “prostitute” over her stance on contraception.

The apology came amid a storm of criticism from Republican and Democrat politicians and advertisers who severed ties with Limbaugh’s popular radio programme.

Sandra Fluke, a 30-year old student and women's rights activist at Georgetown University in Washington, has been caught in the middle of a contentious election-year fight between US president Barack Obama and Republicans of a new national healthcare policy that would compel her college to offer plans that covered her birth control.

Ms Fluke spoke out against the Republican effort to scrap the birth control policy and advocated making contraception available to all women, drawing fire from right-wing commentator Limbaugh.

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” Limbaugh said in a statement on his website last night. “I sincerely apologise to Ms Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Religious-affiliated organisations, the Catholic Church and social conservatives have argued Mr Obama's new policy is an infringement on religious liberty.

The issue has been much debated in the presidential race, with Republican candidates particularly criticising the Obama plan’s requirements on such employers as Catholic hospitals.

Mr Obama, whose landmark healthcare overhaul requires many institutions to provide birth control coverage, phoned Ms Fluke from the White House on Friday to express his support.

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