Discuss as:

President Obama calls Georgetown student Fluke

The Georgetown University law student reacts to Rush Limbaugh's comments and reveals that President Barack Obama called her offering encouragement, support and thanking her for speaking out for women's rights.

 

President Obama called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke on Friday to offer her words of encouragement amid a controversy involving Rush Limbaugh's words toward her.

Stay informed: Like us on Facebook for the latest from our politics team

Obama called Fluke shortly before her appearance on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Fluke said in a subsequent appearance on the program.

"He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women," Fluke said in her description of the call.  "What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud."

Fluke has become an unwitting figure in the middle of a political battle over access to contraception that has ensnared Washington in recent weeks. She favors increased access to contraception, and testified to that effect before a congressional panel assembled by Democrats.

In reaction to Fluke's testimony, Limbaugh said on his radio show that Fluke was a "slut," because, by asking for access to birth control subsidized by an insurer, she was essentially asking to be paid for sex.

Democrats have vocally criticized Limbaugh for the remark, and a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner labeled the conservative radio giant's comments as "inappropriate."

There's a political element to the battle over contraception and Fluke's testimony. Democrats believe that they can highlight critics like Limbaugh and other Republicans to portray the GOP as out of touch, especially to women voters. Republicans, on the other hand, believe there is political traction in framing the battle in Washington as a fight against government encroachment on religion. (The origin of the battle stems from an Obama administration regulation that would have required employers, even if they have moral objections to it, to provide access to contraception as part of their health insurance policy for employees.)

Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum have addressed Limbaugh's comments on Fluke since the host first made them on Wednesday.