(PRESS RELEASE) A rash of hostility and anti-woman rhetoric has emerged after Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, testified before Congress in support of the Obama Administration’s commitment to preserve the copay-free birth control benefit for all women under the Affordable Care Act — allowing employees at religiously-affiliated institutions that object to paying for birth control coverage to obtain coverage directly from their insurers.Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has led the charge, calling Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” last week. Following a media storm and loss of key advertisers, Limbaugh finally issued a statement on Saturday apologizing for choosing “the wrong words” and claiming that he did not intend his vicious personal attack on Ms. Fluke to be “a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.” But Limbaugh also used the opportunity to continue to advance the false notion that taxpayers will be required to cover the cost of this crucial preventive health benefit for women. The Obama Administration’s accommodation does not require taxpayers to pay for women’s preventive health care coverage, but rather requires employers or their insurance providers to provide a uniform standard of preventive health care coverage for all employees.Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights: “The attacks on Ms. Fluke’s character have revealed the deep-rooted hostility toward women that lies at the heart of the unprecedented wave of assaults on reproductive rights across the United States. “The deeply offensive and misogynistic commentary of recent days poisons public discourse and threatens to undermine many decades of progress in securing and protecting women’s fundamental rights to health, autonomy, dignity, and equal treatment under the law.“There is simply no room for this kind of discourse in American political dialogue, and we call upon lawmakers in Congress to repudiate this toxic rhetoric and reject the ongoing efforts to deny women access to affordable health care.”For three days last week, Limbaugh continued his rampage of personal attacks on Ms. Fluke, as described by the New York Times: “On Wednesday, he called her a ‘slut’ who ‘wants to be paid to have sex’, on Thursday, he said she was ‘having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk’, and on Friday, after Senate Democrats beat back a Republican challenge to the new policy, he said Ms. Fluke had testified that she was ‘having sex so frequently that she can’t afford all the birth-control pills that she needs.’”Fox News host Bill O’Reilly continued to spread the false information, asking why he should “give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex,” while Fluke is advocating for her university’s private insurance plan to cover birth control.And just this weekend, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also further promoted the myth, telling a group of church leaders over the weekend that doctors might prescribe visits to prostitutes for men suffering from sexual dysfunction and “hope the government will pay for it.” The Center for Reproductive Rights has issued a comprehensive reply to the recent contraception controversy, which takes a closer look at the arguments by opponents of the contraception requirement, unpacks the legal issues and public health debate, and responds to many erroneous assertions.