Call to Action: Stop Rush

March 05, 2012

Sandra Fluke speaking at our recent Re: Action — Birth Control in 2012 panel

Two weeks ago, AAUW hosted Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke at our national office for a Re:Action panel discussion on birth control. It was our way of making sure that she had a platform to speak and be heard since she wasn’t allowed to testify at a recent hearing about contraception at the House of Representatives. That panel featured five men and no women.

So when talk show host Rush Limbaugh made blatantly sexist and offensive comments about Fluke last week, we took it personally. AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz put it simply: “His aggressive personal insults and unnecessary coarsening of the public debate are unacceptable.”

Limbaugh’s “apology” on Saturday has not stopped his show from bleeding more sponsors. His remarks outraged women (and men of good conscience) across the country — probably because it wasn’t much of an apology. Just ask Fluke. He continued attacking her today, saying that she attended Georgetown Law only to “force them to abandon religious beliefs.” This completely misrepresents Fluke’s story and shows that Limbaugh has yet to learn his lesson.

On their own, Limbaugh’s comments are reprehensible. What makes them action-worthy is how widespread their effect continues to be. Limbaugh basically told his audience of millions that a woman who uses contraception and speaks out about it is a slut. This was his attempt to shame Fluke into silence. And it was a clear message to women everywhere: Speak out, and you’ll be punished in the same way.

Limbaugh may not listen to women, but his apology on Saturday shows that he pays attention to sponsors. Make sure he gets the message that women won’t stand for these kinds of attacks. Call, tweet, or write a Facebook update telling his sponsors that they only hurt themselves by supporting intolerant and offensive commentary.

It’s tough to pin down an exact list of sponsors, especially because some are local and others are national. To the best of our knowledge, here is a list of current national sponsors that have yet to pull support from Limbaugh’s show. Take action and tell them to stop supporting Limbaugh and his vicious rhetoric.

Lear Capital

Twitter: @GoldCoinPro (Kevin DeMeritt)


Phone: 800/576-9355

Other: See their response to Limbaugh’s comments


Twitter: @LifeLock



Phone: 800/543-3562

Need ideas for tweets and Facebook updates? Make sure to link to this blog post and use the hashtag #StopRush. And tweet at Limbaugh himself using his handle, @rushlimbaugh. Here’s some sample language in case you need inspiration.


Stand up for Sandra, stand up for women, and #StopRush

Tell @rushlimbaugh advertisers not to support personal attacks on women #StopRush

Thanks to the advertisers who stood with women and pulled sponsorship from @rushlimbaugh #StopRush


Let companies know they should not support Rush Limbaugh’s anti-women commentary with sponsorship — join me in standing up for Sandra Fluke and for women everywhere by contacting these sponsors today

This post was written by Rachel Wallace and Lisa Maatz.

Rachel Wallace By:   |   March 05, 2012


  1. Avatar Richard Myers says:

    Rush Limbaugh’s downward spiral promises to accelerate

    While a growing boycott by advertisers, an aging demographic, and technological change threaten the conservative talker’s grip on the right wing echo chamber, a new threat has arisen from an entirely unexpected source.

  2. Avatar Elaine says:

    Donna, where did you get the idea that Ms. Fluke personally wanted to use contraceptives (for sex or for any reason)? She didn’t say so. In fact, she didn’t say anyone wanted them for sex. Her point was a lot of females use the pill to prevent or cure female problems such as ovarian cycts. Many married women use them so they can get regular, stop the pill, and get pregnant. I have a relative, 15, using them to control horrible acne.
    If organizations can deny coverage based on their CEO’s personnal beliefs, what will keep them from denying coverage for blood transfusions, operations, vaccinations, or any treatment that they deem cureable by praying?
    I believe that an employer should provide comprensive insurance. (Remember, it is ultimately being paid for by the insured.) No one is forcing anyone to use anything they do not believe in, but each individual shoud have the freedom to make her own choices. Isn’t that what our Constitution is about?!
    I am not in favor of sex outside of marriage. However, I can guarantee you if you ban contraceptives “Baby Boomers” will have a whole new meaning!

  3. Avatar Rita Barron says:

    I can’t believe that Rush can get away with such hateful, sexist language. It is intolerable

    • Avatar JP Gal says:

      It is up to us to make sure that he doesn’t get away with it! Join the boycotts and let advertisers know that it’s time for Limbaugh to go. Sign the petition to get the program dropped from the American Forces Network. Write to the FCC. Contact your Congressional delegation. Get your family, friends, book group, and church to do the same. The war on women will succeed only if we let it. Women and girls are worth fighting for!

  4. Avatar Helena G says:

    Rush Limbaugh has crossed the line of decency. It is a shame that we would tolerate his bad attitude towards women. Sandra Fluke has done all of us a favor for her bravery to testify in a very articulate and researched manner. It is good to band together as women against the negative words about women. Yet, as women we also need to consider that there are many negative words uttered against men by women and this needs to stop as well.

  5. Avatar neera says:

    Yet again a Republican Tsar reveals innate misogyny echoing the Republicans’ rush to reverse the clock on women’s hard-gained reproductive rights. Worse, like Foster Friess who tried to dilute his arrogant reference to using aspirin for contraception as a joke, Rush Limbaugh hides behind the feeble plea of (sick?) humour when he should really examine his head to see which funny bone if any was he seeking to tickle. The hollow apology he offers is laughable and to that extent he can take credit for tickling our funny bone. To apologise for bad “choice of words” is hardly to take back the sentiment or resentment underlying his use of those words. Especially with International Women’s Day (March 8) approaching, women of all political colours need to let Rush, his listeners, and advertisers know that they will not allow their dignity to be compromised by an ill-mouthed misogynist.

  6. Avatar JP Gal says:

    For everyone who would like to know what to do to help get Mr. Limbaugh’s radio program dropped from the American Forces Network, here is how to sign on to the petition started by women veterans:

    Please also call, email or write to your Senator and Congressperson. No taxpayer funds should be used to disseminate hate speech against our own citizens.

    • Avatar suetiggers says:

      thanks much for doing this JP Gal
      I hope everyone will write in…it’s really important..and now JP has made it super easy…takes a couple of minutes 🙂

  7. Avatar Sue says:

    This verbal abuse of a responsible woman was unacceptable! I do not support this type of rhetoric. Rush has crossed the line of conduct.

    I will not purchase a product that was advertized on Rush Limbaugh’s program, and hopefully all his advertisers will do some hard thinking about what this man stands for and pull away from his program.

  8. Avatar Donna says:

    While I very much disapprove of Sandra Fluke’s position that tax payers should pay for her contraceptive so that she can partake in sex out of marriage while going to Law School at Georgetown University, (and that taxpayers should pay for her and anyone’s contraceptive), I do not approve of the statements made about her by Rush, just as I did not approve of the gross statements made about Sarah Palin either where certain politically used media and Democrats used the “c” word to describe her and launched a full on attack of her . There is too much of this type of political-warring verbal abuse in the media and there is too much party rivalry – we are all Americans. Sandra Fluke is clearly a tool of the Democratic Party and is being used to promote the Health Plan and birth control through health plan which increases our premiums so that the government can control more. Ms. Fluke personally can afford to pay her own contraceptives so that she can have sex without producing a child and anyone else who wants to partake in the enjoyment of sex outside of marriage while they are going through law school should pay for their contraceptives just like they buy their own drinks at a party. Insurance has never paid for entertainment and will not even pay for porcelain fillings so why they should pay for birth control so someone can make love is not right. It is immoral to have sex out of marriage and leads to HIV and other diseases being passed around so why make it easier for people to spread sexual disease by providing them with free contraceptives. The fall of the Roman Empire was through the misuse of sex should we all forget that example. If women are married their family can and should pay for contraceptives, I did and I did not have a lot of money either. Why is the government getting involved in the control of our health and sex? It is time to cut this type of activity off. People need to be responsible for their own lives. When you take responsibility away from them you make weak irresponsible lazy people. That is not what we need in America.

    • Avatar JP Gal says:

      I would hope that every member of the AAUW would look at the facts before voicing an opinion on such a difficult issue. Here is the complete transcript of Ms. Fluke’s testimony:

      As you can see, the issue was whether the private health insurance plan she pays for should include contraception coverage. No public moneys are involved. She did not talk about her own sex life; she talked about her classmates’ various circumstances, including a married couple unable to get contraception. She wished to testify before Congress because the Blunt amendment would have permitted any private employer to deny coverage for any medication or medical condition for any reason at all, which is contrary to the laws of virutally every state in this country.

      Rather than engage this important public health issue, Mr. Limbaugh went on a three-day tirade calling Ms. Fluke (and anyone who agrees with her that allowing private employers to interfere with our health care is a bad idea)
      every insulting name in the book, making up facts out of whole cloth, and accusing Ms. Fluke of saying things she never said. No AAUW member should support such intellectual dishonesty and intentional distortion of the record — even if it weren’t directed at women.

    • Avatar Leslie Todd says:

      Donna, maybe you should read the transcript of what she actually said. No public moneys are involved. Birth control pills are often prescribed for medical reasons. The issue is whether an insurance company or your boss should be able to discriminate against you by denying coverage.

  9. Avatar Lori Carriveau says:

    I am so surprised that our husbands, boyfriends and life mates aren’t extremely insulted and angry over Rush Limbaugh comments calling their beloved wives, girlfriends, sisters, daughters and life mates sluts for using contraceptives and expecting them to be covered in their health insurance. Where are the men? It’s not like we are in intimate loving relationships with ourselves!

  10. Avatar Madelyn Sheets says:

    Women, which political party do you respect and which represents your best interests? Are you rooting for the one with the likes of spiteful Rush who degrades and insults and tries to control women, and especially those with an opinion? Or, how about the party headed by a good family man with two young daughters who phoned Ms. Fluke from the Oval Office to say he was proud of her and her parents must be too.

    Shame, shame on you Rush and the likes of you.
    Thank you, Mr. Obama, for showing that intelligent gentlemen still exist.

  11. It’s very heartening to see the groundswell of support for Sandra Fluke and the campaign against Rush Limbaugh. Let us keep up the pressure against his voice of hate and put-downs. At the same time, hurrah for the articulate voices speaking up for the contraceptive needs of women.

  12. Avatar Sherry R says:

    Mr. Limbaugh has gotten away with so very many rude and hurtful comments, it has to stop now! I too will not purchase anything from a sponsor of his program. I sincerely hope that these companies have the backbone to pull their sponsorship from Limbaugh’s program in support of women everywhere!
    Thank you AAUW and others for taking a stand.

    • Avatar suetiggers says:

      Please everyone who cares about this and women’s issues, write to and/or call your congresspersons and ask them to please fight to discontinue our taxpayer dollars from funding Rush Limbaughs’ hateful program to our soldiers and veterans.

  13. Avatar Edith says:

    I am going to discontinue my membership with AAUW because of the political position AAUW has taken on this issue.

    • Why? Have you heard Sandra Fluke’s testimony? Rush misquoted her in a most insulting fashion. Then he insulted all women. I think standing up for women’s contraception rights is essential to responsible family planning.

    • Avatar JP Gal says:

      Edith, I hope you will reconsider. By last Friday, Mr. Limbaugh has ratcheted up his attacks and accused every single female student at Georgetown University of profligate sexual activity. This is not political comnentary, democratic discourse, or even bad humor. It is hate speech directed squarely at the very people the AAUW supports and serves. Over 100 Georgtown faculty and staff have signed a letter in support of Ms. Fluke. The president of the university has condemned Mr. Limbaugh for his unfounded and inaccurate remarks and stated his unqualified support for Ms. Fluke, even though he disagrees with her. I am proud that the AAUW is calling it like it is and standing up for all of the women students at Georgetown and at every college and university in the country.

  14. Avatar Sharon Turecek says:

    What a disgusting put-down. I sincerely hope and pray that Ms. Fluke has not taken Limbaugh’s comments to heart. I am very proud of her and of all who have come to her defense. I will be very glad if Mr. Limbaugh loses his job.

  15. Avatar Marian Hall says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion about Rush Limbaugh since his despicable, mean-spirited, bad-mouthed, insulting, inappropriate, lying, outburst to a descent human being who happens to be a woman. He doesn’t deserve to have his words broadcast anywhere. They corrupt decency in his listeners, conditioning them to imitate with complaints, disrespect, and insults. I don’t believe that this is the kind of community we wish to cultivate.

  16. Avatar JP Gal says:

    The American Forces Network broadcasts Limbaugh’s program to military bases around the world at taxpayer expense. Write to your Senator and Congressperson today to demand that the program be dropped.

    • Avatar suetiggers says:

      To think of all the ignorance and hate he has had the opportunity to spread….! and at OUR expense !!!
      Please post this on and Huff Post. I’m sure they’ll pass it on. Thank you for this JP Gal..I was unaware of this and sickened by it and will write to my congresspeople.
      Of all the people our soldiers and vets are getting to hear, this hateful ignoramus has to be one of the WORST ! Talk about the lowest common denominator…yikes

  17. Avatar Sue Grove says:

    Rush Limbaugh is a symptom of an overall illness that wants to put men in control over women. His vulgar, sexist, and sick comments belong on porn channels instead of on anything young people have access to.

  18. Avatar JoNell Pohl says:

    He is an opionated bigot and says things that are mean spirited and often false.

  19. Avatar suetiggers says:

    I LOVE IT…

    Don Imus Calls Rush Limbaugh An ‘Insincere Pig’ For ‘Vile, Personal Attack’ On Sandra Fluke

  20. Avatar Bruce Rosenblum says:

    A KNOWN DRUG USER that NEVER was Put in jail for his MANY CRIMES due to his Pollitical contacts, has NO RIGHT TO BE A PUBLIC SPOKESMAN FOR ANYTHING but HIPOCRACY!

    He is a Prime example of the Party he STANDS WITH the REPUBLICANS like the Lier George W Bush & Got us into an economical disaster and a WORLD WIDE HATRED of AMERICA by invading IRAQ showing NO REGARD for the CONSTITUTION of our country just for an ego boost!

    Rush should be BANNED ON ALL MEDIA and his supporters should DROP him for his IGNORANCE, and a DISGRACE to AMERICA!

    • Avatar suetiggers says:

      Thanks for this Bruce.. I WISH more people seemed to care about all the CRIMINAL things George Bush and his cronies got away with !!
      Our legal system, our prisons, our Dept. of “Justice” is a mess because we have an extremely reactionary STACKED supreme court. (stacked by ultra reactionary conservatives) and the havoc that they have done appears to be unnoticed or else just not cared about by the average American.
      Rush is a disgrace but so is the fact that these people have gotten away with all they did… Do people just not get how the George W.Bush and Co. brought about the economic disaster we’ve been in……… and then the Repubs want to supposedly fix it with more money for the richest of the rich. Their stonewalling every small improvement that President Obama has tried to make has been successful to a large degree because too few people know we can’t just elect a president. We must get those insane teapartiers out of there…THEY have been having a PARTY alright…only the BILL is on us…
      And then good people like Alan Grayson in Florida had his election stole from him just like Bush stole it from Al Gore ! Sometimes it’s pretty hard to believe I’m living in the USA

  21. Avatar Joan Sorenson says:

    It is time for Limbaugh to take his ill-gotten millions and retire. Al Franken was right about him.

  22. Avatar Diane B. says:

    Thank you for passing on the sponsors information. We all need to stand together… for Sandra, for our daughters and granddaughters, for women everywhere. Enough hatred against women!

  23. Avatar Jana F says:

    I was shown the video from “The View” today, and as a 16 year old girl I find this highly offensive. If children are our future I do not see any reason why we are keeping someone this ignorant on the airwaves. These are new times and things are changing and if someone like Rush cannot see that then he should not be allowed on the airwaves and he should definitely get any credit for that fake apology. He knew what he was saying when he said it and should have taken it back then. It is time to cut out this nonsense

  24. Avatar sunnylark says:

    I am so sorry that the denigration of women continues to be prevalent in today’s political climate and the American culture. I listened to both what Sandra Flute testified (not third party commentary about it) and to what Rush Limbaugh then said and he is sick in his desire to be an important spokesman in the conservative movement. He twisted her words and tried to hurt an obviously well educated and well spoken young woman and women in general in his desire for his own glory and self importance. I recommend that all of his current supporters and advertisers reconsider their association with him and drop their monetary support of his hateful, self indulgent screaming.

    I would also like to comment that Congressman Issa is not without guilt. His not allowing Sandra Fluke or any other woman to testify before his committee was just wrong. Is this what Rush Limbaugh and Congressman Issa think of the women in their lives, their mothers, wives and daughters – that their opinions about their health have no importance or validity? Are we regressing into a third world country where women’s reproductive health and physical wellbeing have no importance in our society? I hope not.

  25. Avatar Ellen McKoy says:

    Rush Limaugh has earned his loyal following by preaching controversial messages that all too often foment hate and discord. It’s time for ALL Americans, particularly women, to speak up and speak out on his reprehensible diabtribes that denegrate women of all backgrounds and fuel the fires of bigotry. If he won’t listen to women, you can bet he’ll pay attention to his advertisers when they pull the plug.

  26. Avatar NRiess says:

    Really? There are still people out there calling for condemnation of Rush without condemnation of the other men-with-a-platform who do the same thing? I get AAUW email alerts – PLEASE resend this alert and include Bill Maher, Ed Schultz and other liberals who have done the same, or worse …read Kirsten Power’s recent article if you don’t GET it … maybe AAUW should stick up for ALL women who are victims of sexual harrassment. Yes, Rush should be condemned, but he is most certainly NOT the only one. Double standards only serve to double the insult to all women.

    • Avatar suetiggers says:

      Really? Well, let’s have a few examples please? There are LOTS of examples of hateful sexist language out of the potty mouth of Mr. Limbaugh… I don’t doubt that Bill Maher whose show I happen like, has some issues with women…but from what I’ve seen he supports any issue that affects girls and women …and ED SCHULTZ??? really? when you mention Ed Schultz , I KNOW you’re full of it… I watch him regularly and have NEVER heard him say anything derogatory against women at all. You’re showing your true extremely reactionary, zealotry for the Repugnican party cause or even worse the mindless teapartiers, who’ve been used by the big money plutocrats like the Koch brothers to push their own capitalism on steroids agenda.

  27. Avatar Peggy says:

    Thanks for the idea to post – Pull the plug on RUSH on LifeLock and Lear Capital’s Facebook. We need to keep the message going.

  28. Avatar Judith Polizzotti says:

    I would not purchase a product that was advertized on Rush Limbaugh’s program. This verbal abuse of a responsible woman was unacceptable.
    Don’t continue to support this type of rhetoric. He crossed the line of conduct.

  29. Avatar Leon says:

    It’s way pass time for those like Rush Limbaugh to stop with the Hate and Nonsense talk.
    Take him off the airwaves.

  30. Avatar Karen B. says:

    I saw Sandra Fluke on “The View” today. She is an intelligent articulate young woman. I admire her composure and the class with which she is handling this situation. I hope this is the beginning of Rush’s radio show’s demise.

Join the Conversation

You must be logged in to post a comment.