"Who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?" Limbaugh said on his show. After a brief pause, he continued, saying, "It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute."
Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke testified before Democratic members of congress last week arguing that an Obama administration rule requiring free contraception is critical for women's health. She says Limbaugh's name-calling stung.
"It initially hurt and then very quickly upset and just outraged because someone is trying to silence you," Fluke said.
But Fluke isn't backing down.
"For starters, I didn't say that I should be paid for anything. What we were talking about was private insurance covering a medical need. It has nothing to do with the government paying for anything," she said.
The comments have sparked outrage in Southern California and across the country.
"I think Rush is just so irresponsible," said Jessica Radloff of West Hollywood. "I mean, half the things that he says, he just does it to get a reaction, and it's like, what century are we living in?"
Limbaugh's fans say he's being treated unfairly.
"Because there's freedom of speech," said Deborah Leigh of Studio City. "He didn't go over the line."
At least four sponsors are pulling ads from Limbaugh's show. Republican leaders are also being called on to condemn the remarks.
"It's not the language I would have used, and I'm focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today," said GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
Congressional Democrats were quick to denounce Limbaugh.
"Shame on you for being the hatemonger that you are, shame on you for being misogynistic, shame on you for calling the women of this country sluts and prostitutes," California Rep. Jackie Speier.
Democrats circulated a letter demanding that Republicans condemn the controversial radio host. House speaker John Boehner called Limbaugh's words inappropriate but also took a swipe at Democrats for trying to raise money off the situation.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama made a supportive phone call to Fluke.
"He said that he hoped my parents were proud of me, and that really meant something," Fluke said.
Limbaugh has not apologized. On his radio show Friday he said, "I think this is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious."