On Feb. 29, Rush Limbaugh repeatedly insulted a woman over the radio air waves by calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute." He used those terms to label one innocent and responsible woman. The majority of women in America are using or have used contraception at some time during their lives. So, according to Mr. Limbaugh, millions of us could be identified as sluts or prostitutes. What he failed to make clear during his fateful show is that not all health insurance is government-funded. In fact, the majority of Americans who have health insurance have private health insurance.

I realize that saying "slut" or "prostitute" on the air is probably not a big deal in isolation. But it becomes a huge problem when these malicious words are used to single out a private citizen whom Mr. Limbaugh has no prior knowledge of.

You may recall the problem that another popular talk show host named Don Imus had after he called a championship girls basketball team "nappy-headed hos." I do not like disparaging references made about anybody, but Mr. Imus used that reference as a description that he had often heard used in black vernacular. He thought his listeners would take it as a joke. He was catastrophically wrong. His show was shut down quickly.

I think Mr. Limbaugh has a much larger problem than Mr. Imus had. Mr. Limbaugh's comment was made in reference to one woman. However, there is no question that it was mean-spirited. And there was nothing humorous about it.

An apology cannot take back the hateful words that spewed from his mouth. He has actually insulted millions of women across this country, and he needs to know that women will not be put down or disparaged in that way or any way.

I hope all people, especially women, across our great country will stand up and demand censure of Mr. Limbaugh at the least. Hopefully, removal of his show from radio stations will follow. By canceling Rush Limbaugh's show, these often conservative stations of family values will be setting admirable examples for others and making bold statements that disrespect for women will not be tolerated. We need to teach our children by example. Teach them to respect mothers, sisters and girls. This would be a wonderful teaching moment in all homes tonight.

Annette I. LaMorte, Baltimore