(CNN) –Women's advocacy groups fired back after a major Rick Santorum donor stirred controversy Thursday with a now-viral comment about contraception.
Calling his comments "insulting and irresponsible," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said "birth control is basic health care and used almost universally by women. It is not something to belittle on national TV."
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Foster Friess, a billionaire mutual fund manager, made headlines earlier in the day when he joked women used Bayer aspirin as birth control "back in (his) days."
"The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly," Friess said on MSNBC.
He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a pro-Santorum super PAC, the Red, White, and Blue Fund.
Later Thursday night, Friess said in another interview on MSNBC that it was merely a joke and denied that he was giving any medical advice for birth control.
"A lot of people who are younger than 71 didn't get the context of that joke," he said. "Back in my days, they didn't have the birth control pill, so to suggest that Bayer aspirin could be considered a birth control is pretty ridiculous and quite funny. So I think that was the gist of that story."
Meanwhile, National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill called on Friess to "immediately apologize" to woman.
"Mr. Freiss' comments today on MSNBC that women use aspirin between their knees for contraception were not only offensive, but demeaning and disrespectful to women," O'Neill said in a statement to CNN. "Santorum should also use this time to renounce his anti-birth control stance."
Asked in an interview on Fox News Thursday night, Santorum said it was a "stupid" and "off-color" joke and added that comments made by supporters don't reflect on him or his campaign.