Democrats quick to rip GOP on birth control issues


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Democrats are wasting no time trying to gain an edge from Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in a key birth control case.

The 5-4 ruling exempts closely-held for-profit firms from providing government-mandated birth control services if they conflict with the owners’ religious beliefs.

Democrats Tuesday were quick to pounce.

“Yesterday’s ruling in favor of rolling back women’s access to birth control showcases for voters across the country what’s at stake in this election and provides a welcome spotlight on Republicans’ support for extreme measures to block access to contraception,” said a statement from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Independent analysts don’t see the issue as making a big difference in key Senate races. Polls show the economy is a far more weighty issue, and many of those with strong views on women’s access to birth control staked out their positions long ago.

The Democrats‘ Senate campaign committee Tuesday noted ads that are critical of Republican views on women and birth control. Republicans argue that the case involved one’s right to religious freedom.

Democrats Tuesday were eager for battle. They cited an ad in Michigan criticizing Republican Terri Lynn Land for her “support for extreme measures to block access to birth control.”

Land has been critical of the Affordable Care Act. “This law is based on the idea that Washington should control your health care dollars and that government can force you to buy insurance, access your medical records, dictate your medical decisions, and restrict your health care choices,” she says on her web site.

In Colorado, Democrats cited an ad where Sen. Mark Udall “speaks directly to Colorado voters about (Republican) Cory Gardner’s record of wanting to make birth control illegal.”

Here’s Gardner’s comment on Monday’s ruling: “The court made the right decision today to protect religious liberty and the First Amendment. The Food and Drug Administration now needs to move quickly to make oral contraceptives available to adults without a prescription. This easy step will make oral contraceptives both accessible and affordable for every woman who wants them. It’s common sense and it’s the right thing to do.”

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