GOP Senate candidate seeks wider birth control access and end to charges of war on women

Rep. Cory Gardner is the first Republican candidate to talk up a new Republican idea of making birth control available over the counter.

The Hill: Can Over-The-Counter Birth Control Push Pay Off For Republicans?
Republicans want to beat Democrats at their own game this November by proposing a new way to widen access to birth control. GOP candidates around the country are saying they want to make the pill available over-the-counter without a doctor's prescription for the first time since it was approved in 1960. The party hopes its stance, widely shared by healthcare providers, will help neutralize tough debates over birth control coverage and cut into Democrats' traditional advantage among women voters. "Cory's proposal puts women in control," said Alex Siciliano, spokesman for Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the first 2014 Senate candidate to talk up the idea (Viebeck, 8/18).

Denver Post: Renamed 'War on Women' Strategy Forges Ahead In Colorado Senate Race
The playbook is no secret. Four years ago, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet successfully defined his Republican opponent as a man waging a war on women. The political maneuver is still viewed as a cautionary tale by Colorado Republicans who saw Bennet take the office with a 16-point edge among women voters during a year in which the Tea Party enjoyed strong gains. They watched as similar plans were replicated by Democrats across the country, helping President Barack Obama win his 2012 re-election bid against Mitt Romney. Now, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is employing the campaign narrative against Republican Cory Gardner in an effort to appeal to women voters as the November election draws near (Torres, 8/17).

Politico Pro: NARAL Poll: Most Voters Against Abortion Access Limits
Nearly 70 percent of registered voters say the government should not restrict access to abortion, according to a new national poll that a prominent abortion-rights group says should discourage politicians from trying to limit access to the procedure. In a poll that NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to release Monday, more than one in five voters -; 23 percent -; said they believe abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal. Forty-five percent said that while they are personally against abortion, they don't believe the government should put limits on a woman's access (Haberkorn, 8/18).

The intense congressional campaign season is keeping lawmakers out of Washington for much of the rest of the fall, raising questions about some of the work that awaits.

Modern Healthcare: Political Season Injects A Lot Of Variables Into Health Care Agenda
The dynamics of healthcare reform may wildly change in the weeks ahead. The congressional calendar calls for a short legislative session followed by nonstop campaigning, a November election followed by a lame-duck session, and then finally the seating of a new Congress that could feature a shift in power in the Senate. While healthcare stakeholders have their own interests and priorities, reaching an agreement to fund the government beginning Oct. 1 will top the legislative agenda, said Tom Nickels, the American Hospital Association's senior vice president for government relations (Robeznieks, 8/15).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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