GOP candidates taking notes on Gardner’s birth control gambit

The GOP stance on women’s reproductive rights is thought to be a liability, as Democrats shore up the support of voters who would prefer the government and their bosses stay out of their private health decisions.

But as Elise Viebeck writes in The Hill, Republicans hope to break Dems’ so-called monopoly on the issue, shunting the Todd Akins among them into obscurity and ushering in candidates like Rep. Cory Gardner who can do the delicate dance of affirming the Hobby Lobby ruling while also insisting a woman be able to control her own health decisions.

When that ruling came down at the end of June, Gardner said he agreed that closely held for-profit corporations are exempt from the Obamacare mandate to include birth control in health coverage for employees if it violates their religious conscience. But then he penned an op-ed piece in the Denver Post proclaiming women should have access to over-the-counter birth control without a prescription. He was one of the first to attempt this tack, and other Republican candidates are taking notes to follow suit.

Dems are scratching their heads, calling the move hypocritical and gimmicky, but GOP candidates hoping to flip the Senate are ready to play.

Photo by Monik Markus via Flickr, edited by Nat Stein