A top Rick Santorum donor argues that women who want cheap contraception should pinch an aspirin between their knees.
The country’s most prominent conservative voice, Rush Limbaugh, argues that women who want their contraception covered by health insurance should offer payback to men.
“If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something,” Limbaugh said, on his syndicated radio show. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
While those salvos are being fired in the media-sphere, Republican leaders in Congress are pushing a bill that would allow bosses across the country to decide whether or not to cover contraception and other types of healthcare that clash with their moral beliefs.
According to the widely respected Guttmacher Institute, research indicates that roughly 90% of sexually active, fertile women use contraception.
So while contraception isn’t a top-tier issue for most Americans, this is an issue that cuts broadly. It’s also apeculiar fight for the GOP to pick in an already fragile election year.
Women make up 53% of all voters. In 2008, Mr. Obama won 56% of the women’s vote — that’s a whopping 7% better than his level support among male voters.
Democrats are clearly convinced that they can boost their gender advantage, leveraging recent controversies over Planned Parenthood, contraception, and prenatal testing.
And there are signs that they could find a real opening here.
A recent 2012 poll shows women registered to vote favoring the Democratic Party by a 47-40% margin — and among working women the gap was even bigger, a whopping 50-37% split.
If these controversies tilt women more toward Democrats, it would reshape this year’s elections. It’s one thing to win strong African American or Hispanic support. Those are still minorities. But in voting terms, women are the majority.
So what do you think? I’m particularly interested to hear from Republicans. Is this a good issue to be pushing in a campaign year?