Maggie Hassan, candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, says the Legislature tried to take away a woman's right to access birth control. She says it at campaign stops and in a new television ad — even though it is not true.
“I can't believe we are even having a discussion about a women's right to birth control in the 21st century,” Hassan said in Portsmouth on Sunday, according to a Foster's Daily Democrat report.
In a new TV ad, Hassan says, “When extremists in the Legislature tried to deny women's access for basic health care and allow insurance plans to drop coverage for birth control, I stood up to them.” She goes on to say that she “won't let anyone take away a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.”
Denying women access to “basic health care” would indeed be an awful thing. Voters will be relieved to know that no one tried to do that. A bill, rejected in the Senate, would have let employers who have religious objections to contraception opt out of paying for it. In March, the House passed a different bill that would, as Reuters reported, “exempt religious institutions from having to include contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans.”
Neither bill was an attempt to “take away a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.” Birth control would still be legal and accessible. A one-month pack of birth control pills costs as little as $9 at Walmart. The difference would be that those who object to contraception on religious grounds would not be forced by law to pay for someone else's use of it.
In a state with such a large Roman Catholic population, is it any wonder why Hassan is distorting this issue to avoid mentioning its religious core?