U.S. Sen. Mark Begich co-sponsored a bill that takes a direct shot at the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow corporations such as Hobby Lobby, which brought the case, to opt out of the ObamaCare birth control mandate for religious reasons.
Begich’s bill makes it illegal for any company to deny its workers specific health benefits, including birth control, as required to be covered by federal law.
“Because of the Hobby Lobby case, more than 60,000 Alaska women could be denied access to birth control and reproductive care,” Begich said. “This bill will make sure that these types of health care decisions stay between a woman and her doctor – not her boss.”
The recent Supreme Court decision could be a big issue in the upcoming Senate race. All three Republican candidates who are vying for their party’s nomination support the decision. Sen. Mark Begich does not.
Alaska may be a red state, but it is not known as a Christian conservative state, and polls have suggested that the state is more pro-choice than not. And birth control is popular everywhere, even in Christian conservative states. Too, although there are more men in Alaska than there are women, women vote in greater numbers than do men. About 257,000 men were registered to vote in Alaska’s 2012 general election. Only 147,588 voted. In that same election, about 248,000 women were registered to vote and 152,075 did so.
Here’s an excerpt from the response I got from Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest on the organization’s plans for the Alaska Senate race:
Both Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and our national political and advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, continue to list this Senate race as a top priority for our electoral activity this year. Given that status, we plan to contact thousands of voters across the entire state of Alaska this summer and into the fall, using traditional and innovative tactics to reach Alaskan women and their families with critical information about these candidates we believe will be vital to their decision-making process when determining how to cast their vote. We’ll be working statewide and be adding staff to our existing operation from around Alaska and across the country to help with this effort.
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