Tommy Thompson Was For Expanding Contraception Coverage Before He Was Against It

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI)

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI), credit: Phil Ejercito/Dane101

Former four-term Wisconsin Governor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and 2008 presidential also-ran Tommy G. Thompson is seeking the Republican nomination for Democrat Sen. Herb Kohl’s open U.S. senate seat. Locked in a competitive primary, Thompson is spouting right-wing talking points on contraception and health care reform. But an examination of his record calls into question how much he really believes his own rhetoric.

Thompson’s campaign refused to take a stand on the highly controversial Blunt amendment this week, but a Facebook post on his official account last month expressed outrage over a rule requiring employers to offer contraception coverage in their health care plans.

Not only is the birth control requirement an affront to Catholics, but it is a breach of our religious liberties that any person of faith should oppose. This rule cannot stand and will not stand after this year’s election.   I pledge to go to Washington to seek the immediate repeal of this requirement, which is an attack on our religious institutions. – Tommy G. Thompson

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examination of Thompson’s mandatory candidate personal financial disclosure report, notes that the former governor served for seven years on the board of directors of Evofem, Inc., a San Diego-based maker of women’s health products including “contraception and conception productions.” He received at least $5,000 in compensation for his consulting services from the company. It also reveals that Thompson’s huge healthcare investments include somewhere between $15,001 and $50,000 in stock in Teva Pharmaceuticals and between $1,001 and $15,000 in Watson Pharmaceuticals — both makers of emergency contraceptives. Thompson also owns millions of dollars worth of stock in health insurance.

What’s more, as governor, Thompson established a state family planning program — still in effect today — that spends taxpayer dollars to provide birth control and family planning to poor women. Thompson reportedly said at the time that “a pregnant teen is a one-way ticket to poverty.”

On his very limited campaign website, Thompson promises, in video spots, to cut taxes for corporations and to support a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act — even though in the past he embraced significant parts of the bill and specifically opposed full repeal.