GOP Senate Candidate Won’t Say Whether Employers Should Be Able To Deny Workers Birth Control

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"GOP Senate Candidate Won’t Say Whether Employers Should Be Able To Deny Workers Birth Control"

Senate nominee Gabriel Gomez (R-MA)

Senate nominee Gabriel Gomez (R-MA) (Credit: The Republican)

The Republican nominee for Massachusetts’ senate seat refuses to say whether he supports the Blunt Amendment — a measure that would allow employers to choose to deny their employees insurance coverage for contraception costs.

Gabriel Gomez has reportedly been asked several times by reporters whether he would vote for the amendment, and each time has avoided answering. At a press conference Thursday, he once again ducked: “I’m not sure how much more clear I can be,” he began. He then offered an answer that avoided the question of voting entirely. “Contraception should be available over the counter,” he said. “They should take the politics out of it. And they should take the pharmaceutical companies out of it.”

This echoes an op-ed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) calling for over-the-counter contraception access. While this could help to de-politicize contraceptive care, it doesn’t help with the prohibitively high costs of some contraception that, despite Gomez’s claim to the contrary, can be arbitrarily enforced by pharmaceutical companies. It also avoids the issue of how to deal with intrauterine devices, or IUDs, which are the most effective form of birth control but require administration by a gynecologist.

Gomez, though trying to portray himself as a moderate, still holds conservative views on women’s reproductive issues as a whole. He opposes the use of public funds to pay for abortion — something that is already illegal, but which Republicans use as a launching point to advocate against funding Planned Parenthood’s preventative services. He has also advocated for giving religious organizations full exemption from covering contraception. Earlier this month, Gomez told a reporter at the Boston Globe, “Honestly, I haven’t read the Blunt Amendment.”

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