Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon has kept up in the polls with her Democratic opponent, Chris Murphy, largely by trying to paint herself as a pro-choice moderate in blue Connecticut. McMahon eagerly denounced Mitt Romney’s comments that 47 percent of the country will never “take personal responsibility,” claimed Todd Akin’s dismissal of “legitimate rape” pregnancies was “reprehensible,” and reversed herself by suddenly supporting a national law for same-sex marriage. In an editorial board meeting with the Hartford Courant on Friday, however, McMahon undermined her purportedly moderate image with a decidedly anti-choice position.
When presented with a hypothetical in which a rape victim is denied emergency contraception in a Catholic hospital, McMahon asserted that hospital should be allowed to deny the medication, even if it receives federal funds:
COURANT: So a rape victim, in a hospital. And it’s a hospital that is run by a Catholic institution. Emergency contraception, should that be — should she be sent to another hospital in the middle of the night when she’s in dire distress?
MCMAHON: I don’t think that the government should overreach. I mean it’s a separation of church and state in my view, and I think that a religious institution has the right to decide what its policies would be in that, in that case.
COURANT: Yeah and I respect that, I just wonder if that institution, gets a certain, a majority of it’s money from the government, if it’s mostly federally funded, does that play a role in your thinking?
MCMAHON: Well I just think again, that it is an issue of separation of church and state, and that institution should decide what its role would be, and what it’s comfortable with doing in that instance.
McMahon claims she is pro-choice, even though she supported the failed Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse any kind of health care on moral grounds. The Murphy campaign has also pointed out in attack ads that McMahon built her fortune on the World Wrestling Entertainment network’s sexualized spectacles glorifying violence against women and rape. So far, women continue to favor Murphy over McMahon, and women’s rights advocates have condemned the Republican for her plan to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.