- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Republican Senate challenger Cory Gardner on Tuesday doubled down on his proposal to offer common types of oral contraception to women over-the-counter without a prescription.

“Cheaper and easier for you,” the Coloradan tells a rapt crowd in the 30-second spot aimed at defeating Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

Mr. Gardner, a congressman, is among Republicans who’ve pushed back at a Democratic full-court press over contraception in the wake of the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” ruling at the end of June.

In a 5-4 decision, the court said closely held corporations did not have to insure contraceptives they object to on moral grounds, even though an Obamacare rule requires them to cover 20 FDA-approved forms as part of company health plans.

Democrats cried foul and said the ruling will keep contraception out of reach for women across the country.

Mr. Gardner proposed over-the-counter birth control in an op-ed in The Denver Post in June, shortly before the court’s ruling.

He says the proposal will trim costs and allow women to access contraception freely, “around the clock,” while Mr. Udall wants “to keep government bureaucrats between you and your health care plan.”

“That means more politics and more profits for drug companies,” he says in the new ad.

The Udall campaign has said the proposal will do little unless insurers agree to pay for the services.

Shortly after Mr. Gardner’s ad went online, the campaign pointed to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concerns about the Republican’s plan.

“Cost is a major factor in a woman’s consistent use of contraception, and many women simply cannot afford the out of pocket costs of contraceptives without health insurance coverage,” ACOG said in July.

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