- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

Sen. Kay Hagan on Monday hit Republican challenger Thom Tillis for opposing birth control and abortion rights, dismissing his call for making birth control pills available without a prescription as “politicking.”

The Hagan campaign sent out an email that accused Mr. Tillis, the state House speaker, of attempting to “run away from his women’s health record.”

The email cited an editorial from the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer that highlighted Mr. Tillis’ opposition to the Obamacare mandate that employers provide free birth control in health plans and to legislation that blocked taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.

Ms. Hagan, who is one of the most endangered Senate Democrats in this year’s elections, has made women’s health issues and the GOP’s so-called “war on women” a centerpiece of her campaign.

But Mr. Tillis shook up the race in a debate last week when he unexpectedly came out in support of over-the-counter birth control pills.

“Speaker Tillis’ attempt to run away from his women’s health record has been called out for its ‘pungent odor of politicking,’” said the Hagan campaign, quoting the Observer editorial.

“It turns out Speaker Tillis hasn’t done anything to make it more affordable or more accessible. In fact, he’s defunded Planned Parenthood in North Carolina and supports measures that would turn back the clock on women’s access to birth control,” said the Hagan campaign.

Tillis campaign spokeswoman Meghan Burris said that it was Ms. Hagan who was “playing politics” with the issue.

“Instead of playing politics, Kay Hagan should explain why she opposes making contraceptives cheaper and more accessible by making them available over the counter,” she said. “Thom supports the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ commonsense proposal to make contraceptives available over the counter.

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