Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis: Insulting Women’s Intelligence

“At a GOP forum last month, candidates also said they thought states had the right to ban contraceptives. Tillis, who skipped the event, later said he agreed.”
[News & Observer, 1/31/14]

“When pressed specifically to rebut Brown’s assertion that S.B. 143 would have resulted in longer sentences for abortion providers than rapists and whether that is something Gardner still supports, Siciliano did not respond further.”
[KDVR, 9/3/14]

Thom Tillis believes that states have the right to ban contraceptives. Cory Gardner sponsored a bill that would have resulted in longer sentences for doctors who provide care for rape victims than to for the rapists themselves. Those are facts. And that is only the tip of the iceberg for each Senate candidate’s record on women’s issues.

Now, both candidates are suddenly supporting over-the-counter birth control and claiming they are the better choice for women than their opponents. It’s desperate election-year pandering. It’s insulting. And it’s fooling nobody.

No two senate candidates have been more strongly committed in their careers to taking away women’s access to health care and ability to make their own decisions.

In Washington, Cory Gardner has led the fight for personhood legislation that would make common forms of birth control illegal, and he is still sponsoring that bill today. In Raleigh, Thom Tillis jammed through a bill to help close women’s health centers across North Carolina by attaching it to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill. Both candidates have worked to defund Planned Parenthood. Both candidates have fought against equal pay. Both candidates support allowing employers to deny birth control to their employees.

If Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis think this charade can trick women into supporting them now, well that’s just as offensive as their atrocious records.

Thom Tillis:

Tillis Believed States Should Have The Right To Ban Contraceptives. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “At a GOP forum last month, candidates also said they thought states had the right to ban contraceptives. Tillis, who skipped the event, later said he agreed.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 1/31/14]

Tillis Said That Private Company Health Plans Should Not Be Required To Cover Contraceptives. According to McClatchy, “Tillis has said that company health plans shouldn’t be required by the government to cover contraceptives. Shaw said that Tillis’ views had not changed.” [McClatchy, 7/2/14]

Tillis’ Campaign Said That Tillis Supported A Personhood Amendment, But One That Had Exceptions For Rape, Incest, Life Of The Mother, And Contraception Access.According to McClatchy, “Shaw also said that Tillis would support a ‘personhood amendment,’ an initiative in some states that would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person under certain conditions. It would have to be consistent with his view that abortion should be legal in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger, and it would have to be in line with his view that women should have access to contraceptives, he said.” [McClatchy, 7/2/14]

Tillis’ Budget Included A Provision To Cut Off State And Federal Funding For Planned Parenthood. According to the News & Observer, “It appears that Tillis is willing to spend some time during the coming session revisiting at least one budget provision that is the subject of litigation. One of the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliates is suing over the provision that cuts the group off from state and federal funding for family planning. A federal judge recently ruled that the state must keep the group’s funding intact until the lawsuit is resolved. Tillis told the Associated Press that lawmakers could consider rewriting the provision when they meet in September to avoid further litigation while retaining the law’s original purpose.” [News & Observer, 8/30/11]

Cory Gardner:

Gardner Voted Multiple Times To Defund Planned Parenthood. According to an opinion piece by Laura Chapin, published in the U.S. News & World Report, “Gardner’s anti-women’s rights record in Congress includes voting multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood including a 2011 Republican amendment that would bar all funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America or its affiliates. This encompassed Planned Parenthood’s medical programs that provide family planning assistance, contraception, HIV counseling, STD and cancer screenings and other medical care.” [Laura Chapin – U.S. News & World Report, 2/27/14]

2013: Gardner Co-Sponsored Bill Declaring That Human Life Began At Fertilization Or Cloning, Also Known As Personhood. In July 2013, Gardner co-sponsored a bill that, according to the Congressional Research Service, would have “[d]eclare[d] that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution [was] vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual [came] into being.” [Congressional Research Service, 3/12/13; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1091; Congressional Sponsors, 7/23/13]

KDVR: Gardner Supported The 2010 Personhood Initiative Which Would Have Banned Abortion In Colorado. According to KDVR, “The one-minute video focuses on Gardner’s support for the 2010 Personhood initiative, which would have effectively banned abortion in Colorado, a House GOP budget plan that would have ‘ended Medicare as we know it’, and his opposition to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of comprehensive immigration reform.” [KDVR, 3/11/14]

2011: Gardner Co-Sponsored A Bill To Prohibit Federal Funding For Abortion, Except In Cases Of Rape, Incest, Or Life Of The Mother. In January 2011, Gardner co-sponsored a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “prohibit[ed] federal funding for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is endangered. It would [have] modif[ied] tax breaks given for health insurance coverage to exclude coverage for abortion, prohibit[ed] federal medical facilities from providing abortion services.” In May 2011, the House passed the bill with a vote of 251 to 175. The Senate took no subsequent action. [House Vote 292, 5/4/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 3; Congressional Quarterly, 5/4/11]

  • The “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act” Narrowed The Definition Of Rape To “Forcible Rape. According to the Huffington Post, “Ryan also cosponsored the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ with Akin in 2011. The GOP tried to narrow the definition of rape as it related to abortions with the measure. Only in instances of ‘forcible rape,’ the bill specified, would a woman be eligible to have her abortion covered under insurance. The sentiment behind the notorious attempt to redefine rape was echoed in Akin’s comment on Sunday.” [Huffington Post, 8/19/12]

2011: Gardner Voted To Potentially Allow Hospitals And Doctors To Refuse To Perform An Abortion When Needed To Save A Woman’s Life In A Medical Emergency.In October 2011, Gardner effectively voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have ensured “that nothing in the [underlying] bill would exempt hospitals or medical providers from state or federal laws requiring they give care that would prevent the death of pregnant women with emergency medical conditions.” The underlying bill, according to Congressional Quarterly, included provisions that would have “prohibit[ed] any federal agency, state or local government that receives federal funding from discriminating against a ‘health care entity’ that refuses to receive training on how to perform abortions; provide such training; pay for, participate in, or perform abortions; or offer referrals for abortion services. The bill defines a ‘health care entity’ as an individual physician or other health care professional, hospital, provider-sponsored organization, health maintenance organization, insurance plan, or any other health care facility, organization or plan.” The vote was on a motion to recommit the bill with instructions that it be reported back with the specified amendment; the House rejected the motion by a vote of 173 to 249. The underlying bill passed the House; however, the Senate took no substantive action on the bill. [House Vote 788, 10/13/11; Congressional Quarterly, 10/13/11; Congressional Quarterly, 10/10/11]