FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2008
Carly Fiorina Slips Up on McCain's RecordMcCain adviser brings up insurance coverage for birth control, even though he voted against such coverage
Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the organization is sending a copy of Sen. John McCain's voting record on women's health issues to Carly Fiorina, an adviser to the anti-choice candidate, who yesterday made a statement in direct conflict with McCain's position on birth control.
According to the Washington Post, during a discussion with reporters about women and health insurance, Fiorina said, "a real, live example which I've been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice." [Washington Post, July 8, 2008]
Fiorina's comments are in direct contradiction with McCain's record. In fact, McCain voted against a proposal that would have required insurance companies to cover prescription contraception in the same way they pay for Viagra. [Clinton/Reid amendment to FY'06 Budget Resolution, S.Con.Res.18, 3/17/05.]
"If Carly Fiorina is so concerned about making sure women have choices that include coverage for birth control, then she should support the only presidential candidate who actually supports health insurance coverage for birth control... Barack Obama," Keenan said. "Women are concerned about health-care inequities—and that's why we are working to elect Sen. Barack Obama as the next president. Unlike McCain, who has voted against family planning 22 times, Sen. Obama supports legislation that would ensure fairness in insurance coverage for birth control, which represents one of the best ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion. That's a clear difference between these candidates."
Keenan cited McCain's extensive record of votes against birth control, including a vote to eliminate the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health-care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings. [Weicker motion to table Helms amendment to FY'89 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, H.R.4783, 7/25/88; motion to invoke cloture on Family Planning Amendments Act, S.110, 9/26/90.] See a complete listing of McCain's votes against family planning here.
In addition, Keenan said McCain's votes against birth control would be especially troublesome for the unique audience of women voters NARAL Pro-Choice America is targeting: Independent and Republican pro-choice women in suburban and exurban swing districts that will play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Recent polling confirms how, once these voters know McCain's opposition to a woman's right to choose and votes against family planning, they will switch parties to support Sen. Barack Obama. Information about the polling can be found here.