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Democrats seek political edge in contraception ruling

By Donna Cassata

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 16 2014 12:25 p.m. MDT

No wonder that on the other side of the Capitol on Tuesday, Democrats stood with various women's groups to speak out for the legislation. They cast the Supreme Court decision in the case of Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based chain of arts and craft stores that challenged the contraceptives provision, as five male justices on the court voting against the interests of women.

"I wish they could have had a conversation with their mothers, their wives, their daughters," Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the court's decision has "awakened the pro-choice majority in this country."

In Kentucky, NARAL launched a 30-second, black-and-white ad criticizing Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for his opposition to the legislation with the tag line, "Mitch McConnell will never do the right thing for Kentucky women."

In one of the most closely watched races in the country, McConnell faces Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in his bid for a sixth term.

Answering critics of the GOP, McConnell has argued that the health care law has proven more harmful to women. He joined Ayotte and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., in backing a bill that reaffirms current law on access to contraception and calls for a Food and Drug Administration study on whether contraceptives could be sold over the counter without a prescription.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the Democratic bill is "just political messaging, inartfully done." He said the Congress could be acting on plenty of legislation, but at the "end of the day, we're doing nothing."

Associated Press Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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