Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has a simple solution for women who work for religious institutions that refuse to cover birth control: Find a new job.
During a call-in show on C-SPAN Monday morning, a woman named Doris from Osawatomie, Kansas told Brownback that she was worried that he wanted to turn back the clock on women’s rights.
“No, goodness,” Brownback replied. “That’s not true.”
“I am concerned that — along with lots of other red states — Gov. Brownback feels that we should be the reddest state in the country,” Doris explained. “Women’s rights are being trampled. He was talking about what President Obama is requiring insurance companies to do, to cover birth control. You know you are taking away the individual woman’s right to decide if they need birth control.”
“Ninety-eight percent of women have used birth control in their lives,” she added. “Now, we can pay for vasectomies, we can pay for Viagra, but we cannot pay for birth control for women? I think it’s a shame.”
Brownback immediately disagreed.
“What the president basically said is if you are church that does not believe in this — and the Catholic Church has problems with, the official Catholic Church, amongst other institutions, have problems with paying for contraceptives,” the Kansas governor explained. “You have a number of religious groups who saying, ‘We don’t want to pay for so-called abortifacients, these have morning after pill-type effects. And this is against our religious beliefs.’ And the president was saying, ‘You got to pay for it.’ And they were saying, ‘This is against our view life is sacred.’”
“That’s not denying women’s rights,” he insisted. “If a woman then wants birth control, go work somewhere else.”
A coalition of rights groups including Planned Parenthood, MainStream Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union recently criticized Brownback for an “assault on women’s health.”
“In 2011, 5 bills limiting access to abortion services and affordable contraception were passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Governor Brownback and the legislature spent over 25 public hours on these bills,” MainStream Coalition board member Gail James said in a media advisory. “This divisive social agenda does not reflect the values or priorities of the majority of Kansans.”
For his part, Brownback on Monday denied wanting to limit the rights of women.
“Having three very good, strong daughters that are doing quite well, I — and I want them to have every opportunity and every possibility in this country and they’re going to have it,” he said.
Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast Feb. 27, 2012.
(H/T: Don’t Cut Me Off)