Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments attacking the idea of mandatory contraception coverage in insurance have come under fire, particularly for the statement that Democrats believe women “are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”
Bloggers from the Campaign for America’s Future, a progressive public policy group, discovered that Huckabee himself signed legislation in 2005 that required contraception coverage in Arkansas insurance policies … including policies for church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities.
Huffington Post described Huckabee’s change in position as an “epic flip-flop,” noting that Huckabee defended his view at the time, saying that “Religious employers are not required to comply with this policy. My position is, and always has been, that religious entities shouldn’t be forced to pay for contraception.”
Abortifacients were exempted in the Arkansas legislation, the Arkansas Times noted, but the law appears even more comprehensive than the ACA, mandating coverage under health policies issued by institutions with religious affiliations if they don’t exist primarily for that purpose and don’t primarily employ people of that religion, a standard most religiously-affiliated hospitals and schools do not meet.
Notably, Huckabee’s current position calls for a ban on mandatory contraception coverage for any employer for whom contraception presents a moral conflict, going as far as promoting a Hobby Lobby day on his website to support the company’s Supreme Court case challenging the contraception coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.