In races around the country, Republican candidates are hoping to do a better job of appealing to women voters, a demographic that has strongly favored Democrats in recent election cycles. To make inroads, the party has tried out a variety of talking points. Recent calls for better access to contraceptives are not among the more convincing.
Take Colorado Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner. Starting in 2006, Gardner was outspoken in his support of antiabortion or "personhood" measures, which could lead to certain forms of birth control being banned, even campaigning in his own church for them. Since announcing his Senate bid, Gardner has declared he no longer supports the Colorado personhood measure he once touted, precisely because it could ban common forms of birth control.
It's not as simple as a change of heart: Gardner continues to cosponsor federal legislation that's very similar to the state legislation he's denounced, as highlighted in a recent interview with KDVR-TV, Denver's Fox affiliate. "It was the wrong thing to do," Gardner told KCVR's Eli Stokols of the personhood legislation he abandoned. "I believe it had unintended consequences." When Stokols followed up with a question about his nearly identical federal legislation, however, Gardner simply denied its existence. "The facts are Eli, that there is no federal personhood bill. There is no federal personhood bill." (The bill, which holds that life begins at the moment of fertilization, is online here.)