Arizona Senator John McCain initially supported the Blunt Amendment, a measure that would have allowed individual employers to choose whether they wanted to allow employee health plans to cover birth control. Recently, however, he seems to have changed his mind regarding controlling women’s reproductive choices.
Last weekend, McCain appeared on Meet The Press, where David Gregory asked him about a bill introduced by an Arizona senate committee that would allow employers to demand that employees furnish proof that they were not using the contraceptive pill provided by employee health insurance plans to prevent pregnancy in order for them to approve their coverage. This is the segment — with a transcript below:
David Gregory: Are you concerned at all to see the focus — certain elements of the Republican Party on social issues? In your own state of Arizona, there’s this contraception bill that even the governor has said would put women in the uncomfortable position where they had to say to their employers why they wanted contraception, and why it should be covered — is that a bad road?
John McCain: I am confident that that legislation will not reach the governor’s desk and if it did it would be vetoed.
Gregory: It’s the wrong legislation.
McCain: Well, it certainly does not reflect — in my view — the majority view of the people of Arizona.
Gregory: Do you think that there is something of a war on women among Republicans?
McCain: I think we have to fix that. I think that there is a perception out there because of the way this whole contraception issue played out — we need to get off of that issue, in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear, and get back onto what the American people really care about.
Let’s hope the rest of the party isn’t far behind.
Header image by Rona Proudfoot.