Last night in New York, the two candidates for U.S. Senate faced off in an instructive, educational debate. Incumbent Kirsten Gillbrand (D.) followed Barack Obama’s lead, insisting that his health-care bill and its subsequent regulations are solving a contraception-access problem inherent to the freedom and equality of women in America. “There has been concerted effort to undermine basic women’s reproductive rights,” the current senator insisted. Look these are fights and battles that my mother had, that my grandmother had. Women of America believe that they should make their own decisions about contraception. They don’t expect their legislators to be arguing that their boss should make that decision.
She went on to say, as if not to notice that her opponent is a woman, too: “this is why I’m so focused on making sure women are heard this election . . . these are fundamental issues about our rights.
Her opponent, Wendy Long (R.), accused Gillbrand of “completely misleading this audience and the people of New York” when she contends that the Blunt amendment in the Senate (known as the Fortenberry amendment in the House) would be telling women whether or not they can use contraception. Long went on to explain that the constitutional right those seeking to protect conscience rights only seeks to restore the rights of religious employers and individuals to avoid offering coverage that violates their consciences.
Long clarified: “For the first time in American history, you have set up a situation where you have to obey a government diktat or violate your faith. You know what is going to happen? Then the employer just won’t offer any health insurance at all. That’s where we are headed.”
Watch the exchange here.
Watching the entire debate last night, it was pretty clear Wendy Long is a worthy candidate for the Senate. New York ought to wake up to the alternative before them, for the sake of a nation and it’s future as stewards of our most basic, God-given rights and constitutional protections.