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Kelly Ayotte and her allies are lying about her record on women’s health.

 

Here’s what’s happening: When Kelly Ayotte is in office, she votes against women — and when she’s running for office, she lies about it.

In the last two weeks, outside groups are rushing to shield Ayotte from her history of cutting New Hampshire women’s access to health care, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads that are blatantly untruthful.

radio ad, set to air tomorrow in New Hampshire, falsely claims that Ayotte is “doing more for women’s health,” just after she voted three times to defund Planned Parenthood — votes she has tirelessly tried to sidestep in the media.

During her tenure in the Senate, Ayotte has supported policies that would make birth control more expensive, put employers square between women and their ability to access contraception, restrict access to care for thousands of women who use Planned Parenthood’s health centers for services like STI testing, breast cancer screenings, and birth control; she has supported dangerous bills to restrict access to safe and legal abortion; and she voted against access to primary care for low-income women.  A pollconducted this summer by Hart Research showed 66 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose defunding Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 72 percent of Independents, demonstrating Ayotte’s willingness to completely ignore her constituents views, particularly when it comes to women’s health.

Actions speak louder than words and Ayotte’s votes to restrict thousands of women from breast cancer screenings and birth control in her home state could have a real impact on the lives of New Hampshire women. This is a reality that Ayotte has signaled she will continue to ignore as she employs untold resources and outside groups to lie to New Hampshire women about her dangerous record headed into 2016.

Here is a closer look at Ayotte’s record on women’s health as it compares to the lies in the recent ads:

Ad Transcript: “Almost every day in New Hampshire, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. To find a cure, Senator Kelly Ayotte is working with senators of both parties to expand breast cancer research and protect annual mammogram screenings to improve breast cancer detection. Because early detection can save women's lives. And Senator Ayotte is doing more for women's health, focusing public attention on ovarian cancer and fighting for over-the-counter contraception to ensure safe and better options so that women can make their own health care decisions and increase their purchasing power.  Call Senator Kelly Ayotte at 603-622-7979 and tell her to keep fighting for women's health care and pass Senate Bill 1438, the ‘Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception’ Act.” - Paid for by One Nation

FACT:  Kelly Ayotte has actively tried to undermine improvements to breast cancer detection after she voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood. Defunding the nonprofit would have cut access to breast cancer screenings and affordable birth control for thousands of New Hampshire women. In 2013, Planned Parenthood provided over 3,500 New Hampshire women with breast exams and over 11 thousand with birth control.

FACT:  Ayotte has record of fighting against women’s expanded access to birth control and their ability to make their own health care decisions — even supporting policies that would put an employer  squarely between a woman and her ability to access birth control. Ayotte’s record includes support for the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision and the “Blunt Amendment.”

CLAIM: “...focusing public attention on ovarian cancer, and fighting for over-the-counter contraception to ensure safe and better options so that women can make their own health care decisions...”

  • Ayotte defended the Supreme Court’s unpopular Hobby Lobby decision on the Senate floor.

  • Senator Ayotte co-sponsored and voted for the “Blunt Amendment,” to allow employers to opt out of contraception coverage and refuse coverage for any health care service to employees. [S. Amdt. 1520 to S. Amdt. 1730 to S. 1813, Roll Call Vote 24, 3/1/12]

  • About her vote in support of the Blunt Amendment, Ayotte has said: “Unfortunately, many have tried to characterize this amendment as denying women access to contraception. That’s a red herring, and it’s false.” [ABC News, 2/29/12]

  • On her support of the Hobby Lobby decision, Ayotte said: “Americans shouldn’t be forced to comply with government mandates that violate core principles of their faith. This case is fundamentally a matter of religious freedom, and this ruling affirms Americans’ religious liberties as protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” [Office of Sen. Ayotte, Press Release, 6/30/14]

FACT:  Kelly Ayotte has proposed a plan that would undermine the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act that has granted access to nearly 300,000 women in New Hampshire no-copay preventive health services, including birth control. Leading medical experts say that Ayotte’s plan would actually “make more women have to pay for their birth control.”

CLAIM: “Fighting for over-the-counter contraception, ensuring safe and better options.”

  • Kelly Ayotte wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A recent studyshowed that the birth control benefit has saved women $1.4 billion a year on birth control pills alone — showing the clear economic impact that access to no-copay birth control has had on women’s lives.

  • Leading medical experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), believe birth control pills should be available without a prescription over the counter —but only if they continue to be fully covered by insurance. The president of ACOG said about Ayotte’s bill: “Unfortunately, instead of improving access, this bill would actually make more women have to pay for their birth control, and for some women, the cost would be prohibitive.” [Huffington Post, 5/22/15]

  • The Huffington Post: “... the proposal also represents a GOP end run around the Affordable Care Act provision that requires most employers to cover the full range of contraception at no cost to women. Republicans have long opposed and even pledged to repeal that rule because they claim it violates the religious freedom rights of employers who are morally opposed to birth control.”

  • On her opposition to the ACA’s contraception mandate which provides women access to birth control without a copay, saving them each up to $600 a year, Ayotte said: “This is unprecedented. This is not a women's rights issue. This is a religious rights issue.  This is a religious liberty issue." [ABC News, 2/8/12]

FACT: Kelly Ayotte is not doing more for women’s health. Kelly Ayotte has an extensive record of voting against policies that would expand women’s access to the full range of health care services, which include votes to defund Planned Parenthood, which in New Hampshire — in addition to providing thousands of breast exams and thousands with birth control — administered over 13,000 STI tests, nearly 2,000 Pap tests, and engaged in sex education and outreach to nearly 2,000 individuals in 2013.

CLAIM: “Senator Kelly Ayotte is doing more for women’s health.”

  • Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), which would create a Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund to provide additional resources to existing grant programs that assist survivors of human trafficking. The amendment would strike the Hyde Amendment from the fund, which would prohibit federal dollars from being used to pay for access to abortion care. [S. Amdt. 301 to S. 178, Roll Call Vote 156, 4/22/15]

  • Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), that would have extended enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for primary care physicians,expanding it to include OB/GYN’s. It would have provided $500 million for the Title X family planning program and support training programs for women’s health nurse practitioners. Additionally, the “Women's Access to Quality Health Care” amendment would have removed a reference to a harmful provision commonly referred to as the Hyde Amendment. [S. Amdt. 1117 to H.R. 2, Roll Call Vote 140, 4/14/15]

  • Senator Ayotte voted against the “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act,” which was a legislative fix to the June 2014 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. [S. 2578, Roll Call Vote 228, 7/16/14]

  • Senator Ayotte voted against an amendment to the FY2014 Senate budget resolution, sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), that would “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect women's access to health care, including primary and preventative health care, family planning and birth control, and employer-provided contraceptive coverage, such as was provided under the Affordable Care Act.” The amendment passed 56-43.[Roll Call Vote 64, S.Amdt. 438 to S.Con.Res. 8, 3/22/13]

  • Senator Ayotte voted in favor of an amendment to, “create a point of order against any legislation that would provide taxpayer funds to the United Nations while any member nation forces citizens or residents of that nation to undergo involuntary abortions.”  [Roll Call 86, S.Amdt. 702 to S.Con.Res. 8, 3/23/13]