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The Planned Parenthood Action Fund today launched a new TV ad, highlighting Sen. John McCain's inability to answer when asked whether he supports insurance coverage of birth control.

Watch new ad.


The TV ad is part of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund's "kNOw McCain" campaign to educate voters about John McCain's anti-choice and anti-women's health care record.

"John McCain is out of touch when it comes to women's health care," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "Birth control is basic health care for women. But, John McCain ducked a straightforward question about whether he thinks insurance companies should cover birth control, like they do Viagra."

The ad shows widely aired footage from last week of John McCain struggling to answer a basic question: did he have an opinion on whether it was unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra, but not birth control.

"The more women know about McCain, they more they see that John McCain is out of touch on women's health care," said Richards. "This ad is a powerful visual showing women that John McCain has no answer when it comes to protecting women's health."

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is targeting women and women influencers, women who are influential voices in their community, with this ad, buying spots that are popular with women viewers.

The TV ad will air on the season premiere of Project Runway, one of Bravo TV's highest rated shows; Lifetime's top-rated show, Army Wives, as well as The Oprah Winfrey Show in select markets. The TV ad will air in key battleground states, including Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, DC.

In the U.S. Senate, McCain has twice voted NO on contraceptive equity.

In 2003, McCain voted NO on the Murray/Reid Amendment (S.Amdt 258 to S. 3, vote 45, 3/11/03), which would have improved the availability of contraceptives for women and required insurance coverage of prescription birth control if the insurance companies covered other prescriptions.

In 2005, McCain voted NO on the Clinton/Reid amendment to FY'06 Budget Resolution (S. Amdt 244 to S.Con.Res.18, 3/17/05). It included a requirement for contraceptive equity in health insurance plans.

Birth control is basic health care. According to the Guttmacher Institute, "Nearly all sexually active females (98 percent in 2002) have used at least one method of birth control."

In addition, Guttmacher also reports that women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related supplies and services.
According to legislation filed by Sen. Murray, "private insurance provides extremely limited coverage of contraceptives: half of traditional indemnity plans and preferred provider organizations, 20 percent of point-of-service networks, and 7 percent of health maintenance organizations cover no contraceptive methods other than sterilization." (S.Amdt 258 to S. 3, vote 45, 3/11/03)

Read the full transcript of Sen. McCain's exchange with a reporter on this issue.