On the day the nation’s highest court ruled that family-owned businesses can decline to provide insurance coverage for contraception, Karyn Polito made sure a room full of Republican women knew exactly where she stands: in favor of women’s access to contraception and abortion.
“We are our own brand on the social issues . . . embracing a woman’s right to choose,” said Polito, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, referring to herself and running mate, Charlie Baker.
“That’s our message,” Polito said to rousing applause.
Two recent Supreme Court cases — striking down Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone law and the federal requirement that employers cover contraception — have energized Massachusetts voters, politicians, and women’s organizations around issues of women’s health.
Hundreds have rushed to volunteer at the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, which supports abortion rights. At the same time, Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which opposes abortion rights, said her thank you notes to large donors have tripled. But for the most part, passions are crystallizing into a movement of women, both Democratic and Republican in a state that overwhelmingly supports abortion rights, who see the rulings as an encroachment.
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