In 2013, he cosponsored federal legislation to do the same thing
By any reasonable interpretation, Gardner has only sort of half flip-flopped; he's explained why his position is a bad one, but he hasn't completely changed his position. Given that his motive was clearly to appear more politically palatable to mainstream voters in Colorado, this fence straddling is truly bizarre. It doesn't satisfy anyone to his left—and as Steve Benen notes today, it isn't satisfying anyone on the right either.
Yesterday, however, Democrats eagerly circulated a statement from Personhood USA’s president, Keith Mason, telling Gardner he didn’t really flip-flop.Mason pointed out what I wrote above: That Gardner is still to this day a co-sponsor of federal personhood legislation, a position which his office defends. But Mason then took Gardner to task for conceding that personhood would ban contraception and urged him to take it back:
Retract the false statement, instigated by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, that a personhood bill could ban contraception, when in fact it could not.Mason is wrong about the contraception ban. The only way you can say personhood doesn't ban contraception is if you change the definition of contraception to abortion, which is exactly what personhood does in many cases.
That being said, he's right that Gardner has acknowledged that personhood would ban some forms of contraception. The question, however, is why Gardner continues to support personhood at the federal level.