Four years ago, Republican congressman and Colorado GOP Senate nominee Cory Gardner was campaigning to make personhood—the radical view that fertilized eggs should be treated as persons from a legal perspective—the law of the land in his home state. Last summer, he co-sponsored a federal law to make it the law of the land in the entire country.
But as soon as Gardner launched his U.S. Senate campaign, he flip-flopped, saying he had changed his mind on personhood legislation because it could threaten the legality of some forms of contraception. It was an obvious election-year conversion, and not a convincing one—it wasn't the facts that caused Gardner to change his mind, it was his ambitions.
And just in case you needed any more evidence that Gardner is worried that his support for personhood is still a problem, check out his newest gambit: Running a television ad supporting over-the-counter availability for birth control.
"What’s the difference between me and Mark Udall on contraception? I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock, without a prescription — cheaper and easier, for you," Gardner said in the ad, which showed a number of women nodding their heads as Gardner talked.Forget the policy question about whether or not that's the right position—although I'm sure Gardner likes the idea of the pill not being something covered by insurance—the point is that coming from Gardner, it's complete baloney. This is a guy who says he's against personhood, yet is still a co-sponsor of federal legislation supporting it. This is a guy who would never dream of making Plan B available without a prescription—unless he thought it would help him win an election.
If Gardner wins, he'll have six years to do whatever he wants before facing re-election. The odds of him maintaining his newfound openness to contraception are precisely zero. Moreover, no matter what his views end up being on contraception, as even he would admit, he's still a committed anti-abortion hardliner. Hopefully, Udall points that out in his response, because even if Cory Gardner actually were the world's greatest proponent of oral contraception, that can't change the fact that he remains fundamentally opposed to a woman's right to choose.