Wendy Long, New York Senate Challenger, Says Soldiers Did Not Die For Contraceptive Rights

07/02/2012 04:42 pm ET | Updated Jul 05, 2012

A New York GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate has included in her stump speech the claim that America's fighting men and women are not risking their lives and dying to protect things like expanded access to health care or contraceptive coverage.

Wendy Long, who won last week's primary for the right to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the fall, faces a huge gender gap. She is trailing the incumbent Democrat by more than 40 percentage points among New York's women voters.

It's not clear that linking Gillibrand's support of reproductive rights to the sacrifices of military members will help Long close that gap. But the conservative Long has woven that message into her stump speech, making the point in May and June in speeches flagged for The Huffington Post by New York Democrats, who think the remarks will hurt her. (Video excerpts are above.)

Praising America's warriors as defenders of the Constitution in one speech, Long goes on to say, "They didn't die for what Kirsten Gillibrand is saying -- for the right to force religious employers to pay for their employees' contraception."

"It wasn't so that Kirsten Gillibrand and Barack Obama could regulate us with Health and Human Services regulations mandating that religious employers pay for their employees' contraception," she says in another address. "That isn't why these guys died."

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