When I first heard Senators Roy Blunt and Scott Brown were trying to push an even more radical effort to deny women basic health care access than what we'd seen before, I knew in my gut it wasn't going to work. That amendment wasn't just bad policy -- it's bad politics and I knew that voters wouldn't stand for that kind of right-wing regressive agenda. Women and men across America value their individual liberties too much to let their boss decide whether or not they can get vaccinations or health care, let alone have access to birth control.
I know this because I feel the same way, and because American voters have responded to these attacks on their freedoms. EMILY's List recently partnered with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund to find out just how voters were responding to these issues. And let me tell you, voters are not pleased with the GOP. Our research shows that 60 percent of voters strongly oppose the Blunt Amendment. And nearly half say they are less likely to support a candidate for office if he or she supported policies like the Blunt Amendment.
My gut was right. Voters are soundly rejecting this right wing agenda, from the freedom-limiting Blunt Amendment, to the vile attacks of Rush Limbaugh. Not just Democratic voters, but Independent voters, and Republicans too: access to birth control has the potential to impact races across the country.
We polled voters in battleground states, states like Massachusetts and Nevada. These are states where the senators up for reelection, Scott Brown and Dean Heller, not only supported this amendment, but are facing off against some of the strongest pro-choice Democratic female Senate candidates we've ever seen.
Voters don't want to support candidates who are trying to take away their rights and turn back the clock. They are looking to support candidates who stand strong on issues like access to birth control, candidates who will focus on getting things done for women and their families. This war on basic health care and freedoms has made its way into Senate races across the country.
Thankfully, EMILY's List is supporting a record number of women candidates for Senate, and an ever-growing field of House candidates, who will defeat the Republicans who supported Blunt and will work to expand opportunity and stability for women and families, not limit it. Our community is now over one million members and growing every day. Women candidates, women voters and women donors will decide the 2012 elections, and believe me, this issue will be considered when they head to the ballot box.
Where I'm from, in Montana, we value individual liberties and we respect privacy. Judging from these polling results, I think we can say the same for American voters.