02/21/2012 07:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tammy Duckworth Slams GOP Opponent On Birth Control

WASHINGTON -- Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic House candidate running in Illinois' 8th District, is out with a new mailer attacking her opponent for saying the birth control debate isn't about women.

"This is not about women," incumbent Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said to an all-male panel of witnesses during a House hearing last week discussing whether birth control coverage violated religious freedoms. "This is not about contraceptives. We know, you've said it, we've said it up here. This is about religious freedom. This is about religious liberties," Walsh told the panel.

Duckworth's new direct mailer included Walsh's comments and a photograph of the five men testifying at the hearing.

“When Joe Walsh and the House Republicans say birth control is not about women, you know the wrong people are in charge in Washington," Duckworth says in the mailer. “Women should make decisions about their health care, not a bunch of guys in Washington.”

Walsh's campaign office did not immediately return a request for comment.

The contraception debate, including the all-male panel and a controversial joke by a Santorum backer, has come as a boon for many Democratic candidates who have seen their fundraising surge over concern about the issue.

EMILY's List, a political action committee supporting pro-choice Democratic women, including Duckworth, is airing an ad titled "Where are the women?" According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a similar "Where are the women?" petition it circulated after the birth-control hearing garnered more than 250,000 signatures.

View the mailer:

Amanda Terkel contributed reporting.