Senate Dems Turn Contraception-Mandate Controversy Into Fundraising Pitch

By Matt Cover | February 9, 2012 | 11:15 AM EST

President Barack Obama and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., take part in a roundtable discussion with small business owners at a Seattle bakery on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) – the campaign arm of the Senate Democratic Caucus – is using the controversy over the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate to raise campaign funds.

The email, sent to potential Democratic donors, touts the Obama administration’s decision to require insurance providers to provide contraceptive and sterilization services free of charge.

The email, signed by DSCC Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), calls opposition to the Obamacare mandate an “attack” on women’s health.

“Our right-wing opponents continue to launch attack after attack against women's rights, women's health, and women's economic security -- and we've got to fight back every single day,” the email says.

“The next battle over the Obama administration's decision to make contraception more affordable under the new health care law is already underway.”

The DSCC says it has created a new grassroots effort, called the Standing Strong for Women Project – “to combat the Republican war on women.”

Religious groups – most notably the Catholic Church – have roundly condemned the mandate, saying it violates their First Amendment right to religious freedom because it would force them to provide contraceptives to their employees despite the fact that they believe contraception and sterilization to be immoral.

The DSCC said it was “hard to believe” that such a controversy could erupt, urging supporters to give money in support of the mandate.

“It's hard to believe that in the 21st century we have to fight for access to birth control, but that is the fact -- and there will be many more fights in the weeks ahead.”

The email also cites the liberals’ “victory” in forcing the Susan G. Komen foundation to reverse its decision to defund Planned Parenthood – despite the fact that the abortion provider does not provide mammograms.

“Our opponents tried to defund Planned Parenthood, in the federal budget and in many states. They tried to destroy our Medicare and Medicaid lifelines, which would be particularly devastating to women. They tried to get the Susan G. Komen Foundation to cut off support for Planned Parenthood.

“Enough is enough. We may have won this latest round, but our opponents aren't going away. They're launching endless attacks against women every single day, and we need to rise to the challenge.”

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