By Elise Viebeck - 08/06/14 11:54 AM EDT
Democrats are calling Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) a hypocrite, after he reportedly told an Iowa audience that "almost nobody in here wants to ban birth control."
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) pounced on the comment to note that Paul has sought to give legal rights to fertilized human eggs, a move that would likely ban certain forms of contraception.
"Rand Paul’s comments this morning are not only disingenuous, there are patently false. Female voters in Iowa, and across the country know where he stands — and it’s not on the side of women."
The DNC also slammed Paul for supporting the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision, which gave some for-profit corporations the ability to opt out of federal healthcare coverage mandates on religious grounds.
Republicans say they want to protect the religious freedom of employers who oppose some forms of birth control. No GOP lawmaker in recent memory has argued for banning contraception outright.
Still, past support for "personhood" measures is dogging some Republican candidates as they seek to woo women voters.
In his effort to unseat Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in November, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) notably retracted his past support for "personhood," after it became an issue in the race. He later proposed making birth control available over the counter.
The DNC is watching Paul as he continues a three-day swing through Iowa, widely perceived as an effort to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential bid. The route will take Paul through nine cities in total.
Paul's birth control comment was reported on Twitter by The Des Moines Register.