Planned Parenthood slams Cuccinelli for protest call against birth-control mandate

Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC responded by saying Cuccinelli does not care about women's health or economic security.

"For women, access to affordable birth control is not a political issue — it is an economic issue," said the PAC's executive director, Cianti Stewart-Reid.

"Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal decisions about her birth control."

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Stewart-Reid added that Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC would work to defeat Cuccinelli, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who has pushed to limit abortion rights in the state.

The Obama birth-control policy mandates that most employers cover a range of birth control methods in their healthcare plans without cost-sharing.

Churches and houses of worship are exempt, and employees of religiously affiliated institutions such as Catholic schools will receive birth control directly from their insurers.

Opponents argue the mandate violates the religious freedom of employers who object to birth control or consider some methods equivalent to abortion.

Supporters say birth control is an essential part of most women's healthcare and should be accessible and inexpensive.

Cucinelli made his comment in reference to a lawsuit against the mandate from Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts-and-crafts store run by a conservative Christian family.

He told conservative radio host Steve Deace that protesting the policy with jail time would "provide an example of what tyranny means when it’s played to its logical conclusion."