August 09, 2012

Eric Hovde Admits He Doesn't Have a Clue on Women's Health Issues

Where Does Hovde Stand on Defunding Planned Parenthood and Denying Wisconsin Women Health Care Coverage?

Washington D.C. hedge fund banker Eric Hovde has said that Wisconsin needs a U.S. Senator who understands credit default swaps but when it comes to women’s health issues, he's admittedly clueless.

“Eric Hovde has admitted he doesn’t have a clue on women’s health issues and it’s time for him to get a clue and let the people of Wisconsin know where he stands on rolling back women’s access to important preventive care, turning over women’s health decisions to their bosses and defunding Planned Parenthood,” said State Representative Chris Taylor. "He needs to specifically indicate whether he supports access to birth control or not — Wisconsin's families deserve the right to know exactly where he stands."

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said that he’ll “get rid of” federal funding for Planned Parenthood, preventing millions of women from accessing breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams and other care they need to stay healthy. U.S. Senate candidates Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann and Jeff Fitzgerald have also taken the same position.

Hovde, a self-proclaimed “devout Christian” has yet to take a position on defunding Planned Parenthood.

In addition, at a campaign stop in West Bend three weeks ago, Hovde was asked whether he supported legislation pushed by Congressional Republicans to allow any employer or insurer to refuse to cover any health care service based on undefined religious beliefs or "moral convictions." Romney, Thompson, Neumann and Fitzgerald all support the Blunt-Rubio amendment which would turn women’s health decisions over to their bosses. It also could limit women’s access to everything from birth control to the HPV vaccine to STI screenings.

When asked about the Blunt-Rubio amendment in West Bend three weeks ago, Hovde, an employer in Wisconsin, said “I don’t know enough about the Blunt Amendment, but let me deal with my 100% pro-life. I’m a 100% pro-life, I’m a 100%, I’m a Christian.”

The drastically broad Blunt amendment can be used by employers and insurers to refuse to provide coverage for any health care service for any American — including mammograms, vaccinations, and diabetes screenings. For example, employers who oppose birth control can refuse to cover all birth control for their employees based on "moral convictions." Employers who believe psychiatric problems can be treated with prayer can refuse to cover mental health care, while employers can deny coverage for diabetes screenings based on a moral objection to unhealthy lifestyles. Employers can also cite "moral convictions" as the reason to deny coverage for HIV/AIDS screenings. [National Women's Law Center, 2/10/12]

In Wisconsin, the Blunt Amendment would repeal women's contraceptive rights approved by gutting contraceptive equity protections passed by the Legislature.

“The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate will debate tomorrow in front of a statewide audience and Wisconsin voters will go to the polls in just five days so they deserve nothing less than knowing where Eric Hovde stands on women’s health issues. I also believe that the people of Wisconsin deserve to have a U.S. Senator who has a clue about these issues that are so important to so many families across our state,” Taylor said.