The Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is already leading Republican candidates to consider what other aspects of sex they can shut down. In Arizona, U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters already announced his desire to block access to birth control… even for married couples.
But it’s an open question about whether he even knew he was doing it.
His campaign website said this regarding his position on abortion rights:
“I am 100% pro-life. Roe v. Wade was a horrible decision. It was wrong the day it was decided in 1973, it’s wrong today, and it must be reversed. But the fight doesn’t stop there,” Master’s campaign website reads. It goes on to pledge the candidate will “vote only for federal judges who understand that Roe and Griswold and Casey were wrongly decided, and that there is no constitutional right to abortion.”
The site no longer says that — or anything about his policy positions, really — because that statement inadvertently gave away what critics would say is the actual Republican agenda: controlling everyone’s sex lives. While Roe and Casey upheld the right to have an abortion, the 1965 Griswold case overturned Connecticut’s ban on birth control because such a law violated a couple’s right to privacy. Why was that one on his radar?!
(Using birth control, to state the obvious, is not equivalent to abortion. It prevents a pregnancy from occurring at all rather than ending it after it happens.)
Masters either didn’t know that… or said way too much. It’s not hard to imagine him agreeing with it, though, because he also brags about being Catholic on his website. The Catholic Church famously opposes any kind of “artificial” birth control, no matter how sensible it may be or how many lives it might save. While some Catholic politicians like Joe Biden break with the Church on these issues, there’s no indication Masters would do the same.
When asked about the statement by Business Insider, Masters doubled down on his opposition to women’s rights but added birth control wasn’t on his radar:
“I don’t support a state law or federal law that would ban or restrict contraception — period,” Masters said in a statement emailed to Insider. “And Griswold was wrongly decided. Both are true.”
That’s what most conservative senators and judicial nominees said about abortion rights, too. Taking them at their word at this point is a fool’s game.
Masters went full victimhood complex on Twitter, claiming that another reporter who asked about the same issue violated “journalistic ethics.” (He didn’t elaborate.) He said, however, that he still opposed Griswold because it “made up a constitutional right,” and that’s what he opposes… even though that interpretation is wildly flawed and gets used just about every time the Supreme Court delivers a ruling Republicans hate. (Clarence Thomas said marriage equality was also a made-up right.)
While we’re at it, Masters didn’t say if he supported the right of states to permit abortion or if he would back a federal ban on abortion, which is entirely possible if Republicans like him regain control of Congress and the White House in 2024. He also didn’t say if people have any right to privacy when it comes to their sex lives.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which guides the party’s nominees, has said candidates should avoid saying they want to take away contraception or put women and doctors in jail… even though plenty of red states are ready to criminalize abortion the second they have the chance.
In short, Masters has no clue how to talk about these issues. Maybe he’s too ignorant to understand them. Or maybe he knows his positions are considered extreme by most Americans. Or maybe he just hopes he can skate through a Republican primary by kowtowing to Donald Trump, using Peter Thiel’s cash to put vague ads in front of as many voters as possible, and saying as little as he can about his policy positions.
He’s probably just trying to get attention for now, considering he’s trailing the pack in a field of four candidates hoping to win the August primary and run against incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly. Masters admitting he would use his power to vote for judges who want to control everyone’s sex lives is a hell of a strategy to do it.