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Birth control controversy opens divide in GOP ranks

Moderates, women balk at Brown, Ayotte stances

Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are backing a bill that would allow employers and insurers to place limits on what they cover, including birth control, on moral or religious grounds. Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are backing a bill that would allow employers and insurers to place limits on what they cover, including birth control, on moral or religious grounds.
By Tracy Jan
Globe Staff / February 18, 2012
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In the roiling political debate over contraception and religious freedom, moderate Republican women say their views on reproductive rights have been cast to the sidelines as senators in their party pull the once centrist New England delegation to the right. By co-sponsoring a controversial bill that would allow employers and insurers - not just church-affiliated organizations - to limit certain health care coverage on moral grounds, Republican Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have put many moderate Republican politicians and activists in a tough spot. “From the stand point of a woman who is pro-choice, the party is not supporting our point of view,’’ said Alida Milham, a Republican state representative in New Hampshire.

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