Sen. Tammy Baldwin: Birth Control 'Basic to Our Economic Prosperity'

January 28, 2014 - 6:42 AM

tammy baldwin

Then-Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. She was elected to the Senate two months later. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says it was women joining the workforce after World War II that helped the economy grow, producing a "strong and healthy middle class." And that continues to be the case today, she told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

"And now, in very, very significant numbers, women are...a part of the workforce and have contributed greatly to allowing families to get ahead in the economy.

What permits that is women being able to control when or whether they have children and how many. And it is so basic to our economic prosperity that women have that control."

Baldwin made the comments after Mitchell asked her if she had any advice for "male Republicans in the way they talk about women."

Here's the entire exchange:

Mitchell: Do you have any advice for Republicans in the way they -- male Republicans -- in the way they talk about women?

Sen. Baldwin: You know, I actually want to tie my answer to that question into growing the middle class because, if we look at the American dream in this country and a strong and healthy middle class, we saw in the post-World War II years that our middle class grew and grew and grew. And then it sort of stagnated.

And what really changed and added to growth again was women joining the workforce. And now in very, very significant numbers, women are in a part -- are a part of the workforce and have contributed greatly to allowing families to get ahead in the economy.

What permits that is women being able to control when or whether they have children and how many. And it is so basic to our economic prosperity that women have that control.

Under the Democrats' Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans are required to cover birth control, without co-pays or cost-sharing, as part of basic preventive care. That provision is the subject of numerous legal challenges, including one before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On March 25, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Obamacare's contraceptive mandate in a case brought by two businesses whose owners object to paying for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization on religious grounds.