Tags: lee | contraception | comments | context

Sen. Mike Lee Clarifies: Contraception Comments Taken Out of Context

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 05:34 PM

Sen. Mike Lee's office said comments reported by the website Think Progress were taken out of context and don't reflect the Utah Republican's views.

Think Progress reported after Monday's Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that Lee agreed with Sirius XM satellite radio host Andrew Wilcow that women use contraceptives "largely for recreational behavior."

In a transcript of the interview provided by Lee's office, Wilcow argued that opponents of the ruling were wrong to say women were being denied access to contraceptives.

"This was not a question of access and privacy," Wilcow said. "This was not a question as to whether major pharmaceutical retailers like Walgreens were going to be able to – they kept saying women should have access. Women do have access. We were not – nobody was debating access. This was a debate over whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that is largely for recreational behavior if it goes against their religious beliefs."

At that point, Lee agreed, "Yeah, that's right. That's right. This administration appears to – desires to use the awesome coercive power of the federal government into their way of being, their way of existing, their way of believing and thinking and acting."

The Obama administration prefers to use its power rather than simply make sure that a market exists in which people can get access to things they want or need, Lee said.

"And that is a fundamental flaw, and a fundamental flaw that ends up frequently trampling on the individual rights of the citizens, whether it's religious rights or some other right," he told Wilcow. "As I've said before, when government gets too big, it begins to behave like Godzilla in that it might step on your house. And when Godzilla steps on our house he's not necessarily stepping on your house because he doesn't like you, or because he wants to eat you. It might just be because he's Godzilla and he's huge, and your house is in the way. And it's an incidental casualty to Godzilla doing what Godzilla does."

For that reason, Lee said, "it's important to keep the government reined in and to carve out areas that are none of the government's business."

Lee's Communications Director Brian Phillips tells Newsmax that Lee never said he believes women use birth control "recreationally," and he never agreed with that part of the comment made by the host.

"Senator Lee's response came after a lengthy question/comment about the ruling in which the host characterized the debate as involving a religious liberty test rather than a question of access to contraceptives," Phillips said. "To that point, the senator responded, 'Yeah, that's right.' For the record, Senator Lee does not believe anyone uses birth control 'recreationally.'"

The full context of the interview, Phillips said, clearly shows that the "absurd allegations from Think Progress are false and intentionally dishonest."

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Sen. Mike Lee's office said comments reported by the website Think Progress were taken out of context and don't reflect the Utah Republican's views.Think Progress reported after Monday's Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that Lee agreed with Sirius XM satellite...
lee, contraception, comments, context
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2014-34-01
Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 05:34 PM
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