NEWS

Fact Checker: Lundby Attacks Rizer on Contraception

Ken Rizer, Republican candidate for Iowa House 68, photographed Oct. 2, 2014, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Ken Rizer, Republican candidate for Iowa House 68, photographed Oct. 2, 2014, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Introduction

“Rizer wants to give the government power over (your medical) decisions. Rizer is endorsed by an organization that wants to ban common forms of contraception for women. And Ken Rizer wants to let your boss decide your birth control.”

 

Source of claim

Daniel Lundby campaign ad

 

Analysis

Democrat Daniel Lundby's ad makes two primary claims against Republican challenger Ken Rizer in a new campaign ad in the race for Iowa's 68th legislative district, covering parts of Linn County.

The first claim centers on Iowa Right to Life's endorsement of Rizer in the race. The pro-life group's endorsement is not surprising as the group endorsed only Republican candidates in the November election and Rizer touts himself as pro-life on his campaign website. Iowa Right to Life's website identifies several common forms of birth control, including the pill and inter-uterine devices, as forms of abortion, which it has sought to ban.

The second claim stems from Rizer's praise of the Hobby Lobby U.S. Supreme Court decision in June. That decision allowed Hobby Lobby to use a religious exemption to a provision of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, requiring companies provide contraception coverage to female employees as part of company health insurance. Critics of the ruling had claimed the decision allows companies to force its religious beliefs on its employees.

The day of the decision, Rizer tweeted “Glad Supremes chose religious freedom over Obamacare.”

Rizer points out that the ruling does not ban women from using contraception. Rizer and other conservatives argue the ruling is not about limiting a woman's birth control but rather about protecting the religious views of a company and its owners.

 

Conclusion

The wording is key in rating this ad.

The first claim specifically notes that Iowa Right to Life, a group that wants to ban certain forms of birth control, has endorsed Rizer. That is true. The ad wants you to infer that Rizer's legislative stances are the exact same as Iowa Right to Life, a claim Rizer denies.

The second claim states Rizer “wants to let your boss decide your birth control”. This is not true. The Supreme Court ruling only impacts what a company's health insurance covers. While that may limit options for some women who can't afford birth control without insurance coverage, it does not allow a company to ban employees from using birth control.

Because both claims are at least somewhat misleading, we give this ad a D for truthfulness.

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