We could go the no-brainer route on today's emergency contraception ruling: women who need emergency contraception are losers/pharmacies and pharmacists who don't approve of women using emergency contraception are winners.

But here's another angle: Given that Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna's office was defending the state board of pharmacy rules that required pharmacies (not pharmacists) to dispense Plan B, we asked McKenna, the Republican candidate for governor, what he thought of the ruling.[pullquote]It is beyond reason that women are still forced to battle for something as basic as contraception in the year 2012.—Jay Inslee[/pullquote]

McKenna did not have a comment. (The attorney who worked the case for McKenna's office did call us back, but we didn't manage to connect.)

Unprompted, however, we did get this an hour later from McKenna's rival, US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), the Democratic candidate for governor.

It is beyond reason that women are still forced to battle for something as basic as contraception in the year 2012. We just witnessed the Republican Party’s attack on women in the recent House hearing on copay-free contraception, and now this federal ruling that would allow physicians to deny contraception to women in crisis. This is not a battle over religious freedom – it’s a battle to let science guide our discourse instead of ideology. This ruling must be aggressively challenged and women’s full access to contraception restored and protected.


The Inslee camp has been trying to make the campaign about social issues such as gay marriage because McKenna has had success playing himself as a moderate Republican—talking convincingly about education and the state budget. Inslee, who has been lagging in the polls, hopes that social issues will force McKenna to drop the moderate card in blue Washington State.

That game plan certainly worked today, especially as McKenna's Republican brand is starting to look redder and redder thanks to what's happening at the top of the ticket—hyper social conservative Rick Santorum is surging here.