Skip to comments.Coors: Brewer to end abortion coverage
Posted on 08/06/2004 6:44:58 AM PDT by ZGuy
Pete Coors, who is aggressively courting conservative Republicans in his Senate bid, says the brewery he ran for years is changing its health plans so they no longer cover abortion.
Coors last week told a conservative activist who questioned him on his company's coverage of abortion that he was surprised to learn his company covered abortions and that it is now being stopped.
"We're revising our health care plans right now for the fall when people have to sign up again. It will not be in there," Coors said in a tape- recorded exchange with the activist.
Attempts to reach the Coors campaign Thursday were unsuccessful. Coors Brewing spokeswoman Kabira Hatland declined to comment.
Abortion coverage in health plans has been a highly public issue for years. Congress has largely prohibited coverage for federal employees all but two years since 1983, with the exception today in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment. While some unions have lobbied for such coverage as part of their plans, some cities have voted to eliminate it.
A national study released in June by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 46 percent of workers were in employer-sponsored health plans that covered abortion.
Christian Coalition of Colorado members say they are preparing a mailing attacking Pete Coors' anti-abortion credentials, saying he did nothing while chairman of Coors Brewing Co. to prevent the company's health plans from covering abortion.
The Colorado group's executive director, Mark Hotaling, confronted Coors last week in Fort Collins with a tape recorder and asked about the abortion issue. On the tape, provided to The Denver Post, Coors acknowledged the beer company has been covering abortion and plans to stop.
Hotaling faulted Coors for not acting until he found himself in a Republican primary campaign.
"Until he started running for Senate, whether his health care plans paid for abortions wasn't a concern for him," Hotaling said.
The Christian Coalition has questioned Coors' conservative credentials before.
Coors has backed a gay-marriage ban, but the organization mass-mailed a flier highlighting Coors Brewing's marketing efforts to gays. Coors was chairman of the company until he took an unpaid leave for the campaign this year.
Coors' campaign website contains a statement from the candidate saying, "I have a fundamental belief in the sanctity of human life. I am opposed to abortion." But Coors' opponent in Tuesday's GOP primary, former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, enjoys stronger support in the religious conservative community.
"Bob has voted pro-life and consistently spoken out and voted in ways that are pro-life," said Schaffer campaign manager Pat Fiske. "There's no question about him."
Coors told the activist he'd been unaware until recently that the company he ran covered abortion, because it was not specifically spelled out in their plan.
"I've always been totally opposed to any kind of voluntary kinds of surgery. We don't do breast implants. We don't do face jobs. We don't do any of that kind of stuff. And when I learned that we do abortions, I was very surprised," Coors said.
"It's not in our health plan," he added. "You have to actually call and ask. The only way I would know that, I guess, is if I needed an abortion and called."
Abortion-rights supporters said denying abortion coverage leaves employees with incomplete medical care.
"We strongly believe that women should have access to comprehensive health care coverage, and that would include access to birth control, abortion coverage and treatment for cancer sexually-transmitted infections," said Kate Horle, vice president for public affairs for Denver-based Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
How does a baby fit in this catagory? No words for PP but maybe he should find out how many abortions he has paid for and be saddened instead of surprised. Regardless of his motive though, if it saves one child......
Switched to Keystone Light a month ago. Not bad.