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Dems hope decision will energize female supporters

Tuesday - 7/1/2014, 5:50pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some Democrats are pointing to a Supreme Court ruling yesterday as evidence of what they call the GOP's "war on women" -- and they hope it will energize female voters who could decide the balance of power on Capitol Hill this year.

Republicans are aggressively cheering the decision, which found that some companies with a small number of owners can opt out of a contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law if it violates the owners' religious beliefs. But GOP leaders concede that the party needs to tread carefully when discussing the ruling.

One GOP strategist who advises Republicans on women's issues says Republicans can't appear to be "anti-contraception." Katie Packer Gage says it's a "constitutional issue."

Republicans for years have tried to make inroads with women and younger voters -- two groups that tend to favor Democrats. And they are among those who depend on insurance to pay for birth control.

The head of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which plans to spend several million dollars this year to campaign for Senate candidates, says it's "offensive" to think that an employer can tell you "what kind of birth control you can and can't get." Cecile Richards says the issue is "motivating women to vote."

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032-v-35-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)--Congressional Republicans are hailing the Supreme Court's decision on birth control while Democrats are unhappy with it. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (1 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO WX108: FILE - This June 30, 2014 file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. Supreme Court justices found more common ground than usual this year, and nowhere was their unanimity more surprising than in ruling that police must get a judge's approval before searching cellphones of people they've arrested. But the conservative-liberal divide was still evident in other cases, including this week's ruling on religion, birth control and the health care law. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (30 Jun 2014)

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