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Dems target women with bills on contraception, pay

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and Republicans are fervently pursuing a batch of doomed bills in Congress because they target a coveted prize in the Nov. 4 elections: female voters.

Wednesday's Senate vote on contraception legislation is the latest example of Democrats' win-by-losing strategy. It forces Republicans to vote on sensitive matters that might rile women this fall.

Recent votes on "pay equity" and family leave issues were similarly aimed at women. They are increasingly crucial to Senate Democrats' election hopes.

Democrats knew Republicans would block their bill to counter the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. The court said employers may exclude birth control products from health insurance plans if the products violate the employers' religious faith.

Democrats oppose the exemptions.

GOP leaders defended themselves in speeches, press releases, newspaper op-eds and news conferences.

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