Romney urges supporters to protest birth control rule
February 6th, 2012
02:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney urges supporters to protest birth control rule

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Monday became the latest GOP presidential candidate to blast the Obama administration for new rules that would force all hospitals –including those run by the Catholic church– to provide workers health insurance that covers contraception, including sterilization.

A page on Romney's website asks supporters to sign a petition protesting "the Obama administration's attacks on religious liberty," saying the new rules amounted to an assault on personal rights.

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"The Obama administration is at it again," Romney's website said. "They are now using Obamacare to impose a secular vision on Americans who believe that they should not have their religious freedom taken away."

The new policy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stirred an outcry this week, as it requires all employers' health insurance – including religious institutions – to cover contraceptives such as the birth control pill and the so-called Plan B pill, as well as more permanent contraceptive procedures like sterilization.

While churches are exempt, hospitals and schools with religious affiliations must comply. The new policy goes into effect August 1, but religious groups will have a year-long extension to enforce the rule.

Catholic teaching opposes abortion and the use of contraceptives, though a 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute showed 98% of sexually active Catholic women had used contraception.

President Barack Obama's reelection campaign pushed back on the criticism from Romney, pointing to Romney's refusal when governor of Massachusetts to exempt Catholic hospitals from providing emergency contraception to rape victims.

"Mitt Romney continues to show that he will do or say anything to get elected," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said. "He is even attacking the President for providing women with the same access to contraception and preventive health care services that he did as Governor of Massachusetts. And now, in an effort to pander to the most conservative parts of the Republican base, he has embraced the extreme personhood amendment, which would ban many forms of birth control, including birth control pills. This sends a clear message to women across America: Mitt Romney can't be trusted and his hypocrisy knows no bounds."

Romney's campaign pointed to the candidate's original veto of the bill which required hospitals to provide rape victims with emergency contraception. His veto was ultimately overridden by the state legislature.

"The governor's position on this law was that it never should have gone into effect in the first place, which is why he vetoed it," Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said.

Two Catholic presidential candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have spoken out against the new rules.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Gingrich said the new rules amounted to a "war on the Catholic Church."

Gingrich continued, "Every time you turn around, secular government is closing in on and shrinking the right of religious liberty in America, and I think there are millions of people who are very disturbed by that."

Santorum, speaking in Minnesota Monday, said the rules were a direct violation of American Catholic First Amendment rights.

"It is not just an assault on the First Amendment freedom of conscience, but the First Amendment freedom of speech," Santorum said. "This is the danger when government controls things.  They can control how you exercise those rights and they can control your access to information about those rights."

- CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Religion
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. bear

    As they the Republicans want you to have but the Democrats are willing to pay for them.

    February 6, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Rosslaw

    Show us the secret underwear.

    February 6, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Stephanie

    So, if the church, any church wants a true seperation of Church and State then I guess there is no interest in the $40B a year in tax payers dollars that are contributed to the Faith-Based Initiative established in 2004 by President GW Bush.

    February 6, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Travis Mays

    ahh republicans, never miss an opportunity to take away a woman's choice, while proclaiming to give her liberty.

    February 6, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. diridi

    In a democratic society, if you want to take it, then take it....no one is forcing nor coercing...o.k no duress, nor force. o.k, As it is always is, Republican idiots are twisting the law. It is a lie from Repigglicans. o.k,

    February 6, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Keith

    This isn't about anyone taking away anyone's rights. If a religious person doesn't want contraception, doesn't want an abortion, doesn't want a sterilization procedure, they are not required to have one! At all. No rights are being taken away. This plan doesn't force ANYTHING on the religious. What it does do is guarantee care for those who WANT it. It ensures that they have a right to it. It GIVES rights, it doesn't take anything. Surely anyone can see the obvious difference there, and how Romney is manipulating the truth with lies? Can't they?

    February 6, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. anagram_kid

    We live in 2012, not the good old bible days, when you had to have ten pregnancies to produce six live births that would result in three adults who may or may not reproduce. 99.9999% of the s*x humans have now is not reproductive purposes. The fact that the church is still pressing this issue is a perfect example of why they are going the way of the residents of Mt. Olympus.

    February 6, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. ladyvirtue

    Hearing this, I will definitely NOT be voting for Romney.

    February 6, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    American Taxpayers fund "Medical Research" to the tune of $92 million or more a year, so this argument about "birth control" vs President Obama is weak and totally stupid. But guess what people, Republicans don't expect you're smart enough to think about the trickle down affect of Medical Research funded by you the taxpayer.

    February 6, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. John N Florida

    Ol' 'Windsock Willard' is at it again.
    This is NOT about the Catholic Church.
    It's about the employees of a corporation despite their creed. The Catholic Church is well within it's rights to either offer no healthcare Insurance at all (and pay a miniscule fine) or it can restrict it's hiring to those only who practice the Catholic faith and will accept a 'short' healthcare plan.

    February 6, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, truth, the best healthcare system on the planet, which was unwilling to cover millions based upon business decisions rather than medical ones. It never ceases to amaze me how the Righties will rail on and on against government burocracy, yet are more than willing to cheerfully, mindlessly, and gleefully hand their lives over to people who's sole purpose is NOT their health, but to make as much money off of them as possible. The government that I elect keeps private organizations from forcing their beliefs on me and protects you and I from the tyranny of the majority. Thats what being an American is all about, not making a buck off of anything that moves.

    February 6, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Bob Loblaw

    It seems that requiring insurance companies to cover birth control adds to individual's rights, rather than take away from them. If this article is referring to government requiring private/religious insurance providers to provide such services, then that seems like a different issue than PERSONAL rights. I don't think government should impose itself if such an organization receives no funding from the government. It equates to telling them how to practice, even if it's contrary to what they believe.

    February 6, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. ja

    most health insurance cover erectil dysfunction drugs, it sounds like discrmination otherwise, no outcry about that fact, or did i miss it

    February 6, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    >Where is it the federal government's job to dictate what private organizations MUST offer in terms of benefits???

    You still didn't answer the question Rudy! Ducked it as usual!!
    ------------
    The truth is that that the moderators apparently ate it. Actually, government is telling private organizations that they cannot forcibly indoctrinate people against their will. That they cannot hold their livelihood as an axe over their heads to fall in line.

    How would you like it if your employer were Amish and said that you cannot use electricity at home?

    February 6, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Nick Naranja

    It's not like they are being forced to provide them. Not everyone that works at a catholic hospital is a catholic and it's not like every catholic refrains from using birth control.

    February 6, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. dmm

    How is it an attack on religious liberty??? If anything, it is supporting freedom for the employees. I thought Mitt was temple worthy, doesn't he know that means he shouldn't lie by omission or commission or distortion? He was a bishop and then a stake president, he should expect to be held to a higher ethical standard. Right now I just see more of the same as we get from any other politician: hyper-partisanship, quoting out of context, distorting, outright lies, and automatically, knee-jerk attack the other side. Sick of it all. I was hoping Mitt might be just a little different, with his past as a bishop and stake president. Love of money is the root of all evil, Mitt.

    February 6, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Bruce

    This is proof that Romney will say anything to get elected. He's actually attacking Obama for trying to implement the exact same plan that he (Romney) enacted in Mass. THe other GOP candidates aren't much better. Nobody is trying to force people to take contraceptives, just to provide coverage for it. If the Catholic church is so against this, they can ask them why 98% of catholic women have used contraception, even without the church being replied to cover insurance.

    February 6, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Bruce

    This is proof that Romney will say anything to get elected. He's actually attacking Obama for trying to implement the exact same plan that he (Romney) enacted in Mass. THe other GOP candidates aren't much better. Nobody is trying to force people to take contraceptives, just to provide coverage for it. If the Catholic church is so against this, they can ask them why 98% of catholic women have used contraception, even without the church being required to cover insurance.

    February 6, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. melissa

    How is it an infringement by the government on the Catholic church that receives government assistance to make birth available for women who choose to take it, but it's okay, according to right wing policies, for the government to intervene if a woman gets pregnant and chooses to have an abortion? I think I would want a woman to have an option in birth control before conception to avoid the possibility of an abortion. No one is forcing birth control on a woman, they are giving them an option. Catholic parishioners use birth control, so get over it already.

    February 6, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. normajean @ verizon ,com

    "Truth and Nothing but The Truth"wouldn't know the truth if it fell on him{her}. These laws belong to every one to make use of or not. They have to be available to those who need them. Both sides pay taxes and the rest of you don't have to use these advantages if you don't want them.Most insurance policies have a wide variety of coverage. We make use of what we need... As a woman, I would not use nor complain about the coverages that cover care for men!!!!! GOT THE PICTURE "TRUTH"????

    February 6, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Blindersoff

    Play nice kids!

    February 6, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. anagram_kid

    Here is a post from Truth on an article about former SOTH Nancy Pelosi. I think this one really sums up his/her intelect.

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth
    You know.... I REALLY hadn't missed seeing Pelosi's ugly face on the Ticker.

    January 25, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    February 6, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Just Saying

    @Rudy NYC

    You are wasting your time trying to educate "Truth and Nothing But The Truth." The truth is that "Truth..." would not recognize TRUTH if it came up and slapped him in the face. I have read a number of your posts, as well as his, and he is doing nothing but repeating the tortured logic (aka mislogic) and false "facts" he gets from Faux news. You, on the other hand, do write coherent posts based on actual facts (you know, the kind with a liberal bias) and expressing opinions based on real logic.

    Keep up the good work and save your energy for someone who might actually have the capacity for rational thought.

    Just Saying...

    February 6, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Really?

    I'm concerned. The hypocrisy of the GOP is beyond mind boggling. It is OK to prevent women from getting abortions (even in the case of incest/rape), but a big HOOPLAH when it is mandatory that preventative measures be covered under insurance? Shouldn't it be the other way around? It is clear that we are becoming a nation of dim light bulbs.

    February 6, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Bruce

    This is proof that Romney will say anything to get elected. He's actually attacking Obama for trying to implement the exact same plan that he (Romney) enacted in Mass. THe other GOP candidates aren't much better. Nobody is trying to force people to take contraceptives, just to provide coverage for it. If the Catholic church is so against this, they can ask them why 98% of catholic women have used contraception, even without the church being required to cover insurance. Total hypocracy by the GOP

    February 6, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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