Santorum slams Romney on contraception mandate for rape victims
February 7th, 2012
02:57 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum slams Romney on contraception mandate for rape victims

St. Charles, Missouri (CNN) – Rick Santorum opened a new front Tuesday in his battle to paint Mitt Romney as moderate who sided with Democrats on key issues, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of mandating that hospitals provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

In an op-ed Tuesday, Santorum said that in December 2005, then Gov. Romney "required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims."

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"He said then that he believed 'in his heart of hearts' that receiving these contraceptives – free of charge – trumped employees' religious consciences. Now, a few years later and running for president, his heart is strategically aligned with religious voters opposing this federal mandate," wrote Santorum in Politico.

Opponents point to a law passed while Romney was governor of Massachusetts that required hospitals - including Catholic ones - to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign said he had vetoed the original bill. That veto was overruled by the state legislature.

Romney Communications Director Gail Gitcho pointed to the context that comes from the full "heart of hearts" quote.

"My personal view, in my heart of hearts, is that people who are subject to rape should have the option of having emergency contraception or emergency contraception information," Romney said in 2005, according to Gitcho.

Santorum argued that move by Romney is similar to what President Obama's administration "decreed," "that all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, who offer health insurance to their employees, must offer sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception."

"The actions of President Obama – as well as the actions of then Governor Romney – raise some questions. From where do we receive our fundamental human rights? Are they given to us by the government–whether that government be State or Federal? Or, as the American Founders insisted, are these rights endowed upon us by a Creator?" wrote Santorum.

"It's important to me that we don't just talk a good game, but that we actually live it" he said. "I believe it is important to defend our religious liberties because these organizations are on the frontlines of helping those in need."

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul characterized attacks from the right as "wrong."

"On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will eliminate the Obama administration rule that compels religious institutions to violate the tenets of their own faith," Saul said in a statement. "We expect these attacks from President Obama and his liberal friends. But from Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, it's a clear indication of desperation from their campaigns."

The former Pennsylvania senator is hoping strong showings in Tuesday's contests in Missouri and Minnesota will prove his argument that he, not Newt Gingrich, is the conservative alternative to Romney. He is also hoping a win in either state will symbolically slow the momentum and air of inevitability Romney has gained since winning two consecutive contests Florida and Nevada.

Government mandates on contraception is just the latest example Santorum is using to argue Romney is too moderate and ill positioned to be the GOP nominee.

Monday Santorum made the case that Romney is "not qualified" to be the GOP nominee because the health care law he helped craft in Massachusetts has an individual mandate, similar to what is in the president's health care law, making it impossible for Republicans to hit Obama on that issue during the general election. Santorum said it also proves Romney is not a real conservative.

– Follow Dana Bash on Twitter: @danabashcnn


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. us1776

    Santorum is SCARY !!

    .

    February 7, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Tex71

    If you are against fundamentalist Muslims making their women wear burqas and beating them for being raped, then you will naturally be against Santorum keeping emergency contraception from rape victims. Santorum and his kind are exactly like Sharia-law Muslims, except they call themselves Christians instead of Muslims. Same philosophy, slightly different methods.

    February 7, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. informed voter

    What decade are these republican candidates living in? Our government does not have the right to dictate to women what we do with our bodies! If you're against abortion, don't have one, and make sure you adopt a few of the unwanted children that are abandoned. But leave your religious opinion out of my uterus!!

    February 7, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Santorum wants to mandate that a woman who is raped must have the baby that resulted from that rape. REALLY?!? So Rick's smaller government, that he says must stay out of our way, Except of course in the bedroom, old Ricky sure wants to be in our bedrooms doesn't he. The main problem is of course, he thinks that not only should everyone believe in God, but that you Must believe in HIS God and how HE interrupts the Bible. If you don't, then obviously you are un-American. I don't think there is a more dangerous man to be in government than Rick Santorum.

    February 7, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. jaywing

    Why is it that the more and more Ricky speaks, the more and more he looks like the second coming of George Wallace (google him, ya young, slack-jawed whipper-snappers)?

    February 7, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. arale norimaki

    hey Rick Santorum i hope your wife or daughter does not get rape.

    February 7, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Emmy Skaddittle

    wow, every time he opens is his mouth he sounds more evil

    February 7, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Matt

    I wonder if Santorum would see things differently if it were his wife or daughter that were raped. Would he really force them to carry the rapist's baby?

    February 7, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Tired of republican lies

    Larry L

    It appears that "real conservatives" oppose contraception? I thought they were against welfare moms having additional kids?

    Additionally, conservatives are against; consumer protection, immigrants, environmental protection, racial diversity (except the occassional token right-wing African American), gay marriages, stem cell research, all science that conflicts with the Bible, Social Security, Medicare, National Parks, renewable energy, the American automobile industry, NATO, efforts to curb childhood obesity, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, MPR, efforts to protect women's health, the rights of workers, the poor, all Muslims, and campaign reform to prevent super PACs from buying elections.

    They seem to be for; NASCAR, gerrymandering, filibustering all initiatives, reduced access to voting by minorities and the poor, water-boarding, an endless boycot of Cuba, war with Iran (and just about everybody else), offshore bank accounts, the uber-rich's right to low taxes, an energy policy totally built on fossil fuels, a Christian theocracy, defense of Israel (but not the Jews), gas-guzzling cars, fat kids, the totally unregulated distribution of firearms, and a scary fascination with hateful, stupid, but good-looking women.

    I'm just trying to get it straight before election time...

    February 7, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Right on Larry!!! you said just right...keep it up

    February 7, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    Good Grief, what have we become.

    February 7, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. GrogInOhio

    Rape victims??? Seriously??? No compassion for them at all??? My God, the entire GOP has lost its mind!

    February 7, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. mm

    What?!
    As in, what color is the sky in his world?

    February 7, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. say it ain't so

    Santorum is just out of his mind. Karma is not kind to people like him. Guessing he will end up having a gay child, and one who is raped and gets pregnant, and who knows what else. Why can't these religious zealots just stick to staying behind pulpits, and stay out of politics.

    February 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Romney is not My Hero

    Satan-orum needs to stop talking. Emergency Contraception is a good thing for girls or women who have been vicitimized!!! He should have his head examined. He's starting to sound crazier than Bachmann (I thought that would never be possible).

    February 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The Frothy Ayatollah has spoken!

    February 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Rationalintn

    I am really disgusted by men who use their religion as an excuse to discriminate against women, especially rape victims. The Catholic church is living in the dark ages and sending a very loud message to women – YOU DON'T MATTER.

    February 7, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Got news for Santorum. This line of reasoning will only help Romney.

    February 7, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    In answer to your question on another thread, Gurgi, there is no evidence that Soros and Buffett personally benefit from Obama's policies or anyone else's since their fortunes are fairly recession proof. The Koch Brohters, on the other hand, have staked their entire business model on the wholsale destruction of everything that protects our health, safety, and our personal savings. Thats the difference.

    February 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Don't wish harm

    Yeah, really. Please stop wishing that his wife and daughters get raped. You would not want anyone wishing harm to your family just because they disagree with your beliefs.

    February 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. CBR

    Women need to have the freedom to make choices. Rape victims should have the right to choose. They are the trauma victims. The women in this country are citizens and they should decide if they want to have children and when. It is simply not the role of government or those in medicine to make this decision for them.

    February 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Nothing new here

    I can understand someone wanting to stand by their religious tenets.
    But this Santorum guy has NO heart, no soul, no compassion for anyone except himself and his immediate family. Presenting his beliefs is one thing, but this man just shows NO sympathy, and absolutely no inclination to even show an ounce of respect to his fellow Republicans.
    I would hate to live in this country if he were elected president. The idea of another civil war could become a reality.

    February 7, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. mark

    Derek,

    The law mandates that hospitals offer it, even if that hospital is catholic and considers abortion/birth control immoral.

    February 7, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. velvetledbetter

    The ONLY person whose religious conscience should be considered in the instance of rape is that of the rape VICTIM. If hospital employees/pharmacists/etc have a problem with it, they need to get another job. The ONLY right they have is to not take the medications they deem objectionable themselves.

    This is bonkers!

    February 7, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Jag0419

    Rick Santorum talking about fundamental rights? Employees religious consciences? You've got to be kidding.

    A woman has been raped. How about the right of a woman to not be raped and impregnated against her will? Her body and psyche have been violated. At the end of the day, she can always refuse the contraception.

    Look, I have Catholic friends and family who think this guys a nut job. I can't wait for this clown to be off the national stage and go back to the middle ages..

    February 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Nothing new here

    I think women really, really need to start taking a good look at what society may become, here in this country. If women think that Saudi Arabia and the Middle East keep women in line – look at what could happen if people like Santorum get into places of power.
    Be afraid – be very afraid.

    February 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8