Santorum slams Romney on contraception mandate for rape victims
February 7th, 2012
02:57 PM ET
2 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."

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"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.

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

    Only the Catholic Church could be so evil as to stop a rape victim from preventing a pregnancy. Oh wait, this policy is probably also the same one enforced by the Taliban!

    February 7, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. rcsdinthehills

    They dont want to let women have contraception, and they certainly dont want to allow abortions. Who do they think they are? It is absolutely barbaric. The really scary thing is these guys will have control of our country if a few things go their way. They will never control our bodies though. They are too dumb to realize that making laws will not give them that kind of control over others. Puritanical equals control freaks equals punative equals many, many Republicans.

    February 7, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. mommytwice

    I wonder how Mr. Santorum would feel if a female member of his family was raped(heaven forbid), and ended up pregnant by that rapist. I wonder if he would be so against emergency contraception then. I bet he'd be all for it.

    February 7, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. bob

    A hospital does not have the right to force its religious views on its patients. Period. If Catholic hospitals don't like this, then they should only admit Catholic patients.

    February 7, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney both need to educat themselfs in regards to birth control .

    We no longer live in a Little House on the Prairie Waltons world.

    February 7, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. TM

    If a Democrat was stupid enough to take Santorum's position the Grand Old Tea Party would be in front of every news camera and microphone denouncing them for "Siding with RAPISTS!"

    February 7, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Scott

    Shows you what an absolute monster Santorum is. He would make an excellent Taliban leader.

    February 7, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. pensimmon

    They only have to offer it- NO-ONE needs to have one if they don't want to. I can't imagine a 12 year old rape visctim being forced to be pregnant- cruel cruel cruel.

    February 7, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. marty

    Rick Santorum is stuck in a time warp.

    February 7, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Skipper

    Sanatorium is a pig.... Plain and simple.

    February 7, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. MidwstrnGrl

    In most cases the emergency pill is if taken early enough preventing fertilization, or if taken within a couple days preventing implementation of a fertilized egg. Some forms of birth control do this...in fact these are just a high dose of hormones. Get real people!!

    February 7, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. Jen

    Hey, if Catholic hospitals don't want to play by the government's rules, they don't have to accept government funds. If they turn down the Medicare and Medicaid patients they can do whatever they want. Simple.

    February 7, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. FOGHORN LEGHORN

    I say, I do declare, that all the GOP has got to offer is fear. Well, me and my above 98% quotient folk will be voting for OBAMA/BIDEN. Ya'll, I said, you all, have a nice evening. :)

    February 7, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Science?

    No contraception to prevent 2 cells from implanting? Let's take it a step further ... what about those hundreds of millions of wasted sperm and thousands of eggs (all containing human life) that never get used!!! Think of the loss!

    February 7, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Santorum is Desperate

    boy oh boy is Santo looking desperate. He brings up a bill Romney VETOED, LMBO!!!!!

    February 7, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Ray

    Separation of church and state has nothing to do with politics,yet it seems to be a key issue this election

    February 7, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. tony

    Just like Hitler, Santorum wants rapists have large families!!! Who cares what the Goods and Chattels think.

    February 7, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. Charlie from the North

    Wow take one thing the guy got right and complain about it. Here is and Idea and a darn fine one at that: Church/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////State,

    Good enough for Thomas Jefferson, good enough for us.

    February 7, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Donaldbain

    Santorum doesn't want to turn the clock back to the 50's, it's more like the 30's. Nineteen thirty-three to be exact. As I have said in the past, he doesn't care about anything except having power. Any kind of power will do at this point. His real agenda is that of the national socialists except he would rather exterminate muslims and get around to the Jews later. His vision for the US is exceptionally frightening and he should be kept as far away from being in authority as possible.

    February 7, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. joe

    How many of these right to lifers have adopted children that others did not want?

    February 7, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Charlie from the North

    Oh and by the way. The GOP goes on and on about how our way of life is so much better than the Extreme Muslims, If we do have a "better" culture it is no thanks to them. This guys attitude towards rape victims is only slightly better than stoning them for the "dishonor they bring". The Tea Party/GOP building a tunnel to the 15th century..........let the inquisition begin.

    February 7, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. Cory

    I hope Santorum DOES get the republican election.

    Because if he does, Obama will UNANIMOUSLY slide into to a second term.

    February 7, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Paul Williamson

    Ricj Santorum should financially support all the children from these tragic, unwanted pregnancies-put his money where his mouth is. Ths A..hole wants to cut aid to dependent children, Medicaid, food stamps, etc yet he does not want the families to be able to prevent an unwanted child that they have no money to feed, care for or educate. What a hypocrite. Let each woman and family make their own decision, without a church or Government interfering in her choice. Freedom and liberty, not Puritanism and Inquisition. Without planned parenthood, we would have 50 million more unwanted children (1/6 of the population of US and 1 out 3 children), most born to the poor who cannot support them and will require Government support, which of course Santorum opposes.

    February 7, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. Joe citizen abroad

    Is he running for pope or president?

    February 7, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Nick

    This guy frightens me; What does he want the rape victims to do? Will he advocate the same when some one in his family gets raped?

    February 7, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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