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."

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. Elaina

    ummm...emergency contraceptive makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable to a fertilized egg and so therefore it can not attach and the woman does not get pregnant.....how is offering this to a rape victim or any woman a bad thing? It stops a pregnancy from occurring all together. The woman was never pregnant, it is not abortion. Santorum is cruel and insane on this one.

    February 7, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. patricia cala

    To think again – When you mentioned that Mrs. Santorum had an aboution to save her life ... how can you have that information? Unless you heard that from the individual herself, I would question the validity of your stataement. Be careful about spreading false claims.

    February 7, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. justin

    I like Santorim. I am tired of young men receiving OJT in the presidents office but the one now in that office appears to still being trained so...hey. In a country such as ours, if we lose the ability to state or listen to alternative ideas and thoughts and we cannot find a way to take these ideas and cause them to allow all to co-exist, then we simply become a historical figure as all other civilizations before us have. We either meet the challenge or we fade away. Night night.

    February 7, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. LadyVa

    Someone tell little Ricky to go home already...as normal, a women-hating republican ultra religious zealot that makes Bush look normal! My god, just find a hole and bury yourself already!

    February 7, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. LadyVa

    Seriously, find the doctor and get this guy a ride back to the 1930s, wherever there is a time machine, put him on a one way ticket out of this timeline! What a freak!

    February 7, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    as much as I loathe Rick Santorum I would NOT wish any harm to come to his wife or daughters, that would not be fair to them. But I do wish he had a better understanding of what women (an men for that matter) have to go through with rape and it's aftermath and even worst if the victim becomes pregnant. NO man should be able to tell a woman that she has to carry the demon seed of her attacker for 9 months then have to endure it for the rest of her life.

    February 7, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. craig

    Denying contraceptive services to rape victims is like telling a person who lost his computer in a burglary that he can never have another computer. Not only was the woman raped, but if she becomes pregnant, she MUST bear the child, and then accept responsibility for the child thenceforth. In short, she becomes the ultimate victim, because the "justice" system says she must continually be reminded of being raped. Yeah, that's a real enlightened view of the world, GOP! DUMB!

    February 7, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Fla.Pete

    How would he like to raise a child concieved thru a rape.These political buttheads should go to a rape center or police station after a women is raped,see it in person.It might change their thinking,Santorum got daughters,he'd have nightmares,the idiot.Typical Repub response,hypocrites,all of them....

    February 7, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  9. A. Wolf

    Santorum slams Romney for not allowing Catholic hospitals to force rape victims to bear their children. "What do you think women are, not-baby-factories?" Derp.

    February 7, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  10. Dan J

    Santorum has a right to his opinion, and its refreshing to see that he is honest with it, even if it is a grossly unpopular one.

    February 7, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. Sanctimonious

    Its super to see Rick Santorum surge to the front. This self-righteous, ignorant freak has even more potential to destroy the republican party than Newton. It just gets better and better for the free world.

    February 7, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. John Merrick

    And I thought "The Alien" was a monster.

    February 7, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    The day religious organizations start paying taxes on all their buildings and land and every penny they take in from their collection plates, is the day they can dictate policy.

    And unless you're willing to tear up the Constitution, that day will never come.

    February 7, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    @Debby: "Santorum is a good man but not a good candidate."

    No, he's NOT a good man. He's a theocrat who completely doesn't get the religious freedom upon which our country is founded. He would gladly make others suffer so he can self-righteously proclaim he is doing God's will.

    That's fascism, plain and simple. And the type of attitude that leads to holocaust.

    February 7, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. madmaninthemiddle

    I disagree completly with Santorum, but find it disturbing that so many of you mis-characterize his position. He is NOT saying that women who are raped should be FORCED to have the child (I know, I know, if the anti choice crowd gets its way, that will be the net result, but that's not the issue here)m

    The concern is that Catholic hospitals should not be FORCED to give out emergency contraception since that violates there beliefs. Doesn't mean they can'tm. Doesn't force anybody to do anything.

    I disagree with his stance, but it's important to know what the issue o

    February 7, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. Taxpayer2

    Nothing like missing the point. First, Willard was for all of this before he is now against it just to get into that Whitehouse via the GOP. He has no core or character and has flip flopped on every single position to get there.

    Second, Government needs to get out of our personal lives and let those who 'live different' and make all their bad choices, figure out a way to either fix their problems or live the consequences of their bad choices. The government isn't and shouldn't be babysitters for the irresponsible losers. A rape victim needs to make her own personal decision, along with her family, because it's her life and the government is overstepping it's bounds by mandating what should be done in this case. It's tyranny for the government to be involved in everything under the sun in people's lives. All of this is paid for by the people who work for a living and I, for one, am disgusted by the amount of taxpayer money that is handed out free for all these government mandated babysitting services for people who don't want to be responsible. Government is in our bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, cars, computers, phones...when will it stop? We need a president who will make government as inconsequential in our lives as possible and see how fast the irresponsible find a new, productive life. Government, stop interfering in our lives! Stop the handouts! Follow the Constitution!

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

    February 8, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. dirth wadeer

    do these religious hospitals accept government payments (medicare, medicaid)? as long as they do, their complaints about the gov mandating anything are baseless. don't accept those payments & do what ever you like. until then, stfu b/c nobody mandated you to open a hospital or sponge tax dollars in the 1st place. you chose to! that's more than the taxpaying atheists whose taxes help keep the lights on did. they had no choice. grow up or go back to running only churches.

    February 8, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  18. Shelama

    Santorum as nominee guarantees Obama four more years. The necessary center and independents will not vote for a Sunday School-Teacher-in-Chief, against Obama or anybody else.

    Santorum's success is ONLY because he's not Romney and because 24% of Americans are dumb enough to believe in the "Birther" crap and also see Sarah Palin as a substantive person. The Republicans are gonna have to settle this year and like it, but are still totally capable of handing Obama another term in an election that should have been a slam-dunk landslide.

    Liberals have made the Right crazy. A Right that already believe Fox News, Limbaugh and Beck.

    Looking more and more like a death spiral if adults don't eventually wise up, form a pragmatic, intelligent, centrist, problem-solving majority and marginalize both the far Right and Left. Yeah, right.

    February 8, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  19. cc ryder

    unbelievable, how fast these left wing loons attacked a great man as rick, thank God that he will bring America back to the people and defeat the anti-Christ hbo in 2012.

    February 8, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  20. himanil

    How can anyone support this guy?

    February 8, 2012 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  21. Robin

    Santorum, thanks for standing for what's right! If I worked in a hospital and had to offer contraceptives to a rape victom, I would have to quit that job. That would totally go against what's right. What they are not saying here is that that form of "contraception" is actually an abortion pill or patch that causes the newly fertilized egg to not be able to implant. That is murder.

    February 8, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8