February 9th, 2012
06:26 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum says opposition to contraception rule doesn't restrict women's rights

(CNN) - Rick Santorum said Thursday that arguments against a recent federal law requiring health insurance coverage for contraception were not ignoring the rights of women.

"It's the churches' money, and forcing them to do something that they think is a grievous moral wrong, how can that be the right of a woman?" Santorum asked in an interview on CNN's "John King USA."

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"That has nothing to do with the right of a woman," Santorum continued. "This has to do with the right of a church not to spend their moral resources in a way that's inconsistent with their faith and this is not a casually held position, this is something that is serious. We're not talking about denying women the access to contraception, they can go and get it, but we're talking about having a church of which they happen to chose to work for and they know their position in working for them, you're now forcing them as a condition of employing people to pay for something that again is a grievous moral wrong."

The law would require religious institutions like hospitals and schools to provide health insurance coverage for contraception, but churches would be exempt.

In the interview Thursday, Santorum described the role of faith would play if he became president. He acknowledged the strong role religion plays in both his personal and political life, but said it wasn't the only factor.

"I am not guided solely by faith, I am guided by reason," Santorum said. "I have an obligation as a public official to make a reason argument to people of faith and no faith as to why this is good public policy for America, so I rely upon reason when I do that."

Santorum, who has recently weathered attacks from fellow candidate Mitt Romney on his spending record during his time as a Pennsylvania senator, said his rival's record was no example.

"I always fought for entitlement reform, I led the charge on welfare reform. If you look at Governor Romney's record, he doesn't talk about his record on spending in the state of Massachusetts. He doesn't talk about his record of exploding a brand new entitlement that cost billions of dollars, not just people's money in Massachusetts but in Medicaid dollars that you all across this country."

Also see:

Santorum targets Obama, Romney at raucous Texas rally

Bachmann: Santorum win a 'shot across the bow'

Gingrich looks to Super Tuesday lift

McCain blames turnout (not Romney) for Tuesday results

Romney: Rivals are 'Republicans who acted like Democrats'


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Sandra, Atl

    In your narrow little mind, women don't have rights so obviously you don't think anyone is wronged.

    February 9, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. GEORGIA TEE

    If your going to take tax payer money, you must follow the same rules as everyone else....period.....Stop taking taxpayer money, then you can do what you want...

    February 9, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. Jake

    Hey Rick, will it restrict a woman from dating an abortion doctor? and how about having an abortion to spare her own life (which I fully support, but probably not while she's married to you!?!?)

    February 9, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. Thomas

    How many children dose this man have ?

    Maybe if Rick was third generation American , he would cap his well !

    February 9, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. cali girl

    Poo to you santo it is about a woman who has her wishes being blocked from her. If the catholic church has needs and can not give a women whatever health need she has, then you need to get out of the healthcare business completely. And I am sure that there are other health care issues that have a tight line with christian beliefs. What if I am pregnant and the baby is not going to make it and the docs know that. What happens then? What about my uterus, if something is wrong are you going to kick me out for that hysterectomy I need? And santo says a woman can get her birth control but she will have to pay for it. Does a man have to pay for his prostate being removed? Or better yet, is his viagra being paid for? Isn't the belief right that you are not to stand in the way of the will of God. But if God wills a man impotent, then isn't viagra standing in the way of Gods will?

    February 9, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. NaySay

    Nice try, but women don't just have rights in little circumscribed areas that are approved of by wiggies like Santorum. We are not here to support any church. As far as I'm concerned, if the Catholic Church refuses to allow Catholic women to use contraception (and really, in this day and age, that's more comical than I can say) then they should be disallowed from every dime of government money - even for their charities. Frankly, I feel that way about women priests as well. Any disagreement about this will almost always be from men, you'll notice

    February 9, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Candace Clough

    actually Rick, its the employees' money because benefits are part of the compensation package. So unless you want to make the argument that the Church can also say how the employees spend every $$ they make. You are WRONG!

    February 9, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Mikey

    "That has nothing to do with the right of a woman," Really. I guess conversely you could say that the ruling won't prevent one person from practicing their faith. It will not force one person who is opposed to birth control to use birth control. One might say that it does impact the rights of poor women who cannot afford to pay the entire cost of birth control out of pocket, but happen to work at a hospital or university run by a religious organization. I guess it depends on what you value more, the rights of women or the right of a church to impose its moral code on others. That is another way to look at this issue.

    February 9, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Mr. Santorum, the vast majority of Catholics use birth control. You are an ultra-conservative Catholic, that's fine. But you can not shove your values and beliefs down America's throat.

    PS. I am a cradle Catholic, I am one of the 68% of Catholic women who use birth control.

    February 9, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. GI Joe.

    The U.S.A. doesn't need the POPE interfering with women's health care here.

    February 9, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. Paul

    Perhaps the Catholic institutions upset about providing contraception should follow the lead of the Massachusetts Catholic Charities which decided to forego state dollars in order to avoid placiing children in loving homes of homosexuals. Catholic hospitals can stop taking Medicare and Medicaid dollars to serve only the people who align themselves with the doctrine of the church before entering their doors. If the church would offer this up, I bet the federal government would be happy not to force non-discrimination policies on those institutions. Does anyone know how many federal dollars go into the coffers of just one Catholic hospital like Georgetown?

    February 9, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Nothing new here

    Santorum – the new "flip-flopper".

    February 9, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. 4merRepubCT

    If using birth control is a moral outrage, shouldn't the employer (hospital, university) require a blood test of potential employees to make sure they aren't violating the church's teachings? If the church does not want to provide access to birth control and family planning through their insurance, shouldn't they be sure that they are not hiring the sinners who would want it? This is the new "don't ask, don't tell."

    February 9, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Quincy Adams Wagstaff

    So, in that respect, if someone works for the Church of Science, which doesn't believe in any medical intervention; does that mean that are not obligated to provide health insurance at all? Even if their employee isn't a member of the church?

    What about Jehovahs Witnesses who don't believe in blood transfusions. So are they not obligated to pay for insurance that covers that if needed?

    This isn't about religious freedom. The church and it's members still have the ability to practice their religion as they wish. Why should an employee for a regilious organization not have the same rights as anyone else, simply because their employer has moral objections.

    February 9, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    Santorum is already on record saying he is against ALL birth control and as POTUS would try to make it illegal. And some on the right want to call Obama a dictator. This guy wants to get into your bedroom. And then if some of these women have kids and windup putting them on the dole then Santorum whines about that too.

    February 9, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    If any church can endorse a candidate, then the government can make rules the churches follow.

    It's the GOP who don't want a separation of church and state.

    February 9, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Quincy Adams Wagstaff

    BTW, I recognize that contraception in many cases is a 'elective' choice to ward off unwanted pregnancy. However, for many women it is not. Some woman require contraceptives in for hormonal balance and to have regular cycles. Thus, not elective; but rather for the health of the individual.

    February 9, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. cisco4

    Mind your own business... santa.. We keep our guns.. our liberty..and our..XL'S.. Any questions santa?

    February 9, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Mama Judy

    He believes that because he does not understand what women's rights are...there are non e in his church...women just obey! Didn't people come to America for freedom of religion...so the government could no tell them who to worship or pray to..... they all forget .... separation of church/state/government... freedom for all to CHOOSE!!!!

    February 9, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    I saw & heard the interview – on John King earlier. Santorum, you honestly are an embarrassment to us Real Catholics, do you kno that ? C'mon Man, You know, Just as well as I know, we both attend Church Services, & the whole 9 yards, but you are really Contradicting Yourself, Rick. I know, & I'm sure You know a heck of a lot of OTHER "Catholic" (women) or (teenagers) that is on birth control pills, or are using some type of form of contraception. But they will never actually Admit it, for fear of someone who may "look down" upon them. Now that's the Truth, Rick, and You Know it, so don't start with that bunch of hogwash, okay ?

    February 9, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Tony Torres

    I normally find that as whole the people on CNN are very capable at what they do but I find that John King is a wimp. I saw
    the interview with that jerk Santorum and he did not question the man's comments, which where a bunch of boloney. He reminded me of the night that Newt crap all over him. Get someone with some cojones, you can't let them control your interview. Please replace John King.

    February 9, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Just when you think the GOP can't get any zanier, THIS TURD has to resurface!!!!!

    February 9, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Drake

    I predect a lot of female doctors will not be working for catholics hospitals and a lot of female professors will not be working at catholic universities.

    February 9, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Aristocles

    No one is trying to make contraception illegal, just trying to prevent church-run institutions from having to violate their consciences by paying for it. Let the women pay for it themselves.

    February 9, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    That's it, I'm done! No more tax-exemptions for religious organizations. I'm sick and tired of subsidizing these hateful, anti-women organizations with my tax dollars, because I have to make up for every penny they don't pay.

    February 9, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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