February 9th, 2012
06:26 PM ET
2 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. Liska

    While he is at it, why not ban Tampons? He is a reincarnated baffoon from the Dark Ages. And listening to the Catholic church on ANY moral issue is a getting a bit difficult. Anyway, offering it up is the right thing to do: If a woman chooses not to use it, that is her choice. And in his argument, would Viagra also be off the table? Men and the Church ~ ^#%$%%# !!!

    February 9, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. lgny

    Question: If a Muslim group operated a public hospital, would Santorum and the other Conservatives support their right to assert that their employees must practice consistent with Sharia law and customs? There's a tremendous hypocrisy going on within the far right.

    February 9, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Bob

    No doubt Santorum's first order of business as president would be to install a hotline to the Vatican. So much for separation of church and state.

    February 9, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Past three years Republicans were saying 2012 about economy and jobs past three day we are not talking about economy or jobs
    Why republicans changing their message, are they losing the election ?

    February 9, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. ithink122

    "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?...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 ...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."

    Churches are exempt from this rule. It does apply to organizations that are religiously affiliated, but not CHRUCHES, as you said multiple times in your argument. I bet it would have been useful to know before you made your argument. Perhaps Santorum should try READING the policies he comes out against. But then again, maybe not. It IS much more amusing this way, after all. :)

    February 9, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. anagram_kid

    Gluttony is a sin. Therefore the Catholic Church should refuse to cover any drug that an employee has to take because they are overweight. If they cover those drugs they are condoning a sinful lifestyle.

    February 9, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Noodle Nose Johnson

    It's NOT the church's money, you dimwit. It's the taxpayers' money that the churches' Hospital is hoping to procure. They want the non-Catholic taxpayers' money then they provide the required coverage as stated by law. My God, Santorum is a complete and total liar.

    February 9, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. independent

    Health insurance is compensation. Companies use the rising costs of health insurance as a reason not to raise pay. Employers have no right to tell workers how to use their compensation. Imagine if you employer told you that they were going to cut your pay because you used some of it on something the employer didn't like. It isn't logical, it's political.

    February 9, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Schalaine

    This man is not Presidential...just creepy.

    February 9, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. A Chicago Opinion

    Let's review what Rick said:

    "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?"

    I won't even address Rick's lack of logic or connection between the rights of women and a "moral wrong" as he perceives it from his Catholic filter.

    I don't know about you, but this metal lightweight thinks that the federal dollars the Catholic institutions get for providing healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) is their to use as they please? I don't think so. If an institution is going to use the resources of the federal government (my and your taxes) then they have to behave in a pluralistic, non-secular manner. Otherwise, fund the programs yourself and let my taxes go to organizations that have the humanity to go beyond their dogma and ideology.

    These Catholic medical institutions have been taking federal dollars for years, and most already provide contraceptive coverage for their employees under mandates in a number of states. Correspondingly, most Catholic women of child bearing age have used contraceptives at one point or another in their life to control the size of their facilities. So, WTF is Rick or any other Catholic complaining about an attack on religious liberty in this country? I smell the stench of hypocrisy from Rick and other Catholics who ignore the state of their religion in the USA.

    If Catholics want to practice their faith in its pure and unadulterated form then be my guest. But don't impose your faith (belief without evidence) on me, and don't use my tax dollars.

    February 9, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Bob

    Wow. So this the manufactured crisis the conservatives are going to use to try to gain the White House and keep the Congress? Nice. This manufactured "war on religion" first alluded to by Rick Perry and his "Happy Holidays" rant, is as pathetic and phony as the "weapons of mass destruction". Gee, that one only cost us a trillion dollars and in return gave us the Patriot Act. I hope most Americans don't fall for another GOP/Koch Brothers/Rove-manufactured war.

    February 9, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. gg

    he he saying christian-chotholic women don,t use birth control everyrone i know does my mother used it after having 10 kids my grandmother had 16

    February 9, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. sara

    No Ricky, it only punishes them for using them. Let's be clear...this is purely a woman's right's issue. Contraception is used for many medical purposes. I was prescribed them for ovarian Fibroid tumors and to regulate the bleeding.

    I guess the Republicans don't have any plans or answers, so they attack the president as anti-christian amd Ricky compared him to leading to the French Revolution. Rubio said he don't know what "south Africa's" constitution is...but it isn't America's. Now they are relying on the old personal attacks and social issues.

    February 9, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. Jane

    This is a dangerous, dangerous man. A dangerous man who must have been rejected by a guy at some point in time because the he's more obsessed with all things 'gay' than any gay person I know. ... classic example of a closet case. Denial isn't a river in Egypt, Ricky.

    February 9, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. LizinStLouis

    I don't understand what this opposition to contraceptives is all about when facts show that 98% of women who are catholics are actually on those!! What hypocrisy!!

    February 9, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Kris Craig

    So now money qualifies as a "moral resource"?!

    February 9, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Inquiring Mindz

    Faith (life begins at conception) vs. Constitution ("..........shall establish no religion......")

    February 9, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    While churches get a pass, that is different than religious organizations following federal law. But, republicans are losers on the economy, job creation, foreign policy, social security, so all they have left is women's reproductive rights.

    February 9, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. chill485

    If you want to run a church, then play by your rules. That's freedom of religion. Run a business with church money and it's still a business and you play by the country's rules. That being said, it would seem fair to me to set up the option of contraceptive services in a separate add-on policy that the individual would pay for themselves- to the company carrying the rest of their insurance or through the state exchanges. You don't have to subscribe to the church's beliefs to be a nurse or secretary in an ancillary organization.

    February 9, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. A Texan

    This is total BS--- The requirement does not FORCE women to take contraceptives !!!!! Pure politics for dummies.

    February 9, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  21. CoJo

    he needs to explain it in term of other compnaies like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Apple who provide health insurance to their employees.

    February 9, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. papanez

    Santormum is a religious zealot who wants to rule according to the bible. There's nothing wrong with the bible, but religion and politics do not mix. This country is not a theocracy. We cannot allow the 2 to mix. Look at the middle east! Religion's involement with politics leads to intolerance, civil war, violence, and prejuidice.

    February 9, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. marginwalker

    YES it does restrict womens' rights...We are not a theocracy! Religious institutions cannot be above the law! How can these Catholic leaders and GOP clowns ignore what's stated in the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,..."

    February 9, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. marginwalker

    This has everything to do with women's rights! They are the ones who are being affected by this. I guess all these Catholic and GOP leaders never read the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,..." And providing coverage for contraceptives and preventive methods DOES NOT infringe upon the right to freely exercise one's religion.

    February 9, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  25. NYCMovieFan

    All of the GOP has completely ignored/missed the issue here – the assumption is that all workers hired by a religious institution belong to that religion – but it is illegal to ask during the hiring process what religion a candidate is, and hiring cannot legally be based on religion. Therefore, if an institution tries to impose religious beliefs on all its workers, it is in fact violating the rights of the workers. This issue has NOTHING to do with religion and EVERYTHING to do with personal freedom. A good politician – one who wants to serve the PEOPLE – supports the rights of workers to do wtih their bodies as their own beliefs guide them. A bad poltitican panders for votes – guess the GOP panders like crazy as usual. Shame on them, shame. We have REAL issues to discuss, like the recovering economy (thank you Mr. President).

    February 9, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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