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. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't think that Santorum really understands the situtation. The organizations are administered by churches but are really HOSPITALS AND UNIVERSITIES. It is not a church. How many churches have priest-doctors who give sermons while operating on a patient? I think that the number is none. I heard someone point out on a radio that the heirarchy of the church has no women and therefore no understanding of the needs of women.

    February 10, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Don in Albuquerque

    Hey Ricky! When you oppose warfare, as much as you oppose welfare you might be on the road to being just a widdle bit more Christ Like. Total fraud.

    February 10, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  3. Cfrench

    Sorry Rick, but religous nut-jobs like you will never be president of the United States. You may get the bible bangers and teabagers but the rest of the country will never vote for you. Why don't you take your dead campaign home and show it to your family.

    February 10, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  4. Willie Floyd

    This guy is an idiot!!

    February 10, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  5. livingston

    I'm sure that he doesn't feel that it restricts women's rights. He doesn't believe women have any rights to begin with.

    February 10, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  6. gimmesometruth

    Isn't it obvious? Those who can't see the problem dare I say are atheistic socialists?

    February 10, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  7. frank burns

    My own religious conviction is that God punishes us with disease and rewards us with good health, and that it is a sin to ever try to intervene in his will medically.
    I’m therefore stripping practically everything out of my employees’ policies. If I can’t, I won’t be able to sleep nights, because I would have a guilty conscience imagining to what unnatural ends they might choose to apply their insurance, and of course I can’t be stopped from stripping out those policies, because my Republican friends are backing me on this, since it is a matter of my own religious freedom.
    Plus, I save a lot on the health premiums I pay to cover my work force, since their pay package basically only includes chiropractic care and homeopathy, which don’t offend my religious scruples because I deem them entirely ineffective.

    February 10, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  8. iowa mary

    Santorum is so 19th century when it comes to women, I doubt he will get any modern women to vote for him. My question about him (and all unemployed Republicans) is he has been out of a job since 2006, has a bunch of kids, one very ill, who is paying for his insurance? They are all against any government intervention in insurance, but I have a feeling they are all being covered by the government (I mean us).The church is a non profit, if it wants into politics take away the tax free part of it – the country could use the help.

    February 10, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. Just a thought

    ok....Let's use that same analogy with a religion that doesn't allow its members to see doctors or take medications (I can't remember which one it is)....But if that particular religion had a church that decided to not offer its employees, working at one of their stores, any coverage for vaccinations for something like swine flu; should the government give them an exemption?

    OF COURSE NOT! ........There are labor laws that apply to every employer, even if said employer wants to sacrafice a small animal in the middle of the office everyday; its within the perview of the government to prohibit such behavior.

    Why is the conservative party so bent on bringing the discussion down to the minushia (SIC) and avoid coming up with any solutions? Instead this party constantly promotes, hate, fear, intolerance and anger. Not a single idea on how to IMPROVE ANYTHING...except more tax cuts for those who don't need them !

    February 10, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    And he is absolutely correct. Planned Parenthood will give it to any woman for free.

    February 10, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  11. Terry

    So the republicans think birth control is a grievous moral wrong? This is going to be sooooo easy come November once these cretans views come to light

    February 10, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Mr man on dog, this has NOTHING to do with restricting a churches doctrine and more to do with access to health care. This is none of the churches business just like it is none of the governments business what drugs a doctor may prescribe for you. You howl about smaller government but you and your ilk would legislate you half baked moral standards on all Americans whether they believe in your God or not.

    February 10, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. v_mag

    NPR quoted a survey this morning that 98% of Catholic women use contraception at some point in their lives. Over half of Catholic women support the President's rule on birth control coverage. And it's not about Catholic women in particular. The coverage is for any woman, no matter who she works for. It's the right thing to do, unless you're a religious fanatic like Scary Clown.

    Scary Clown defeated-Senator Sactimonious is dead wrong and losing the argument. He has made it plain that he wants to inflict conservative Catholic beliefs on America, and America is not going for it.

    February 10, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Are my eyes deceiving me or is that Ray Parker Jr of 'Ghostbusters" Theme song fame behind him.

    February 10, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. CS

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

    I'm so confused by the GOP argument. How exactly is this forcing Churches to do anything?

    February 10, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Lolo

    This man is ignorant. They expect these people to work for them and pay for insurance that does not even meet their needs. I guess it is okay with him to try and make Americans follow his christian philosophy or else? The republican party is getting nuttier by the minute.

    February 10, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. a in austin

    I am so tired of hearing "women's rights" be described as "religious freedoms"! IT'S MY BODY, MY DECISION WHATEVER I CHOOSE TO DECIDE! And the gop talk about too government?

    February 10, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. rs

    Right, Santorum. By imposing Catholic's religous beliefs on women across America, and by denying them birth control (i.e. control over their own bodies) simply because they work for a Catholic Church owned entity, and undoing 10 years of court cases that say otherwise, that is precisely what you are doing.

    What part of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution do you not understand?

    February 10, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Anthony

    "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.

    If women were running the Catholic Church, or the Republican Party, insurance coverage for contraception would be a guaranteed right, like the right to bear arms. Women of America: you are the majority. There are more female voters than male voters. If you let the Catholic Church and the Republican Party take away your constitutional right to choose, you have only yourselves to blame.

    February 10, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Mitt's grass is green because it's cash.

    Doesn't Santorum think it's a grievous moral wrong to make the women pay for the contraception because that's what they're doing now. Does he not find it a grieveous moral wrong for viagra to be covered when it's clearly God's plan that those men no longer be able to function that way? Sanoturm has no concept of separation of church and state.

    February 10, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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