Groups hit back against billionaire's birth control comment
February 16th, 2012
07:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Groups hit back against billionaire's birth control comment

(CNN) -Women's advocacy groups fired back after a major Rick Santorum donor stirred controversy Thursday with a now-viral comment about contraception.

Calling his comments "insulting and irresponsible," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said "birth control is basic health care and used almost universally by women. It is not something to belittle on national TV."

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Foster Friess, a billionaire mutual fund manager, made headlines earlier in the day when he joked women used Bayer aspirin as birth control "back in (his) days."

"The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly," Friess said on MSNBC.

He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a pro-Santorum super PAC, the Red, White, and Blue Fund.

Later Thursday night, Friess said in another interview on MSNBC that it was merely a joke and denied that he was giving any medical advice for birth control.

"A lot of people who are younger than 71 didn't get the context of that joke," he said. "Back in my days, they didn't have the birth control pill, so to suggest that Bayer aspirin could be considered a birth control is pretty ridiculous and quite funny. So I think that was the gist of that story."

Meanwhile, National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill called on Friess to "immediately apologize" to woman.

"Mr. Freiss' comments today on MSNBC that women use aspirin between their knees for contraception were not only offensive, but demeaning and disrespectful to women," O'Neill said in a statement to CNN. "Santorum should also use this time to renounce his anti-birth control stance."

Asked in an interview on Fox News Thursday night, Santorum said it was a "stupid" and "off-color" joke and added that comments made by supporters don't reflect on him or his campaign.

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. shut_up

    i have seen some these gals that are on welfare and you could hide a case of aspirin between their knees. LOL

    February 16, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Auzzie

    Is this guy for REAL!!!!
    What an idiot, which makes him the perfect Santorum supporter

    February 16, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Anymore insightful ideas on family planning from Pope Ricky's peeps?

    February 16, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Luke Brown

    Glad to know the Santorum bandwagon includes such enlightened business backers.

    February 16, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Mayor_McCheese

    What a stupid thing to say. I'm sure Santorum was thrilled with the comment.

    February 16, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Taylor

    Back in your days......yea right... We are not in your days. Rick and you need to go back to those days and don't come back. This is nothing but a attack on women and attack on the US . We are not going back in the days........

    February 16, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Canuck

    OK, try selling that to the American people at election time. Are these guys as stupid as they appear to be??

    February 16, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Valentina

    People like Friess and Santroum will marginalize the Republican Party to a minimum with talk like this – they risk any chance of taking back the White House. They are both simpletons – foolish or ignorant persons.

    Romney 2012!

    February 16, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Arkansas Undertaker

    Keep talking, idot Republicans. Those "GALS" as you call them are going to be the voters to make and break your silly candidate, Santorum.

    February 16, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. cali girl

    And what days were that? 1825? OMG, you and Santo deserve each other. Only a moron would say that. Let me also add I can think of about 3 other "positions" that the aspirin would not matter. This suggestion is that women bear the responsibility for the sin of fornication. Whatever.

    February 16, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. F-Gingrich

    Go on Righties, pull the lever for Santorum!...this is just a preview of the type of thinking that will take place in the US with Ayatollah Santorum running things.....

    Why doesn't this old codger try tying garlic around a woman's neck and see if that works?..Un-friggin-believable!!!

    February 16, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    Foster Friess, Remember We are livening in United States of America your comment insults to women

    February 16, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. logicnLA

    Back in his day, when a girl got pregnant they were sent off to an aunt's house for a "visit" Women could lose jobs, families, and be shunned. and if she chose to have an abortion, it was done by a butcher in a back room for far more than it should have cost, and done with unsanitary equipment.
    and to think, Santorum wants the old days back!

    February 16, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. a in austin

    NOT EVEN FUNNY....sanitorium needs to get rid of this billionaire. woops, rick agrees with him!

    February 16, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Bessy

    WHat an ass ! Whew ! It gets worse every day.

    February 16, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    I hear it's also good in preventing the new incurable form of the clap going around. Who'd have thunk?

    February 16, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Terry

    This is going to be so easy come November with cretans like this behind Santorum

    February 16, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Myth Romney is soo Plastic and FAKE he makes Callista Gingrinch looks REAL


    This GOP tools aka Satorum wants American women to go back to the stone age of Arab women!!!

    Even Arab women would have more women's rights than American women after the GOP conservatives force their values down our throats!!!!

    February 16, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Nellie

    You are beyond sick!

    February 16, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what passes for humor in the GOBP deathcult.

    February 16, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. carrborian

    thank you gop!–for handing many 2012 contests to democrats. who is advising these people, & how did they time-travel from the 19th century?

    February 16, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. _ian_

    Between the knees, eh? Great medical discovery Dr. Friess! How about under the armpit? Would it still work?

    February 16, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    Back in your days, there was a solution to moronic rantings like ice pick up the nose and a few gentle taps.....

    February 16, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Mikey

    I can't wait for the general against Santorum, if that happens. President Obama and his supporters will make the case for his reelection. Santorum and his supporters will also make the case for the President's reelection – just not deliberately. Too darn funny. You can't make this stuff up. Obama 2012.

    February 16, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Jamie from Riverside

    This is the 21st Century. Where is the time machine that these rich old, bigoted fools are coming over on?

    February 16, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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