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Morning Feature – I Wouldn’t Trust Rick Santorum With My Access to Contraception

February 21, 2012

Morning Feature

Morning Feature – I Wouldn’t Trust Rick Santorum With My Access to Contraception

Don’t buy Rick Santorum’s claim that he won’t try to deny you access to birth control. (More)


GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-13th Century) is a social troglodyte whose obsession with limiting reproductive freedom has led him to be a leader in the conservative effort to stop coverage of birth control as preventive care for which there would be no insurance co-pays, and to make the absolutely ridiculous and offensive claim that pre-natal testing is little more than a liberal plot to increase abortions. In a concession to the political popularity of access to contraception, however, Santorum has also made a recent push to claim that he has no interest in outlawing birth control, telling the Washington Post that “the idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd.” Predictably, conservative commentators have echoed this claim to assert that Santorum doesn’t pose a threat to access to birth control, with Ross Douthat at the New York Times claiming:

Even the fiercest conservative critics of the White House’s contraception mandate – yes, Rick Santorum included – agree that artificial birth control should be legal and available.

But the only thing absurd here is the suggestion that we should not be concerned about the legality or availability of contraception if, heaven forbid, Santorum were to become President. In fact, there are at least three reasons why supporters of access to contraception should be terrified of a Santorum Presidency:

1. Santorum has made clear that he objects to birth control: In an interview last October, Santorum said the following about birth control:

One of the things that I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the sexual liberty idea and many in the Christian faith have said, you know contraception is OK. It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

Similarly, in 2006, Santorum expressed the following views about contraception:

I don’t think it works. I think it’s harmful to women. I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated …, particularly among the young and it has I think we’ve seen very, very harmful long-term consequences to the society. Birth control to me enables that and I don’t think it’s a healthy thing for our country.

Certainly a person could have these personal beliefs while still supporting the right to birth control as a matter of government policy. But given how focused Santorum is on restricting reproductive freedoms, that is not a risk I’d be willing to take.

2. Santorum Rejects the Right to Privacy: Santorum’s statements regarding contraception become even more problematic when combined with his opposition to a Constitutional right to privacy. In particular, Santorum has been very vocal in his opposition to the groundbreaking 1965 Supreme Court decision of Griswold v. Connecticut. That decision established the Constitutional right to privacy that protects many of the individual liberties that we take for granted today. It also struck down as unconstitutional a Connecticut law that made the use of contraception illegal. Reversing Griswold, as Santorum would like to see happen, would once again allow states to outlaw the use of birth control.

3. Santorum is Not a True Supporter of Federal Funding for Contraception Services: In attempting to appear reasonable, Santorum has noted that, despite his personal beliefs about contraception, he has in the past voted in favor of funding for Title X, the federal program that supports family planning clinics that provide access to contraception and other preventive services to millions of low income families. But more recently, Santorum has pledged to end federal funding for contraception. Those Title X programs that Santorum wishes to defund annually provide contraception and other family planning services to millions of low income women.

The simple fact is that Santorum cannot be trusted with any issue relating to family planning or reproductive freedom. Commentators of any stripe should know better than to accept his claims regarding support for contraception at face value.

  • NCrissieB

    If Republicans didn’t have a track record of doing exactly what they ‘hint’ they’re going to do once elected – after denying during the campaign that they have any such radical intentions – then conservative defenders of Santorum might be credible. Alas, they do have that track record. The fact that Santorum has stopped just short of calling for a nationwide ban on contraception is … unconvincing….

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • addisnana

    I find it odd that Santorum cites his faith as one of his guiding lights when talking about abortion and contraception. He must be one of those cafeteria catholics because he is certainly not aligned with his church when it come to caring for the poor or not fighting unjust wars or eliminating the death penalty.

    I do not trust him at all on contraception or much of anything.

  • winterbanyan

    Troglodyte is an excellent term for Santorum. Thanks for that grin.

    Santorum is impossible to trust on anything because the instant he creates a firestorm with a statement, he walks it back, and he’s not even a good liar.

    But it goes beyond that. His misogyny is on display, hiding in the cloak of a Catholicism he cites only when it suits him. I really don’t think we need to fight this battle in SCOTUS again. And lest anyone think the Supremes are going to walk back Griswold v. Connecticut, remember this conservative court, under Bush, upheld Roe v. Wade.

    But why should we have to do that all over again, while in the meantime women suffer?

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

    In Santorum’s world, women are to be barefoot, pregnant or about to be, and in the kitchen. :roll: If they’re not married, they need to be nuns. :roll:

  • Gardener

    Troglodyte? Dang I hate it when I have to look stuff up……… ;-)

    Santorum served only one term in the Senate before being tossed by the voters “for cause,” right? Mebbe the people of Pennsylvania are on to him in a way the national party has yet to discover? Didn’t he move his family to D.C., and then try to bill PA for schooling?

    • Gardener

      Hey, hey, HEY!

      Second definition is 2) one who lives in seclusion….. That’s ME!

      But youse can call me “Trog.” ;-)

    • glendaw271

      Yes, and he did bill PA for the schooling. The last I read on it yesterday, it wasn’t clear if he was supposed to repay at least some of it.

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