Has it happened? Has it finally gotten through to the Republican candidates that focusing on contraception and women’s health was maybe not the best campaign strategy? Of course, now that they have spent the last few months focusing on our uteri, it’s going to be hard to switch gears. They can’t just pretend it never happened, they – wait, what? That’s exactly what Santorum is doing? Oh, this should work.
Santorum appears to have started a new phase in his campaign (one that is clinging to life and in desperate need of some more delegates in order to stay afloat) by beginning a media blitz claiming he NEVER said anything about contraception being bad, and the only reason most women associate him with the issue is because the big mean Media is “pigeonholing” him.
His wife appeared on Piers Morgan’s show, attempting to undo some of the damage by calling him an incredibly supportive husband and a champion of women. She explains away the contraception issue by once again throwing around “freedom of religion.” He’s not against contraception, he’s against people being forced to do something against their religious conscience. Let’s ignore the fact that no one is being forced to do any such thing, and his policies would in fact end up allowing a great number of institutions to restrict women’s access to birth control, the very thing he claims he has no interest in doing.
Santorum himself appeared on Morning Joe and threw quite a hissy fit when Joe Scarborough asked him if he regretted mentioning contraception in 2011, thereby pushing it to the forefront of his campaign. Santorum’s response was painful to watch, not only because he seems to have gotten into a fight with a bottle of self-tanner and maintained a horrifyingly creepy half-smile the entire interview, but because he came across as petulant and completely unwilling to take responsibility for words that DID, in fact, come out of his mouth.
A quick Google search of “Santorum” + “Birth Control” (I’ve obviously learned never to google Santorum by itself) brought back over 90 million results. In the first page alone, I found a gold mine of evidence that refutes his statement on Morning Joe quite thoroughly. Some highlights, shall we?
In 2011, Santorum gave an interview to Caffeinated Thoughts, an Evangelical Christian blog (shocker! – can I say that in the same post as santorum?), where, for someone who denies ever making contraception an issue, he gets awful specific about contraception:
“One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative…And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women…I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are…These [have a] profound impact on the health of our society.”
So he’s saying, as President, he would bring up the issue of contraception and how detrimental it is to American society. Oh, and also that sex should be for procreative purposes only. But I digress.
Next, we have Santorum acknowledging his opposition to the 1965 Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, that prohibited states from banning contraception, saying it violated our Constitutional right to privacy. His objection to this 47-year old ruling is as follows:
“The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have. That is the thing I have said about the activism of the Supreme Court, they are creating rights, and they should be left up to the people to decide.”
Yes, states’ rights, a favorite of the anti-big government GOP. I’ll get into that later.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Santorum’s signature, along with Gingrich’s and Bachmann’s, on the 2011 “Personhood Pledge.” The candidates who signed this document pledged their support for “a human life amendment to the Constitution,” and the idea that “the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.” There’s been enough media coverage of this pledge, and the Personhood Bills that have been proposed in several states like Mississippi, that most people should be aware of its implications; but just in case, here’s the Personhood concept in a sentence: Life begins at the exact moment of conception. It’s pretty easy to see how this could have serious effects on women’s access to birth control and, of course, the a-word.
I could go on, but I think it’s pretty clear that Santorum is full of…well…you know. It seems to me that his campaign advisors have informed him that being so open about wanting to return women to the 1950s may not be the best way to garner votes, so, he has his wife go on record gushing about how modern of a man he is, and he goes for the slightly bolder tactic of flat out denying that contraception, to him, has ever been anything other than an issue of religious freedom.
Perhaps Santorum’s desire to revert to the 50s has caused him to forget that we live in 2012. It is a magical era, where every little thing you say is recorded, analyzed, and saved forever. Going around denying he ever said something, when 5 seconds on the internet proves he did, is not going to get him out of this hole he is in. It actually makes him look kind of crazy. (And you thought that wasn’t possible? Silly).
The whole “States’ Rights” argument is also a big hypocritical lie. He opposes Griswold v. Connecticut because he thinks that states should have the right to violate the Constitution if they wish; however, everything he has said implies that, if he were to become President (*crosses self*), one of his main goals would be to use the federal government to legislate our own personal rights. And for someone who is so in love with the Constitution, he seems pretty eager to violate it when it gets slightly inconvenient for him.
So, in summation, the federal government is the big bad wolf, until he is in control and can use it to subjugate women and put us back where we belong: