Santorum flip-flops on family planning

He was against Title X before he was for it. Or something. Why his "I won't ban birth control" vow can't be trusted

Topics: Rick Santorum, Contraception, ,

Santorum flip-flops on family planningRepublican presidential candidate Rick Santorum (Credit: AP Jae C. Hong)

Whatever else he is, culture warrior Rick Santorum has never appeared to be the flip-flopper in the 2012 GOP nomination battle. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are Flip and Flop, so often have they changed their tune on healthcare policy, individual insurance mandate, climate change and other issues. (Only Gingrich, to be fair, has flip-flopped on his marriage vows.)

But Santorum is now vying for the flip-flop championship thanks to his remarkable change of heart on Title X family planning funds during Wednesday night’s debate in Mesa, Ariz. You’ll recall that over the last few days he’s been bragging about his support for Title X, to prove that mean feminists and shifty Democrats are wrong when they say he wants to take away your birth control. Strange bedfellows Rush Limbaugh and the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger have claimed that it’s Democrats who are making an issue out of Santorum’s contraception beliefs.

Santorum himself insists that he does not want to ban birth control. “It’s funny that I’ve been criticized by Governor Romney and Ron Paul for actually having voted for something called Title X, which is actually federal funding of contraception,” he told Charlie Rose. On Fox News he said, “I support Title X, I guess it is, and have voted for contraception and although I don’t think it works, I think it’s harmful to women, I think it’s harmful to our society.” In his 2006 book “It Takes a Family,” Santorum also touts his support for Title X.

But when Rep. Ron Paul criticized him for that stand Wednesday night, Santorum came out as an opponent of Title X. You need to read the whole exchange to appreciate Santorum’s mendacity:



SANTORUM: As Congressman Paul knows, I opposed Title X funding. I’ve always opposed Title X funding, but it’s included in a large appropriation bill that includes a whole host of other things, including…

(BOOING)

… the funding for the National Institutes of Health, the funding for Health and Human Services and a whole bunch of other departments. It’s a multi-billion-dollar bill….

ROMNEY: Just a — just a brief comment. Senator, I just saw a YouTube clip of you being interviewed where you said that you personally opposed contraceptives but that you — you said that you voted for Title X. You…

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: But you used that as an argument, saying this is something I did proactively. You didn’t say this is something I was opposed to; it wasn’t something I would have done. You said this — you said this in a positive light, “I voted for Title X.”

(LAUGHTER)

SANTORUM: I think it’s — I think I was making it clear that, while I have a personal more objection to it; even though I don’t support it, that I voted for bills that included it. And I made it very clear in subsequent interviews that I don’t — I don’t support that…

(BOOING)

… I’ve never supported it, and — and have — and on an individual basis have voted against it.

So there you have it. Santorum and his friends have run to Henneberger and other journalists to whine about Salon distorting his views on contraception. Henneberger wrote not one but two pieces defending Santorum and citing his vote for Title X as proof he’s not coming for our birth control. But at a GOP debate – where the classy right-wing crowd booed the mere mention of contraception, the way they’ve booed gay soldiers and cheered for uninsured people dying as well as the death penalty – he tells us “I opposed Title X funding. I’ve always opposed Title X funding.”

I hope that clears up whatever confusion may still exist about Santorum’s views on contraception – as well as about his honesty. The debate certainly cleared up questions about whether he can win the nomination. What a debacle.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>