Rick Santorum wrote an op-ed in The Politico defending conscience rights. And it’s a good strong defense. But this op-ed will be remembered for eviscerating GOP opponent Mitt Romney.
Recently, Romney has spoken out against the Obama administration attempting to force Catholic institutions to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients. But it seems that in 2005, Romney actually bragged about doing the exact same thing.
Here’s the snippet from Santorum’s piece:
I stand with Americans – people of every faith or no faith at all – who still hold that there are truths which are self evident – and rights which are inalienable.
This is not the first time that elected officials have trounced on the fundamental right to religious freedom. In December 2005, Governor Mitt Romney required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
He said then that he believed “in his heart of hearts” that receiving these contraceptives – free of charge – trumped employees’ religious consciences. Now, a few years later and running for president, his heart is strategically aligned with religious voters opposing this federal mandate.
The actions of President Obama – as well as the actions of then Governor Romney – raise some questions. From where do we receive our fundamental human rights? Are they given to us by the government–whether that government be State or Federal? Or, as the American Founders insisted, are these rights endowed upon us by a Creator?
This is not just a pro-life/pro-abortion thing. This is a completely wrongheaded view of religious liberty. This is advocacy of Big Government dictating to religious leaders how they can practice their faith.
Romney said, “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.”
In my personal view. His words.
Now, there’s been some arguments from sources saying that it was the best that could be done in Massachusetts at that time. But I honestly don’t know if that’s true. Maybe it is. But aren’t some fights worth having. Isn’t there a line in the sand for Romney? Isn’t there an issue where he pulls a Gandalf and screams “You shall not pass!” Or no?
Santorum’s all about lines in the sand. In fact, one of the reasons moderates are nervous about Santorum is that he draws so many lines in the sand. Santorum doesn’t have inclinations. He’s got stands. And it seems to me that Santorum’s stance against the HHS mandate is one of conscience. Romney’s just seems to be one of calculation.