Rick Santorium Vs The Pill


Santorum v. Griswald

In 1961 Estelle Griswold was arrested for giving contraception to a married couple in Connecticut. Background on Griswold here. An op-ed I wrote on Griswold in 2005 here. Irin Carmen draws voters a picture at Salon:

It’s pretty basic: Rick Santorum is coming for your contraception. Any and all of it. And while he may not be alone in his opposition to non-procreative sex, he is certainly the most honest about it — as he himself acknowledged in the interview.

This is important, because while reproductive rights are always cast in terms of pro or against a woman’s right to an abortion and in what circumstances, even liberals are surprised to find out what social conservatives really want to do about contraception. Liberals are even willing to cast the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood and all Title X programs (a position that has become mainstream in Republican circles) as an abortion issue, when it is actually about contraception. (The Hyde Amendment already bans almost all federal abortion funding.) So is this about “babies” or is this about sex? Rick Santorum isn’t even pretending it’s (only) about childbearing.

Speaking to ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Santorum recently reaffirmed his opposition to Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on discussing or providing contraception to married couples, and established a right to privacy that would later be integral to Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. (It is generally better-known how Santorum feels about gay people.) That would be the case where the majority asked, “Would we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship.” Rick Santorum disagrees. He thinks, using the currently popular states’ rights parlance, that “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.” This is a view Santorum has held at least since 2003.

Ninety-nine percent of American women have used birth control… and most of them are using it with American men, so, you know, there’s that. But Santorum is a devout Catholic—which means he goes to mass weekly, doesn’t use birth control, and has committed adultery with Newt Gingrich—so maybe he should get a pass on his obsession with Griswold since American Catholics don’t use birth control. Tell that to the 98% of sexually active Catholics who use birth control—including, presumably, America’s most famous “devout Catholic,” Callista Gingrich.

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