Rick Santorum Wants to Fight ‘The Dangers Of Contraception’

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Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to the media on Feb. 13, 2012, at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington.

Candidates often say things when polling in the single digits that come back to haunt them when they start leading the polls. Last October, Rick Santorum gave an interview with an Evangelical blog called Caffeinated Thoughts, in which he said contraception is “not okay,” and that this would be a public policy issue he would tackle as President. In particular, he said he would “get rid of any idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage” as a government policy. Start watching the following video at 17:55.

Here’s a transcript:

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, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

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. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. 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, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, 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. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 99% of women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. have used a form of contraception. In 2010, 62% of women in that same age group were currently using the method. Presumably a similar percentage of men are therefore employing contraception as well.

In politics, it is generally not a good thing to characterize something nearly every adult in the country has happily used as “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” According to a more recent Pew poll, 85% of the country believes that contraception is either “not a moral issue” or “morally acceptable.” Eight percent view contraception as “morally wrong.”

In contrast with Santorum, Mitt Romney made it clear in a recent debate that he did not want to weigh in on the moral question of contraception. “Contraception. It’s working just fine. Just leave it alone,” he said, providing one of the great soundbites of the 2012 cycle.

MORE: Between the Lines

1 comments
Wordwizard
Wordwizard

The word you marked as unintelligible was "immunitive".  Not that it makes that much sense, but that's what I clearly heard.