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Mitt Romney
Mitt "No Birth Control for You!" Romney (Jim Young/Reuters)
This probably has more to do with the fact that Rick Santorum is expected to do well in tonight's caucuses as anything, but Mitt Romney has decided to join the rabid pack of Republicans attacking President Obama for making family planning just a little bit easier and more affordable for Americans. He's joining forces with the bishops and has added an attack on the administration's new birth control rule to his stump speech.
“Just this last week, this same administration said that in churches and the institutions they run, such as schools and let’s say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees, free of charge, contraceptives, morning-after pills — in other words abortive pills and the like at no cost,” Mr. Romney said. “Think what that does to people in faiths without sharing those views. This is a violation of conscience.”
(Side note: Republicans are supposed to pretend science and biology and stuff is all a matter of interpretation, but for the record, contraception is not abortion, even emergency contraception. Romney's not an idiot. He knows this. What he's doing right there, he's lying, deliberately.)

The new rule simply requires employers and insurers to include prescription contraceptives without cost-sharing, carving out an exemption for religious institutions. It exempts churches that are actually functioning houses of worship from. It exempts religious non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to serve people of faith. Twenty-eight states already have this insurance requirement. It's just smart policy that makes the lives of millions of Americans just a little bit simpler.

But for a tiny sliver of the population whose primary goal in life is seeing women punished for having sex, it's the end of the world. And Mitt Romney wants their votes! He's gonna have a bit of a problem with that, because as with everything else, there's a moderate Mitt in the wings. When he was governor, he "required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims." That's not forgotten.

“The initial injury to Catholic religious freedom came not from the Obama administration but from the Romney administration,’’ said C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. “President Obama’s plan certainly constitutes an assault on the constitutional rights of Catholics, but I’m not sure Governor Romney is in a position to assert that, given his own very mixed record on this.’’
Romney isn't going to be able to out-Santorum Santorum when it comes to the crazy on birth control, and he sure as hell isn't going to be able to make hard-line Catholics and evangelicals forget that he's a Mormon. In fact, by joining in this attack and highlighting religion, he's reminding them that he's Mormon. And in the course of all of this, he's opening himself up to yet more charges of flip-flopping. So, good luck with this one, Mitt.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Abortion and Daily Kos.

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