Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum told a Georgia megachurch that President Obama is "trampling on a constitutional right" by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception through healthcare coverage. The GOP presidential candidate added that Obama "is imposing his ideology on a group of people expressing their theology, their moral code." The remarks were delivered February 19 at the Cumming, Georgia, First Redeemer Church.
But Santorum himself has a record of forcing Catholics to pay for other people's contraception through the instrument of taxation, and has recently boasted about it. Santorum told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News February 16: "The bottom line in my position is very clear. I've had a consistent record on this of supporting women's right to have contraception. I've supported funding for it." Santorum went on to note:
I actually have been criticized by — I think it was Governor Romney or maybe it was Congressman Paul's campaign for voting for contraception, that I voted for funding for — I think it was Title X — which I have voted for in the past. That provides for free contraception through organizations, even like Planned Parenthood.
Indeed, some of Congressman Ron Paul's supporters — such as Dr. Thomas Woods — have also criticized Santorum for forcing Catholics to pay for contraceptives through taxation. Santorum's words to Van Susteren have matched his votes. The New American's Alex Newman has pointed out that Santorum repeatedly voted to force taxpayers to fund contraceptives, including funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Texas Congressman Ron Paul himself has defined the issue in terms of whether the "free exercise" of religion should continue to be allowed:
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Photo of Rick Santorum at the the Cumming, Georgia, First Redeemer Church: AP Images