Santorum: Despite Beliefs, I Won't Restrict Contraception

Thursday, 16 Feb 2012 09:56 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended himself against charges that his views on social policy issues are anti-women and insisted that despite his own personal beliefs he is in favor of making contraceptives available as long as the government does not force it on religious groups.

“The issue is, as a . . . a public servant, how do I feel about the issue of contraception? It should be available,” Santorum said during an interview Wednesday night with CNN’s Piers Morgan.
 
But he added: “I object to [it] when the federal government says that religious organizations who feel the way the Catholic Church feels should be required to provide it. I think that’s an infringement upon their religious liberties.”
 
Santorum pointed to his voting record as U.S. senator from Pennsylvania as proof of his support for providing birth-control measures and he suggested that as president he would continue to do the same.
 
“As far as contraception, if you look at my voting record, I have a voting record that supports . . . funding for contraception, both domestically, as well as internationally,” Santorum said. “And I would not support any law that would put any restrictions on that.”
 
Still, Santorum made it clear that personally he shares the Catholic Church’s position on contraception — that it’s wrong.
 
“That’s the Catholic Church’s position, period, that it’s wrong,” he told Morgan, adding, “Look, I’m a Catholic . . .  I subscribe to the teachings of the church. That is my . . . personal view.”
 
Santorum said people should respect his personal position whether they agree with it or not, and he added that he has “done nothing” in his public career that would indicate “that I would want to restrict [contraception] for anybody.”
 
The former senator, who has climbed to the top of the polls in the GOP nomination race, also used the interview to draw a distinct difference between what he has paid in taxes in recent years on just over $3 million in annual income and what Romney has paid on considerably more.
 
Noting that he does his own taxes, Santorum said he has paid 25 percent to 28 percent in taxes since 2007 compared to Romney’s 15 percent.

“All my income is earned income,” he said, noting that “maybe” $100 of it may have come from interest. “I don't have any income that would come from investments or … wealth.”

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