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Right Turn
Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/15/2012

Santorum: Birth control ‘harmful to women’

Yesterday I speculated on some of the reasons Rick Santorum has problems with women voters. This interview from 2006 sure isn’t going to help.

For starters, does he realize that married women (men too!) use birth control? The impression that Santorum finds the prevalent practice of birth control “harmful to women” is, frankly, mind-numbing. If he meant to focus on teen sexual promiscuity, he surely could have, and thereby might have sounded less out of touch.

Now, he qualifies his religious views by saying he doesn’t vote against contraception “because it’s not the taking of a human life” (in other contexts he has emphasized that as a legal matter he has no problem with contraception). But how does that square with his professed belief that a candidate’s values are essential to understanding and predicting his behavior? Perhaps that’s an abortion-only rule. (And really, where are George Stephanopoulos’s questions on this topic when you need them?)

In any event, this sort of thing undermines Santorum’s electability argument. (Current polling match-ups between President Obama and each of the two frontrunners, before the GOP has a nominee and before Santorum’s record is out there, are virtually useless.) This is how, in part, he lost Pennsylvania — by appearing extreme and schoolmarmish, too far to the right of average voters in a purple state. If he is the nominee in 2012, he might get some blue-collar fellows, but what about those women in Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc.? And what about more secularized suburban communities? Fuggedaboutit.

More from PostOpinions:

Michael Gerson: Obama’s epic birth-control blunder

Charles Krauthammer: The gospel according to Obama

Rachel Maddow: The GOP war on birth control

The Post’s View: Mr. Obama’s win-win reversal

Kathleen Parker: Obama runs over religious freedom

By  |  12:00 PM ET, 02/15/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign, Culture

 
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