Most Read: National

Live Discussions

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Chat transcript

Advice columnist Carolyn Hax took your questions live.

Weekly schedule, past shows

She the People
On Twitter Follow Us |  On Facebook Fan Us |  RSS RSS Feed
Posted at 04:02 PM ET, 02/16/2012

Does the GOP really want to go there on birth control?

So it's week three of the contraception wars

And it appears America's de-evolution is in full swing.

To wit: Today one of presidential candidate Rick Santorum's favorite PAC men suggested that back in the day, women just held aspirin between their knees as a form of birth control.

Seriously. 

Watch the video of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell talking to Santorum supporter Foster Friess.

Yep, Andrea, there are a lot of us out here trying to catch our breath from that, quite frankly.

Meanwhile, the House tacked a rider to reverse President Obama's ruling that health insurance companies cover the cost of contraceptives for women, even those employed by religiously run institutions that oppose the use of contraceptions, i.e., hospitals, universities and other entities operated by the Catholic church. 

Simultaneously, an all-male panel of witnesses is opening hearings on on whether the Obama ruling is damaging religious freedoms.

I will agree with Friess that there are bigger issues out there than contraception - jobs and the economy for a start.

But does Friess realize that his candidate actually appears to oppose the use of birth control by pretty much anyone? Santorum said in a 2006 television interview that contraception is "harmful to women."

And when Friess says that birth control isn't even expensive? I invite him to take a look at the personal stories compiled by the editors at Good magazine - of women who've had trouble paying for contraception when it isn't covered by insurance.Then maybe he'll think again.

Earlier this week, Colorado State Sen. Shawn Mitchell, a conservative Republican if there ever was one, posted this to his Facebook page: "Are Rick Santorum's backers eager for a national POLITICAL debate about the moral hazards of non-procreative sex? ...in campaign ads, presidential debates and national press conferences? It will make the '64 Goldwater-Johnson blowout look like the good old days." 

That question is one the Grand Old Party should seriously consider.

The Friess video is spreading like wildfire among my women friends in social media. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation saw earlier this month the sort of support Planned Parenthood can bring to bear. 

As Greg Sargent pointed out in The Plum Line yesterday, the poll numbers aren't on the Republican side on this issue. 

And with folks like Friess belittling the importance of affordable, accessible birth control for all women, the GOP risks wakening a silent majority that could have a huge impact in November.

 Sandra Fish teaches journalism at the University of Colorado and has reported on politics in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @fishnette

By  |  04:02 PM ET, 02/16/2012

Tags:  birth control, contraception, Rick Santorum

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company