Rick Santorum’s very Catholic birth control beliefs

Charlie Litchfield AP Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at a rally Feb. 14 in Boise, Idaho. When it comes to … Continued

Charlie Litchfield


Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at a rally Feb. 14 in Boise, Idaho.

When it comes to the morality of birth control, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is reading straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Post’s Right Turn blogger Jennifer Rubin recently drew attention to the former Pennsylvania senator’s 2006 comments on contraception, which he called “harmful to women.” Santorum has spoken frequently over the years about why he believes private morality is relevant in the public square.

The teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality, which prohibit the use of artificial birth control, are not particularly popular among Catholics, not to mention Americans at large, but that has not stopped Santorum from sharing his convictions on the harms of contraception. (Read what the church teaches about family planning here.)

Here’s Santorum, a father of seven, during a 2011 interview with the CaffeinatedThoughts.com blog (emphasis mine):

Here’s the passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that echoes the sentiments raised by Santorum:

Santorum’s beliefs about contraception have injected Catholic theology into a presidential campaign season that was supposed to be all about the economy. Despite his strong opinions on birth control, the senator has said many times that he does not believe that contraception should be outlawed.

And when it comes to this week’s explosive social issues controversy, Health and Human Service’s new regulations on religious employers covering birth control for employees, Santorum sides with Catholic Church officials, too. Here’s his explanation during the Feb. 12 “Meet the Press” of how he squares his own views on birth control with access to contraception and the current health-care debate:

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  • david6

    There’s a reason that almost all married Catholics reject the foolish attempts of the unmarried bishops to imposed their indefensible rules on them. Apparently Rick Santorum has his own 1% that he wants to represent.

  • mbc7

    Seems like he is working real hard to prove he is an honest politician. Like George Washington, he can not tell a lie. While you may not agree with everything he says, at least you know what he believes in for both his personal and public lives. Looks like some people don’t want a Mormon, others don’t want a Catholic and still others don’t want the current guy, what-ever he is.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    Hope everyone’s ready for the patriot sex act. Man-Woman-Missionary. Love it or leave it.

  • rebeccahigh

    Birth control is harmful to women? Studies have shown that the health and well-being of women and children increase when women have access to reliable birth control and can choose to limit the amount of pregnancies they have. Santorum wants to take us back to a century ago when women had no control over their fertility. Let’s face it, men simply do not want to deal with birth control, so women have to. Making contraceptives harder to obtain will make womens’ lives so much worse.

  • ccnl1

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country “ain’t” going to help a “pro-life” presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the “Immoral Majority” rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The “Immoral Majority” you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million “Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers” of aborted womb-babies” whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million “IM” voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for “pro-life” JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the “Stupid Majority”?)

    The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

  • krasnit

    The issue is not about birth control. There is nothing wrong with birth control for the Catholic Church as long as it is not artificial.
    The issue is more Orwellian, about whether the government can impose its own morality and doctrine on a religion.

  • James210

    vodoo econ-moics? i thought that would kill , any chance at getting a book deal.

    Since when do you care? awfully long way for a _____ to come down and try and look out for the kids in the house. Especially, those blessed with the immortal youth experience.
    yes, i miss the nights when we could sit here , drunk, type and not worry about an audience. Thank god for the archives?
    and notes home protesting my innocence and afterthoughts for wondering about the institutional commitment.

    My lord, I lost.
    correct james, you did,
    what did i do wrong? my lord
    nothing james, when the suicide blonde shows up, you’ll know who she is.
    yes, my lord
    yes, my lord
    time to write those letters.
    yes, my lord
    My lord,?
    yes, james
    is there going to be anyone i can trust? any friends, family?
    no james,
    yes, my lord
    i have a sense of humor,

  • jeb_jackson

    What the hell are you talking about?

  • job22

    Orwellian is what the Catholic church wants to impose on others. ie their views

    “Posted by Merribanks on 2/11, and worth referencing…

    The Republicans’ favorite justice, Scalia, wrote in a decision in 1992: “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.”

    The Court has ruled similarly several times – a church cannot exempt itself from following the laws that affect everyone else, or in essence everyone could be a law unto himself. While no laws can be made to restrict religious beliefs or the voluntary actions of its members, it cannot impose its beliefs on others.”

  • jeb_jackson

    What the h e l l are you talking about?

  • jeb_jackson

    Orwellian is what the Catholic church wants to impose on others. ie their views? Gee, Job, all they want is their freedom. You’re free to do whatever you want, except it would be better for us all if you just abstained.

  • James210

    i disagree on the orwellian concept.
    cafeteria food again? How many want collichio in the kitchen, when trying to prepare a meal?
    what’s the point in having judges? Emeril clearly wanted to dismiss a few.
    Good gravy doesn’t need a lot salt, just let it simmer in some cheap pork.

  • James210

    case in point?
    the susan b thistlewaite show.
    who helped you prepare that one ms Brooks? out of balance on the power of seasonal changes again.
    there are no favorites regardless of who you trained under.

  • James210

    of course’s the best i ever saw,
    1.shook the planet and the other went for a run.

  • damnpayne

    Santorum is completely irrelevant. The fact that he is back in the race just shows how powerful the media is. It is completely clear the media is obsessed with this being a two man race, as long as one of the two men is not Ron Paul. We as Americans should be completely ashamed of this dog and pony show. To point the finger only at the GOP is ridiculous. Our system as a whole is so corrupt it’s not even funny.

    I could not in good conscience vote for anyone other than RON PAUL

  • commonsense101

    The problem with the anti-birth control lots’ logic is this: God created or allowed disease to happen. It’s how he controls the world’s (over-) population. But the Church has no problem with vaccinations–which interfere with God’s plan to maintain the population at a reasonable size–or other devices man has invented to control his environment. So why do they single out birth control! Blame it on St. Augustine–there’s no holier person than a reformed profligate. And remember that more than 60% of the Bishops in Council voted in favor of allowing “the Pill” when it was invented, only to have Pope Paul VI overturn their decision in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. Even the bishops at that time agreed with the vast majority of Roman Catholics that there’s nothing wrong with artificial birth control.

  • dragonrose10

    Yesh poor fools. The Roman Catholic Church DOES not impose it’s views of force others. IT is your choice as a “child of God/Lord/ whate every name/etc. You were give FREE choice as a human being as a creature / animal/ etc. were created / evloved. The religious leaders (ALL not just Roman Catholic) are using their right under our constitution of FREEDOM of Speech. Also agaist the Government (This hire/elected Administration) to FORCE US as Citizens of USA to do exactly what their opinion is. The law is imposing its beliefs and penalties on ALL who do not agree with is or want it because of their beliefs or opinion.
    WAKE UP and exercise your FREEDOM and RIGHTS!

  • j3hess

    For the Church it is not a technology or a physical health issue. It is a sex issue.

    Birth control in their view separates sex from reproduction, which is “objectively disordered”.

    There is the Santorum version: it will turn us all into wild, pleasure seeking libertines.

    There is the deeper version. In societies with patrilineal inheritance, unchecked female sexuality is a threat to the transmission of property and power. Patriarchal rule leads to it’s criminalization. For reasons of ecology and landscape, the Middle East is a region of patriarchal societies. (In contrast, in systems where property and identity are transmitted matrialineally, the concept of illegitimacy does not exist.)

    So the Church takes the tradition of a particular society and turns it into a “natural law” human universal.

    In another sense, I think sexual desire serves as their strongest argument that we are subject to original sin and in need of Church supervision for salvation. It’s another version of the rule-by-sowing-fear approach.

  • classiciconoclast

    When Rick Santorum states that a religious organization should not be forced to “pay for something that they believe is a moral wrong”, why does he only apply this concept to contraception. After all, the Catholic church has consistently opposed capital punishment and war, but Santorum has not publicly stated that he supports abolishing the death penalty and avoiding military intervention. His focus on contraception thus seems political and disingenuine.