Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s survival as a Republican primary candidate ensures two things: one, an endless stream of inappropriate jokes about sex acts and sweater vests. And two, an entirely appropriate conversation about birth control and public policy.
Rick Santorum is but the most extreme expression of the Republicans’ inexorable march to the fringe on women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. Even Rep. Ron Paul, who has his share of liberal apologists for his opposition to the PATRIOT Act and for being a supposed civil libertarian, has actively campaigned as being antichoice. You can’t be antichoice and be a libertarian. Ron Paul opposes my civil liberties and those of half the U.S. population.
But Santorum’s aggressive courting of social conservatives in Iowa to come within a hair’s breadth of beating former Gov. Mitt Romney—who outspent him 70-1—has raised the birth control issue to a whole new level.
It’s not enough to oppose abortion, even to protect the life of the mother or for survivors of rape or incest. Rick Santorum and all his fellow supporters of “life begins at conception” even oppose the most commonly used forms of birth control. This includes the top choice, the pill, since birth control can work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Santorum opposes contraception in general, telling the blog caffeinatedthoughts.com in October, “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
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