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Rachel Maddow: Anti-Abortion Movement Has Taken Over Republican Primary (VIDEO)

Rachel Maddow

First Posted: 01/24/2012 9:39 am Updated: 01/24/2012 9:51 am

Rachel Maddow discussed GOP candidate Rick Santorum and the op-ed he penned for the Wall Street Journal during her MSNBC show on Monday.

Santorum authored an op-ed that ran in Monday's Wall Street Journal that criticized Republican candidate Newt Gingrich for "not prioritizing social conservative issues" like abortion. Santorum wrote that he has dedicated his life to the cause of fighting against abortion rights.

"Right...if anybody knows anything about Rick Santorum, it's the man-on-dog thing, and it's also the abortion issue," Maddow said. "That's what your whole reputation boils down to, Senator. The central challenge of your candidacy is to broaden your appeal beyond those issues, to convince people that you can speak to some other issues besides just being really anti-gay and really anti-abortion."

Maddow highlighted that Santorum has been consistently "locking up" the anti-abortion vote during the Republican primaries thus far. She then called Santorum's decision to write an op-ed about the number one issue he was known for as "strategically strange."

"Dude you are already winning the anti-abortion primary," Maddow said, speaking directly to Santorum. "What you're supposed to be trying to win is the race for the Republican nomination."

Maddow then said that, according to her, the Republican primary has been taken over by the anti-abortion movement. Therefore, according to Maddow, the Republican primary has turned into what she called the "anti-abortion primary."


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View the slideshow below for more information about the candidates' views on women's health issues.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.)
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Romney's position on abortion and other women's health issues switched from pro-choice to anti-choice during his term as governor from 2003 to 2007, and his record on choice-related issues is mixed. He vetoed a measure that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prescription to rape victims, but he signed into law a measure to expand family planning services for low-income women and families in Massachusetts.

Romney was also one of the few GOP candidates who refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's pro-life pledge, because his camp said it could have some "potentially unforeseen consequences." But he believes abortion should only be legal in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, and he said if he were president he would support the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

"This is not the time for the Republican Party to put up a candidate who is weak on the pro-life issue or has a history of flip-flopping over it," Bachmann said of Romney at a National Right to Life convention in June.

Romney said as president he would defund Planned Parenthood, and then took it even further saying he'd "get rid of that" altogether.

Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |