Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum's Birth Control Views Challenged By Women's Groups

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With Rick Santorum rising to the top of the GOP primary race, women's advocacy groups are raising questions about the former Pennsylvania senator's pledge to keep his personal beliefs about contraception out of the Oval Office.

"Rick Santorum is the worst choice for women," EMILY's List spokesperson Jess McIntosh told CBS News on Wednesday.

In a blog post on its website, EMILY's List questioned whether the election for president was being held in 2012 or 1956.

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin added her voice in opposition to Santorum Wednesday and posted a video from a 2006 interview with Santorum in which he voiced his support for Title X -- a government program that provides family planning services to Americans. Santorum qualified that support, however, by denouncing birth control as "harmful" to women and society:

"I don't think it works. I think it's harmful to women. I think it's harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated, particularly among the young. And I think we've very, very harmful longterm consequences to our society. Birth control to me enables that, and I don't think it's a healthy thing for our country."

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Santorum has been a vocal opponent of President Barack Obama's proposed rules that would have required religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception.

Throughout the recent controversy, Santorum has maintained his vow to not impose his religious beliefs about birth control on the nation if elected president.

That position seems at odds with an October 2011 interview that Santorum gave to the evangelical blog Caffienated Thoughts.

In that interview, the Republican presidential hopeful said, "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.”

Santorum continued, "The whole sexual libertine idea; many in the Christian faith have said, well, that’s OK, contraception is OK. It’s not OK, because 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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