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Rick Santorum: Contraception 'Should Be Available' Unless Religious Organizations Object

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Wednesday that, despite his personal opposition to contraception, he wouldn't work to limit its accessibility if elected president.

"How do I feel about the issue of contraception? It should be available,” Santorum said during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. "I object to [it] when the federal government says that religious organizations who feel the way the Catholic Church feels should be required to provide it. I think that's an infringement upon their religious liberties."

Santorum has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration's decision to require religious institutions to cover birth control as part of their employee health insurance plans, but on Wednesday he said his congressional voting record showed a general support for contraception.

"If you look at my voting record, I have a voting record that supports ... funding for contraception, both domestically, as well as internationally,” Santorum continued, according to a transcript from NewsMax. "And I would not support any law that would put any restrictions on that."

As a Pennsylvania senator, Santorum did vote to support Title X, a federal program that funds family planning and related preventive health services, but his website now includes a number of executive actions he would take to pare back the program. In October, he also spoke on the "dangers of contraception in this country," and in the past has also called it "harmful to women."

Santorum has instead explained that he believes states should have the right to ban things such as birth control and sodomy without the Supreme Court interfering, though he's said he doesn't personally agree with past attempts to do so.

Santorum also spoke about the recent death of singer and actress Whitney Houston on Wednesday, appearing to suggest that the untimely death of celebrities was indicative of the negative influence some of them had on society.

"You see in a sense the royalty of America setting such a poor example," Santorum said. "And being troubled by these things, then obviously it's going to have a downstream effect, and a very harmful downstream effect."

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