Less Theology, More Liberty Needed in Rick’s Contraception Mandate Retort

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum: Right War, Wrong Battle?

I like Rick Santorum, and his larger sociological point about contraception is perfectly valid.

Ever since the Progressive Era, social liberals have sought to relieve society of the natural consequences accompanying negative behavior. We’re not better off for it… Snookie and her ilk are living proof!

Did you buy a house that you couldn’t afford? Don’t worry! Government will gladly subsidize it. Did your company develop an inferior product that can’t stand up to market competition? No problem! Government will happily bail you out. Did you have sex, get pregnant, but don’t want to be “burdened” (to borrow President Obama’s phraseology) with a child for whatever reason? It’s all good! We’ll let a doctor surgically collapse your baby’s skull with a taxpayer-financed suction tube.

But at the end of the day, Save Jerseyans, what does the Senator’s contraceptive-specific concerns have to do with his aspirational American Presidency?

Answer: Absolutely nothing.

And what’s more, Rick’s approach is going to make it much, much harder for our eventual nominee to overtake President Barack Obama this November…

When Republicans let Democrats bait them into a theological contraception debate, it’s much easier for the ideological left to convince female voters that we’re trying to “control” their bodies. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. But perception is reality.

So why would Santorum play directly into their hands by debating the morality and health issues underlying birth control usage? Why would he voluntarily help muddy the waters and let the media mischaracterize the “culture war” as a battle between religion and freedom when we know it’s really a struggle between the First Amendment and big government?

Senator Santorum should’ve taken a page from Newt Gingrich’s book and outright refused to dignify some of these questions, especially any that touched, again, on his personal theology. The Electoral College elects our presidents; not the College of Cardinals!

Our first and foremost concern as conservatives is the erosion of our constitutionally-protected individual liberties, a trend that has rapidly accelerated under the current administration.

Let’s not allow liberals to confuse the momentous issue at hand. An overwhelming majority of conservatives couldn’t care less if consenting adults use contraception. We do mind, however, when government compels citizens to purchase a product that violates their core personal beliefs. We also mind when schools are forced to hand out contraception to under-age children without their parent’s permission.

And we most certainly mind when we’re forced to pay for abortion, particularly since this grizzly practice tramples upon a defenseless human being’s most fundamental right: to live.

If Senator Santorum endeavors to earn a real shot against President Obama, and if he truly desires to see a day where abortion is illegal, then he should start by taking notes from Paul Ryan. He gets it; Ryan understands that this debate is about liberty, NOT theology. The articulate GOP rising star put it best in an interview conducted on yesterday’s edition of Meet the Press:

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): A Man Who Gets It!

What we’re getting from the White House on this conscience issue, it’s not an issue about contraception, it’s an issue that reveals a political philosophy the president is showing that basically treats our constitutional rights as if they were revocable privileges from our government, not inalienable rights from our creator.

We’re seeing this new government activism, paternalistic, arrogant, political philosophy that puts new government-granted rights in the way of our constitutional rights.

That’s really not about contraception. It’s about violating our first amendment rights to religious freedom and conscience.”

Love it!

Remember: the key here is the contrast between Santorum and Ryan’s respective approaches. Ryan instinctively knows it’s not enough to be “right” in politics. Successful politicians are also able to frame the debate without accepting their opponent’s false premises.

And that’s the only single, solitary reason why you will hear renewed calls for Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and others to enter the presidential race if Romney loses Michigan and Ohio on March 6th. Not because anyone seriously thinks Rick isn’t “conservative” enough (as Governor Romney’s critics will almost certainly allege).

Santorum simply continues to engage the right war on the wrong battlefield, Save Jerseyans. It’s a critical mistake that we cannot abide and still hope to triumph this fall against the amoral and monied Obama Machine.


Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8533 Articles
MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


  1. Ok… The reason why I like conservatives in comparison to most liberals is that they usually have their facts right. I don't mind your point of view most of the time, because usually, you guys have FACTS to back up what you say. Here, it is evident that you don't have your facts straight when you said that abortions were subsidized by the government… Because that is actually quite wrong.

  2. Nope, you're wrong.

    PP has received many millions in federal and state tax dollars over the past few decades. Claiming that these funds don't aid abortions is completely illogical.

    Even if it's true that our tax dollars don't DIRECTLY purchase the vacuum, if we're paying for, hypothetically speaking, the electricity or the receptionist or other health-related programs that keep their doors open, then how is that any less morally repugnant? We're still keeping America's leading abortion provider in butter brickle.

    More background: http://www.lifenews.com/2010/12/16/planned-parent

  3. Is it repugnant to provide cancer screenings and other basic reproductive health services to men and women of low income? I would hope not. Planned parenthood has saved many lives just by their cancer screenings alone. They do the public an amazing justice by providing such services.

  4. Planned Parenthood also murders millions of unborn children!

    If we're interested in saving lives, why don't we find a health care provider that doesn't murder children?

  5. My point is that PP's basic health services and abortion services should be thought of as separate because they are. And to Sandy; there really aren't that many choices out there for people that live close to or near the poverty line. Maybe if a conservative group of people who oppose PP so much, maybe they should provide the same quality of basic healthcare services to men and to women at the same very low price.

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