Former Sen. Rick Santorum said on Friday afternoon that he was not persuaded by the Obama administration's revisions of rules requiring religious institutions to cover contraception as part of their workers' health care plans.
Speaking less than two hours after the president said he would give those institutions a way to exempt themselves from the policy, allowing them to punt the coverage straight to the insurance company, The Huffington Post asked Santorum whether he was placated.
"No," he replied, "not at all."
Santorum, of course, isn't the type of person that the president is likely to persuade on topics of contraception coverage. The former Pennsylvania senator is a renowned culture warrior, who has risen back to the top of the Republican primary polls by appealing to social issues. Elaborating on why he opposed the revised version of the Obama contraception rule, he explained that he didn't believe insurance companies should cover contraception at all.
"This has nothing to do with access," he said. "This is having someone pay for it, pay for something that shouldn't even be in an insurance plan anyway because it is not, really an insurable item. This is something that is affordable, available. You don't need insurance for these types of relatively small expenditures. This is simply someone trying to impose their values on somebody else, with the arm of the government doing so. That should offend everybody, people of faith and no faith that the government could get on a roll that is that aggressive."
Birth control can be readily available, sometimes on the cheap, for many women. But for a good portion of them, it's neither. Moreover, roughly 14 percent of all birth control prescriptions are written for reasons other than contraception, including ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and endometrial cancer. The Huffington Post profiled one illustrative case of the benefits of insurance-covered birth control earlier on Friday.