Rick Santorum Is No Champion of Families

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Rick SantorumIf any presidential candidate epitomizes the model family man, it’s Rick Santorum. Happily married, father to seven children, and a faithful Catholic, there’s little doubt Santorum is the kind of person who could spark a moral revolution in this country: one that would reduce families to the whims of Santorum’s warped religious teachings.

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Santorum has made his faith the centerpiece of the campaign, and by doing so, he’s waged war on contraceptives, same-sex marriages, gay adoption, and abortion.

In 1965, in Griswold vs. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an 1879 state law outlawing the use of contraceptives, finding that  “while [the Constitution] does not mention “privacy,” [it] nonetheless grants a “right to marital privacy.” Basically the state shouldn’t be in marital bedrooms looking to hand out tickets for condoms.

Santorum, a practicing Catholic, has a big problem with this ruling, saying:

That is the thing I have said about the activism of the Supreme Court–they are creating rights, and they should be left up to the people to decide, in an interview with ABC News.

When asked directly whether states have the right to make a law against married couples using contraceptives, he replied:

I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right. The state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.

Notice what Santorum is fundamentally supporting here: a state having the exclusive power either through a democratic election or legislative decree to determine the laws it wants on its books and the federal government shouldn’t be able to do anything about it. (We’ll get back to the ridiculous notion of banning condoms in a minute.)

That makes states very powerful in Santorum’s book. The federal government can’t just mandate that they do or not do something. Contrast that position with Santorum’s criticism of the Obama administration no longer supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which made same-sex marriage illegal at the federal level and forbade states from recognizing same-sex marriage. What’s Santorum’s solution? Reinstate DOMA so that no state is able to decide for itself — through either a democratic election or legislative decree — if marriage should be a lawful option for same-sex couples.

In Santorum’s world, states should be able to enact their own laws banning the purchase of condoms or birth control and the federal government shouldn’t be able to do a thing about it, but when it comes to states choosing to recognize same-sex marriage, the feds should be able to unilaterally outlaw it in one fell swoop.

There is zero logical consistency here.

At the most basic level, Santorum is also saying that he doesn’t support family planning. If neither abortions or contraceptives are an option, what are families left with — the pull out method? That may work for Santorum (then again he does have 7 kids) but it shouldn’t be forced on families depending on which state they live in.

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