KING (Moderator): Governor Romney, both Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich have said during your tenure as governor, you required Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
And Mr. Speaker, you compared the governor to President Obama, saying he infringed on Catholics' rights.
Governor, did you do that?
ROMNEY: No, absolutely not. Of course not.
There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims. That was entirely voluntary on their part. There was no such requirement."
But here is what really happened:
The Boston Catholic Insider concludes:
In 2005 Romney vetoed a bill to provide access to the so-called "morning-after-pill," knowing his veto would be overridden, but months later, he decided Catholic hospitals did have to give the morning-after pill to rape victims. Key points to note:
- Romney had publicly claimed the bill did not apply to private religious hospitals
- He reversed his own July 2005 veto against abortifacients by signing an October bill seeking a federal waiver to expand distribution of Plan B abortifacients.
- On December 7, 2005, Romney's Department of Public Health said that Catholic and other privately-run hospitals could opt out of giving the morning-after pill to rape victims because of religious or moral objections
- On December 8, 2005 Romney reversed the legal opinion of his own State Department of Public Health, instructing all Catholic hospitals and others to provide the chemical Plan B "morning after pill" to rape victims. He was quoted as saying, ""I think, in my personal view, it's the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape."
For him to suggest to the citizens of the United States on national television that Cardinal O'Malley and the Catholic Church would "voluntarily" provide morning-after pills is an egregious misrepresentation of Catholic Church teachings and an egregious misrepresentation of what actually happened in this situation.
BCI hopes that the media and other candidates call him out on this.