Romney lied in the debate – he did force Catholics to violate their conscience

This is Friday’s must read. The Boston Catholic Insider (BCI) have done their own fact checking analysis of Romney’s claim in the debate that he did not force Catholics to violate their conscience in Massachusetts:

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.”

According to the BCI, this is fundamentally a lie from Romney. He did in fact force Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception and the so-called “morning-after pill” to rape victims even though the intent of the law passed was to allow for conscience. Here is a summary of what happened, but you MUST go read the BCI article for a much more thorough analysis of the facts.

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:

  1. Romney had publicly claimed the bill did not apply to private religious hospitals
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.”

Whatever his original intent, Romney bowed to pressure from the left and went well past the intent of the law to force Catholics to violate their conscience. And now he’s lying about it to the American people, hoping no one will reveal the truth.

Again, here’s the link to BCI. Read and pass along.

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