An article at Boston Catholic Insider asserts that Mitt Romney lied during the Arizona debate about forcing Catholic Hospitals to provide the “morning after” pill to rape victims.
Here’s the debate passage (via Right Scoop):
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.”
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to fully vet the issue this morning, but one sentence in the BCI post caught my eye, and leads me to think the “lie” issue is not so clear. Here is the quote (bold in original BCI post) from Romney which they say is key:
“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.”
“Information and access” is not the same thing as providing services. This issue came up in the Scott Brown race, when the Massachusetts Democratic Party circulated the infamous “rape mailer” accusing Brown of seeking to deny such services to rape victims through support of a conscience clause in legislation.
The key was that Brown’s proposal was that the victims would be referred to another provider, thus satisfying the need for the service if the victim so chose, while preserving the religious exemption.
Viewed in that light, did Romney really lie? I’m willing to be educated on this, but I’m not convinced yet.