Are Dems keeping the birth control issue alive?

Democrats are the ones keeping birth control on the front-burner, Washington Post writer Melinda Henneberger writes this afternoon. Henneberger, who writes the Post’s “She The People” column, says Democrats have found the issue is good for raising campaign cash, because public opinion is on their side.

She notes that she disagrees with most of Rick Santorum’s positions on birth control, but says he’s been manipulated into keeping it on the front page.


But in every interview Santorum has given on the topic of birth control — in 2006, last summer and recently — he always stresses that he supports Title X funding for contraception. He’s also said he would strenuously oppose any state effort to ban birth control. And do we really believe that a guy who freely allows that he’d bomb Iran if they didn’t let inspectors into nuclear facilities is strategically hiding his true intentions regarding the pill?

When Charlie Rose asked Santorum on CBS about what Friess had said, the candidate repeatedly tried to steer the conversation to the economy and jobs, but Rose wasn’t having it, insisting that voters “need to understand how you differ from what this guy said.” His response, when he finally agreed to give one? What Friess had said was “a bad joke, a stupid joke,” not reflective of his own views. “I voted for Title X federal funding of birth control.”

Funny she should mention that because I tweeted about that interview last week. It wasn’t Rose’s finest hour:

  • freealonzo

    Why does the column headline say “are Dems keeping the birth control issue alive” but then the only examples noted are media types.

    Are you and Ms. Henneberger implying that the media = Democrats?

  • Chris

    I think that the question of whether or not it is being kept alive by dems. vs reps. is a little misguided. You had two big things happening- Komen’s defunding of PP and the inclusion of BC as preventive care happening in a short time frame where reps. came out and stated clear opposition to something most people thought was settled opinion and something those of us concerned with reproductive rights have know about as something that is talked about in far right-wing circles. Now that Santorum, someone only awhile ago thought to be a long shot starts to look credible, an examination on his opinion on something that directly effects 50% of the US pop. is pretty warranted, don’t you think Bob? Image if a candidate held that the draft was the morally correct way to approach military service, don’t you think we’d be having the same sort of discussion?

  • Chris

    Wow sorry about the run-on and repetitive sentences

  • Sue

    Wow – could this mean that the democrats finally have a marketing campaign? Who knew they could finally manage to be the ones on the offense instead of playing defense against the republicans?

  • B Joe

    Is there something wrong with “keeping the birth control issue alive”? Why? It’s important an issue that affects a vast majority of the people and one where the GOP is pretty out of step.

    The GOP has been “keeping issues alive” for years. So have the Democrats. The idea that somehow keeping a discussion going about an issue worthy of discussion is bad now because the Democrats are doing it is ridiculous. Has any one ever asked, with an accusatory tone, whether the GOP is cravenly keeping this whole ‘lowering taxes’ issue alive?