FactCheck.org : Fact-Mauling in Mesa
Gingrich vs. Romney on Morning-After Pill
Former House Speaker Gingrich was right in a back-and-forth with Romney over requiring Catholic hospitals to provide morning-after pills to rape victims in Massachusetts when Romney was governor.
CNN’s debate moderator, John King, asked Romney whether he “required Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.”
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 report. There was no such requirement. …
Gingrich: Well, the reports we got were quite clear that the public health department was prepared to give a waiver to Catholic hospitals about a morning-after abortion pill, and that the governor’s office issued explicit instructions saying that they believed it wasn’t possible under Massachusetts law to give them that waiver. Now, that was the newspaper reports that came out.
As we wrote in January, Romney vetoed the law requiring the morning-after pill to be dispensed to rape victims at hospitals. His veto was later overridden by the Legislature. Romney then backed a state ruling that private hospitals, including religious hospitals, didn’t have to follow the requirement if they had moral objections. But he later flip-flopped on that position, saying that his legal counsel concluded that all hospitals would have to follow the new law. The Boston Globe also quoted Romney as saying: “My personal view, in my heart of hearts, is that people who are subject to rape should have the option of having emergency contraception or emergency contraception information.”