Women’s health care has dominated political discussions as GOP-controlled state legislatures consider legislation to extremely curtail women’s access to abortions and right-wing leaders claim the Obama administration is infringing on religious liberty for requiring employer insurance plans to cover contraception at no charge (even though accommodations exempt churches and religiously affiliated institutions).
But it seems that some Republicans think their party has gone too far. Yesterday, Virginia legislators backed away from a “personhood” measure and the state’s conservative governor removed his support for an extreme ultrasound bill. Even Pat Buchanan, a leader on social issues within the party and a former GOP presidential candidate, this morning warned that Republicans like Rick Santorum are overreaching in their opposition to contraception.
On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, Buchanan described the debate over contraception as “beyond the political realm”:
I think if you get down into where [Santorum's] been discussing it on the merits and demerits of contraception…that’s a moral issue. [...] We talked about that in college endlessly, but I think you move into an area where people don’t understand yet and where it’s beyond the political realm. And I think that’s where Santorum has gone and gotten himself. He’s gotten himself tied up in some of these arguments, and I don’t think he’s handled them with clarity.
Watch the video:
And Buchanan weighed in on the ultrasound legislation from which Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) had backtracked earlier this week. “I can understand why McDonnell did what he did,” he said. “To support that invasive procedure would probably politically costly undeniably, and Gov. McDonnell is not a foolish politician.”
When even Buchanan, who has his own history of extreme opinions, thinks it’s a wise move to back away from an anti-abortion measure, social conservatives have gone too far in their opposition to women’s health.