EXCLUSIVE: Mourdock Argues Insurance Companies Shouldn’t Cover Birth Control At All

Indiana Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock

Indiana Senate nominee Richard Mourdock (R)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Indiana Senate nominee Richard Mourdock (R) doesn’t just want to prevent women who have been raped from obtaining an abortion; he also doesn’t think they should be able to access affordable birth control through their health insurance that could prevent such a pregnancy.

Months before Mourdock commented last night that pregnancies resulting from rape are a “gift” that “God intended,” ThinkProgress spoke with him at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference about Rick Santorum’s belief that insurance plans shouldn’t cover birth control at all. When asked whether he agreed with Santorum on the matter, Mourdock replied: “I do, I do.”

KEYES: I know Rick Santorum in his speech was talking a lot about this. He even went so far as to say, “I don’t think insurance plans should be covering birth control in the first place.” Do you think he’s right about that?

MOURDOCK: I do, I do. I don’t think that’s the role of government. We have to start rolling back government. There are many issues out there beyond Obamacare, but really the issue overlying everything is, is this nation going to survive? And that ultimately becomes an issue of economics.

Watch it:

Santorum’s argument goes well beyond the standard GOP opposition to the new Obamacare directive that insurance companies are required to provide contraceptive care without a co-pay. Instead, Santorum reasoned, insurance companies shouldn’t cover birth control at all, regardless of co-pay, because as he said, contraception is a “relatively small expenditure” that women shouldn’t “need insurance for.” In fact, women spend about 68 percent more than men do on their out-of-pocket health care expenses, partly because of the high cost of contraceptive services, and one in three women has reported struggling to afford birth control at some point in their lives.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney starred in an ad for Mourdock, asking voters to “join me in supporting Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate.” Romney has not cut an ad for any other Senate candidates in the general election.