White House, Obama Campaign, Hit Romney for ‘Irony’ on Conscience Clauses

Feb 8, 2012 2:38pm

Asked about comments from Mitt Romney assailing the Obama administration rule requiring most employers – including religious schools and hospitals — to offer health insurance that fully covers contraception, White House press secretary Jay Carney took a shot at the Republican presidential candidate.

“The former governor of Massachusetts is an odd messenger on this given that the services that this rule would provide for women around the country are the same that are provided in Massachusetts and were provided…when he was governor,” Carney said. “This is, I think, ironic, the fact that Mitt Romney is expressing — criticizing the president for pursuing a policy that is virtually identical to the one that was in place when he was governor of Massachusetts.”

That is true, though there is another aspect to Massachusetts law that Carney left untold: Romney in 2005 vetoed legislation requiring all hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims, and the legislature in September of that year over-rode his veto (state senate 37-0, state house 139-16).

Romney’s legal counsel told him he didn’t have any standing to fight the constitutionality of the law, so he signed it. He said his “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.”

The White House’s Alanis Morissette-ian attack came just hours after the Obama campaign’s ironically-named “Attack Watch” went after Romney for hypocrisy on the issue.

-Jake Tapper

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