The Mitt Romney campaign sharply criticized President Barack Obama's recent decision to require most religiously affiliated employers to offer their employees birth control coverage in an email to The New York Times Sunday, calling it a "direct attack on religious liberty." But in 2005, Romney made an almost identical decision as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney vetoed a bill that would require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims, but the Massachusetts legislature overturned that veto. He then changed his position on the issue, denying Catholic and other private hospitals an exemption that would have allowed them to refuse to offer the pill to their patients.
Although Romney had already begun opposing abortion rights at that point and had written a Boston Globe op-ed arguing that he opposed the morning after pill because he believed it could cause abortions, he said his lawyers had advised him to scrap the old Massachusetts law that barred the state from forcing private hospitals to dispense contraception.
Now, the Obama administration has denied a similar religious exemption, requiring religious hospitals and universities to fully cover contraception costs for their employees, even if they morally object to contraception.
Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for Mitt Romney, commented on the decision in the email to the Times.
“This is a direct attack on religious liberty," she said "and will not stand in a Romney presidency."
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