Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says an amendment put forward by Senate Republicans that would have allowed any business to exclude contraceptives from health care plans was not really about birth control.
"The Blunt amendment was broader than that," Santorum told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. "It was a conscience clause exception that existed prior to when President Obama decided that he could impose his values on people of faith, when people of faith believe that this is a grievous moral wrong."
"But the Blunt Amendment wasn't just talking about Catholic institutions -- Catholic colleges, charities -- it was saying any -- you know, U.S. Steel -- any company, any insurance company could decide not to offer birth control," Wallace noted.
"No, it wasn't about birth control," Santorum, who is Catholic, insisted. "It was about a moral exception to any type of mandate. ... We hear so much about the left wanting to separate church and state. Well, how about the separation of church and state when the state wants to force the church and people who are believers into doing something that they don't want to do."
Last week, the anti-contraception amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) was in a 51-48 vote.
Wallace went on to press Santorum on whether he still believes that the 99 percent of all women in the U.S. who had used birth control had done something wrong.
"I'm reflecting the views of the Church that I believe in," the former Pennsylvania senator replied. "We used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess now when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, you are somehow out of touch with the mainstream. And that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can't have personally-held beliefs."