Sometime professional wrestling mogul and would-be Republican senator from Connecticut Linda McMahon has demonstrated the wisdom of refusing to meet with newspaper editorial boards during the primary season. Amidst a tough general election battle with Democrat Chris Murphy, she deigned to appear before the board of the Hartford Courant and the following ensured.
Courant: So a rape victim, in a hospital. And it’s a hospital that is run by a Catholic institution. Emergency contraception, should that be—should she be sent to another hospital in the middle of the night when she’s in dire distress?
McMahon: I don’t think that the government should overreach. I mean it’s a separation of church and state in my view, and I think that a religious institution has the right to decide what its policies would be in that, in that case.
Courant: Yeah and I respect that, I just wonder if that institution, gets a certain, a majority of it’s money from the government, if it’s mostly federally funded, does that play a role in your thinking?
McMahon: Well I just think again, that it is an issue of separation of church and state, and that institution should decide what its role would be, and what it’s comfortable with doing in that instance.
What's obvious here is that McMahon had no idea that this issue was decided in Connecticut in 2007. With overwhelming support in the legislature and the acquiescence of the state's three Catholic bishops, all hospitals (including Catholic ones) were required to provide the Plan B morning after pill to rape victims.
One of those bishops, by the way, was William Lori, now archbishop of Baltimore and the USCCB's point man on religious liberty. Earlier this year, Lori told RNS' David Gibson that his position back then was "a prudent one, based on the facts"--which showed that Plan B likely doesn't cause abortions. All McMahon had to do was say that she shared bishops' position that Plan B was perfectly OK.
Cut to last night's debate between McMahon and Murphy in New London. Saying that she wanted to "clarify one thing," McMahon claimed that that the question hadn't actually been about hospitals at all.
It was really an issue about a Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in in an emergency rape. That was my response to it. I absolutely think that we should avail women who come in with rape victims the opportunity to have those morning after pills or the treatment that they should get.
So Linda McMahon, running as a pro-choice Republican put hoping to pick up some pro-life support, succeeds to staking out territory that the Catholic hierarchy in the state has long since abandoned. And then she seeks to bind up her self-inflicted wound with the bizarre scenario of a sexually assaulted woman running into a Catholic church and asking for emergency contraception.
You can't make this stuff up.