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'They could go wherever they'd like to go'-- What Mitt Romney doesn't understand

Mitt Romney has simplified the choice that female voters will have to make in November if they’re looking for free access to birth control: “vote for the other guy.”

During a town hall event in Illinois yesterday, the former Massachusetts governor had to answer for his opposition to extended contraception coverage and desire to defund Planned Parenthood.

After telling a female attendee who told him she’d like free access to birth control to vote for President Obama, he continued:

“Politicians get up and promise you all sorts of free stuff. And say, ‘I’m gonna to give you more and more stuff and you won’t have to pay for it.’ And you know what? We get elected that way, in many cases, politicians do. That’s not something that I subscribe to. My own view is that we have to tell people the truth and we’re going to have to demand sacrifice of the American people.”

It is important to note that Romney’s “truth” has changed throughout the years.  

In 1994, Romney attended a Planned Parenthood fund-raiser where his wife made a $150 donation from a joint account. In 2005, when Romney was Governor, he signed a bill that expanded the number of low-income people eligible for family planning services.

When a second woman asked him where he expected the millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for health services outside the realm of birth control (ranging from mammograms to HPV vaccines), Romney responded:

“Well, they could go wherever they’d like to go — this is a free society. But here is what I say, which is the federal government should not tax these people to pay for Planned Parenthood. There are a lot of things that we have in our society that we may like, that we might not like, but that government should not be paying for.”

This is where Romney reveals, yet again, how out of touch he really is.  According to Planned Parenthood’s 2010 annual report, 51% of patients served were uninsured.

Romney has also called for cutting funds to Title X— funds that legally cannot go towards abortion services but do fund cancer screenings, adolescent abstinence counseling, infertility services, contraception counseling, and preventative services.

Title X clinics served over 5 million people in 2010, 69% of which were at or below the poverty level ($18,310 a year for a family of three) and 67% of which were uninsured.

It would be fair to assume that Romney has never forgone health care for the sake of feeding his family—but by stripping the options that low-income families have for low-cost or free healthcare, that could be exactly what he’s doing to millions of Americans.

Ed will have more on the GOP's ongoing war on women's health, tonight on The Ed Show at 8pmEST on MSNBC.