Rick Santorum on Abortion
Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner
SANTORUM: I've been to the March for Life for 25 years. I have shepherded every piece of pro-life piece of legislation that's passed over the last 20 years. Twice we were counseled to have an abortion. Neither time did we think about it because we know that life begins at conception.
FIORINA: It is outrageous that Fox News would question the pro-life credentials of Rick Santorum.
SANTORUM: It is not any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln, who, in his first inaugural address, said "it won't stand." And they went ahead and passed laws in direct contravention to a rogue Supreme Court. This is a rogue Supreme Court decision. There is no constitutional basis for the Supreme Court's decision. One of the times the Supreme Court spoke that I thought they were acting outside of their authority was in a partial-birth abortion case. Abortions being done where the baby's being delivered first, and then they crush the skull. Well, the Supreme Court found a bill that I was the author of unconstitutional. What did I do? I didn't stop. I didn't say "oh, well, we lost. It's the law of the land." We worked together. The House and Senate, under my leadership, and we passed a bill, and we said, "Supreme Court, you're wrong." Sometimes it just takes someone to lead and stand up to the court.
[In 1997 on the Senate floor], I managed the override of President Clinton's veto. I was struck by the defense mounted by the pro-abortion senators. They were using examples of children with disabilities (some with problems that are treatable) to justify their opposition, suggesting that the government should not stand in the way of parents who want to kill their children once they find out their babies aren't perfect.
Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich on Social Issues
SANTORUM: No, let's be clear. We're talking about the 10th Amendment and the right of states to act.
Q: Gov. Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?
ROMNEY: I can't imagine a state banning contraception. I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception.
SANTORUM: The Supreme Court created through a penumbra of rights a new right to privacy that was not in the Constitution. It created a right through boot-strapping, through creating something that wasn't there. I believe it should be overturned.
SANTORUM: You know, the US Supreme Court on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn't have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception. And it is a human life. And we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who've been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is too much to ask. And so I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.
SANTORUM: I think an issue should be looking at the authenticity of that candidate and looking at their record over time and what they fought for. You can look at my record. Not only have I been consistently pro-life. I've not just taken the pledge, I've taken the bullets to go out there and fight for thi and lead on those issues. And I think that's a factor that people should consider. A lot of folks run for president as pro-life and then that issue gets shoved to the back burner. The issue of pro-life, the sanctity and dignity of every human life, not just on the issue of abortion, but with respect to the entire life, and the dignity of people at the end of life, those issues will be top priority issues for me to make sure that all life is respected and held with dignity.
ROMNEY: I'm firmly pro-life
First, fewer than one in four pregnancies ended in abortion in 2008, the most recent statistics available. Second, Santorum assumes the population is lower by a number equal to total abortions, but that's not the case. One analyst told us "most women obtain abortions to postpone childbearing not to prevent it altogether" and an unknown number of pregnancies would have ended in miscarriage.
SANTORUM: No, Iím not. I agree that it is an abortifacient, and that itís dangerous to give a dose of hormones equivalent to one third of a whole series of birth control pills to someone without any kind of doctor supervision.
CASEY: Yes, Iím in favor. I think what emergency contraception is contraception.
Q: But you do believe life begins at conception?
CASEY: I do.
Q: If this was fertilized, would you call it abortion?
CASEY: The science is clear on this. It is contraception, and I support it. I think weíve got to make it widely available, and I think thatís one of the ways we reach common ground on the very tough issue of abortion: emergency contraception can reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Thatís what we should emphasize.
SANTORUM: The science is clear. In fact, it is an abortifacient in certain circumstances.
CASEY: Iím in favor. I think what emergency contraception is contraception, not abortion.
SANTORUM: It is an abortifacient in certain circumstances. If the egg has been fertilized and the pill is taken, it does cause an abortion. Itís inconsistent with his previous position and violated his principles.
Q: If you believe that life begins at conception, then why do you support exceptions for rape, incest, and life of mother?
SANTORUM: Yeah, I would vote for things like that.
Q: But itís the taking of a life.
SANTORUM: The Hyde Amendment allows rape, incest, life of the mother. That is the common ground we could get, and I would support that.
Q: But by your standards, itís the taking of a life.
SANTORUM: It is, thereís no question itís the taking of a life. But it is an attempt for me to try to see if we can find common ground to actually make progress in limiting the other abortions. So yes, thatís what I would do.
CLINTON: The visual aids show a perfectly formed fetus, and that is misleading. We should have a chart that demonstrates tragic abnormalities.
SANTORUM: Do we consider a child that may not live long, or may have an abnormality, to be less of a child? Don't those who are not perfect don't even deserve the opportunity to live?
CLINTON: Does the Senator's legislation make exceptions for serious life-threatening abnormalities?
SANTORUM: No, if--
CLINTON: That is the point.
SANTORUM: If you want to create a separation in the law between those children who are perfect and those children who are not--
SANTORUM: If a child is not perfect, that child can be aborted under any circumstances. But if that child is perfect, we are going to protect that child more. The Americans with Disabilities Act says we treat all of God's children the sam
Through both scientific reasoning and moral reasoning the answer was clear to me. Abortion was the taking of an innocent human life. Scientifically, the embryo is human from the moment of conception (it has a complete, unique human genetic code) and it is alive: therefore, it is literally a human life.
I looked at it one other way. Did I see the child in the womb as a person entitled to protection under the law, or as a property owned by the mother, with no rights until the moment she was physically separated from her mother? No, I couldn't see myself on the "mere property" side of this argument.
Almost never do I hear about what is being chosen, other than the sterile words "terminating pregnancy." Nowhere do you hear that over 93% of abortions are performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies who were not the victim of rape or incest, which means that in the vast majority of cases abortion is actually post-conception birth control.
The advocates of abortion, like Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League, teach that if you have to say anything about what is in the womb you should use dehumanizing terms like "product of conception," "embryo," & "fetal tissue." Or, if you must, fetus. Thanks to a lot of help from their allies in the news and entertainment media, they have turned the child in the womb into a NOBODY, and therefore "NOBODY gets hurt."
SANTORUM: If the baby's foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside, could that baby be killed?
BOXER: The baby is born when the baby is born. That is the answer to the question.
SANTORUM: I am asking for you to define for me what that is: the baby is being born.
BOXER: In the process of being born, to me it is obvious when a baby is born; to you it isn't obvious.
SANTORUM: Maybe you can make it obvious to me. What you are suggesting is if the baby's toe is still inside of the mother that baby can then still be killed?
BOXER: Absolutely not.
SANTORUM: OK. So if the baby's toe is in, you can't kill the baby. How about if the baby's foot is in? We are trying to draw a line here.
BOXER: I am not answering these questions.
A: The undermining of the fabric of our society all comes from this right to privacy that doesn't exist in the US Constitution. This right was created in Griswold--the contraceptive case--and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. Whether it's polygamy or sodomy, all of those things are antithetical to a stable, traditional family. The idea of the "right to privacy" is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' passions. I disagree with that. There are consequences to letting people live out whatever passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.
Q: Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy?
A: The right to privacy was created in a law about individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would put it back to the democratic process. If NY doesn't want sodomy laws, if NY wants abortion, fine. I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.
There is an obvious truth here. You have a baby, not what they like to refer to as, "an intact dilation and extraction." That is the way they describe this. An intact procedure. This intact thing is a baby, and it is 3/4 of the way delivered through the birth canal. It is not terminated, it is killed. Whether you are for abortions or against abortions, you cannot be for doing this. It shocks the conscience of a society and should not--should not--be a procedure that is sanctioned.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules. It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.
This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.
For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
The Susan B. Anthony List's 2012 Pro-life Presidential Leadership Pledge asks declared presidential candidates to commit to key pro-life goals if elected to the presidency in 2012. While this is by no means a complete list of all pro-life objectives, having a President that actively supports these pro-life aims will keep up the momentum to achieve our ultimate goal of ending abortion in this country. The Pro-life pledge:
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