Did you know Rick Santorum's wife had a partial-birth abortion?

Because she did.

In the 19th week of her pregnancy, Karen discovered during a routine exam that the fetus she was carrying had a fatal defect and was going to die inside of her. A long-shot surgery was performed that required cutting directly into the womb. It carried a high risk of infection and was performed not to save the fetus, but to reduce Karen’s complications while she attempted to go full term.

Two days later, she became severely feverish. She was rushed to the hospital and placed on intravenous antibiotics, which reduced her fever and bought her some time, but could not eliminate the source of infection: the fetus.

Karen was going to die if her pregnancy was not ended, if the fetus was not removed from her body. So, at 20 weeks, one month before what doctors consider ‘viability’, labor was artificially induced and the infected fetus was delivered. It died shortly thereafter.

They can try and say “it wasn’t aborted, we just induced labor early and our child died.” Bullshit. The fetus was forced out with the knowledge that it would not survive, in order to save the mother. Something that liberals support, and we don’t apply double standards.

I can’t wait for the first sign that says “If Santorum was actually pro life, his wife would be dead.”


41 responses to “Did you know Rick Santorum's wife had a partial-birth abortion?

  1. what a revolting hypocrite…he is nothing but an American Taliban…sending women back to the dark ages

  2. Did he watch the murder? Did he cut the neck? Hypocrite.

  3. Nonsense. Conservatives are certainly okay with abortion to save the life of the mother.  Are you wrong about this because you’re lying, or because you’re ignorant???

    • Not true. That’s the point. Many conservatives say abortion is murder PERIOD, even in the case of health of the mother. Santorum included.

      • They’re not mutually exclusive. It is murder.  Even when it’s a matter of the mother’s health.  Just because conservatives recognize the gravity of the procedure does not mean they reject it as a legitimate therapy when the mother’s life is at stake.

        Furthermore, the point of the “partial birth” abortion ban is that the mother can be induced to deliver.  “Partial birth” has never been a preferred technique for terminating pregnancies.  From the beginning, it’s been a legal loophole for terminating the life of the fetus before it met the definition of being born, and therefore subject to protection under the law.  The Santorums did not exploit the loophole to justify killing their baby.

      • justwondering

        Yes, they did. He blamed the doctors for the premature delivery by starting the inducement which he suggests was against his and his wife;s wishes. Don’t read their book, read the story in Ricks own words. Frankly if the doctors pursued it without their permission they would have SUED the doctors. Right? In fact, his wife says that their other children needed her. The baby was going to be dead inside of her. She couldn’t be allowed to die.

        This is only a story because HE is anti abortion under any circumstances. However, when reality hits rhetoric he opted what he would otherwise deny other women – their right to make the same decision for similar reasons. He’s catholic and can ask for forgiveness and it will be granted. But his religious position should never be public polic that is forced onto Americans who don’t share his sometimes beliefs. Also, I’m not buying that a hospital let them take the dead baby home. Would they have let me take my father home with me when he died?

    • Not true. That’s the point. Many conservatives say abortion is murder PERIOD, even in the case of health of the mother. Santorum included.

  4. Your post above is not correct. Senator and Mrs. Santorum tried valiantly to save the life of their infant even though they were told that he had a defect that would surely cause its death. During a routine ultrasound, they were told that the baby had a defect in its urinary tract that would lead to intra-uterine death. They elected to have risky in-womb surgery to correct the defect.

    Two days later, Mrs. Santorum developed a life-threatening infection as a result of the surgery. Her temperature reached 105, measured at the hospital. She was at risk of death from sepsis. When they gave her antibiotics, she began to feel labor cramps. Even though doctors advised them to accelerate labor, she refused. But her body continued labor on its own, and the baby was born alive. He died 2 hours later.

    This baby’s death was a tragedy, and they were devastated. Shame on you for lying about their deeply personal heartbreak, and smearing good and decent people who work to save the lives of innocent children whose parents would like to murder them simply because the child is inconvenient. How do you sleep at night?

    • @3Nails

      I agree, people who want to murder their children because they’re inconvenient are horrible people.

      People who get abortions though do it for several reasons and not just for inconvenience. Glad you support those who do so for the right reasons.

      (personally I think abortion as a birth control is wrong, but in the end it’s still a woman’s choice and considering the way of things now, termination of a fetus is probably a blessing for a woman.)

      • justwondering


        While they may be horrible people – and I agree there are plenty of them around who get pregnant I will always support these horrible people getting abortions. I much prefer that a child not be born into a home where they aren’t wanted. There are far too many children who are born to people who aren’t wanted. Those little babies can’t get out of their situation…they are sentenced to their situation. We learn about their horrors when they are killed. I get no satisifation that they arrived just for someone to kill them after they taken their first breath.

        People aren’t lining up to adopt children who are born into these dysfunctional familiies. As we debate that life is preferable it is more abstract to the debaters and more reality to the poor child.

      • justwondering


        Frankly I always wonder where all these people are who talk about the value of life in helping the poor children who are harmed by being born. Not one organization that is about life stands and demonstrates for the children who are harmed, beaten, sexually assaulted, underfed, the list goes on and is nauseating. Where are those pro-life people when a child is killed? Do they show up at the funerals, at the courthouse? No.

        It is shameful that it is ONLY about getting HERE and not about what happens to UNWANTED children once they arrive. In my view the abortion issue is about politics and it just helps politicians.

        The organized anti abortion groups are ALSO 100percent against birth control. Rich Santorum is against birth control There isn’t anything in any of Christ teachings that speaks to birth control.

      • justwondering


        How come most people don’t understand that you can’t hope for one not happening while you deny access to the other? Why can’t women be allowed to make either choice?

        Those that oppose abortion harm children by not stepping up when people who should never have children have them…and the child is left in their clutches. Let’s recognize that the life issue is NOT really about saving children…except for those that take votes and money off of that movement.

      • Really? So imagine this scenario. You’re in a bus accident and the bus is hanging off a low bridge. You’re afraid it’s going to go over taking you with it. You think you’d probably survive–you can swim and you’re near the door. On the other hand, if you get out of the bus as fast as you can, you’ll escape uninjured, but given the precarious balance, it looks like you’ll greatly increase the chance that it goes over, and there are kids in there who are likely to die in that case. Would you stay in it? I’m not saying you should. I’m just pointing out the logical conclusion of “no one has the right to kill another INNOCENT human being unless their own life is at stake.”

        For a better, longer argument, read “In Defense of Abortion” by Judith Jarvis Thompson.

        My point is that I don’t think innocence is the issue. <i>Yes, people have the right to live. That does not give anyone else the obligation to keep them alive.</i> The moral obligation, maybe–that’s a complex question–but the legal obligation? No. Who besides a pregnant woman is required by our laws to give ANYTHING of their bodies to keep another human being alive? A kidney, bone marrow, even a pint of blood? No one. Ann, I can guarantee you that someone not far from you needs a pint of your blood to survive right now. It wouldn’t do you any harm–just a little inconvenience and a little pain. But no one is marching you down to the clinic to forcibly take that pint. You really ought to give, but the law allows you to be selfish–as it should.

        But when a woman becomes pregnant, no matter how assiduously she tried to keep from becoming pregnant–even if she went as far as remaining celibate–she has to remain a vessel for that child. At the cost of a LOT of inconvenience and a LOT of pain for herself. She’s going to have to make the call.

        I feel for the child in such a situation. You are right. It is not its fault that its life depends on someone else. But oftentimes, it isn’t the woman’s fault either.

      • “But, it does not make murdering the infant the solution, because in truth a child inside the womb is no less intrinsically valuable than one outside.”

        Actually, that’s a matter of opinion. Some, like you, believe the value is always there whether in the womb or out of it. Some believe that until the actual point of viability and/or birth, the child to be is just a collection of cells, dividing that under normal circumstances would take shape and form into a viable, productive human.

        It comes down to your belief and your own conscience whether the cells growing inside are human, or whether they’re just cells. And to force your opinion on someone else is wrong. Just as it is for me to force my opinion, whatever that would be, on you. Unfortunately, abortion is one of those circular arguments of opinion that you’ll never get everyone to see eye to eye on.

        For what it’s worth, congrats that you could handle your pregnancy and mothering issues. Other people aren’t so lucky and have to do what they feel they must, including termination of those growing cells/aborting that unborn child. And I highly doubt that with all the morons who shove photo’s in their faces and information pamphlets and so on that they are hardly ill informed about what could happen, what it’ll look like and so on. And if they still choose to go on with it, then they must have some pretty damn good reasons to do so and THAT is the point pro-lifers need to step back and get off their high horses.

    • Tiredofcontradictions

      @3Nails Abortions are horrible, no doubt about it. Hmmm…how should an intelligent and so-called free society deal with this? Educate people on how to prevent pregnancy, maybe even provide access to family planning and birth control? Neocons and the church (among many others, including me) think abortion is an abomination? Why do these groups refuse to educate their neighbors on how to avoid them, even aggressively fighting AGAINST outlets like Planned Parenthood or part of a school curriculum? Hypocrites, all of them, willing participants in ignoring the root cause of the problem. Why don’t you ask them how THEY sleep at night? They have as much blood on their hands as a doctor who performs abortions. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  5. Liberals are so blinded by their ideology of death that they refuse to see the FACTS of a clear-cut case. The fetus had a FATAL FLAW. The fetus was GOING TO DIE. Despite their efforts, the baby was delivered early and died.Conservatives generally believe that abortion should be illegal “except when the life of the mother is in danger.” In this case, Mrs. Santorum’s life was clearly in danger. And, what the Santorum’s said was, in fact, correct. They induced early labor and delivery attempting to save both the mother and the child if at all possible. It wasn’t. But there was no violation of principle here — there was no “sin.” Liberals are simply looking for a reason to justify the murder millions of children for the sake of convenience — and profit.

    • Thought profiting from an issue was a conservative thing?

      Regardless, I’ve talked with conservatives on the whole abortion deal and they’ve always said ALL abortion PERIOD, no matter the reason, was wrong. So no, your statement is not completely true. Some conservatives might believe as you say, but not all of them.

      I’d suspect those conservatives who do believe as you say are partial liberals as well, and swing one way or the other depending on the issue at hand.

    • Tiredofcontradictions

      This situation was a tragedy for the Santorums, no doubt about it. So, Rick and Karen consulted with their doctor and made a CHOICE as to what would be best for their family. Seems about right. You may remember another story, more recent, where a young mother CHOSE not to receive aggressive cancer treatment so she could carry her baby to term. She gave birth to healthy child and died from her cancer a week or so later. Wow, choice seems to be pretty good, oh, and it’s the LAW. My point: Republicans want smaller government all right; small enough to fit in our bedrooms and possibly my wife’s womb. MIND YOUR OWN F’in BUSINESS, JUST LIKE A ‘FREE’ SOCIETY SHOULD EXPECT.

    • “The fetus was GOING TO DIE.” You can’t know that. You can’t. Face it, it was a partial birth abortion..

    • “Libbrulz,” eh? Are you, or have you ever been, a McCarthyist hack?

    • When did this discussion turn to “sin”? whatever that is. I thought it was about hypocrisy

  6. I had a brother who died shortly after birth. Often you see babies buried as “Baby Smith”, or whatever. My father’s closest brother said they could not bury it without a name, so they gave it his name for it’s first name, and my father name as it’s middle name.

    I feel sympathy for the Santorums, but I can’t keep from wondering if they named their fetus Newt, Rick, Shrub, Ronnie or Sarah?

  7. Santorum’s stand on abortion is that there are to be no exceptions–not even to save the life of the mother. In Karen Santorum’s case, labor was “enhanced” so that she would expel the fetus more quickly. I have no problem with what they did in this case, nor do I diminish the pain that they went through over this tragedy, but don’t attempt to deny others the right to make these decisions and then let up on your convictions when it suits you.

  8. This is NOT a partial birth abortion, people. Get your facts straight!!! No one deliberately injured or killed the baby. Labor had to be induced or they both would have died. The baby was dying, and could not survive much beyond the delivery, but to compare this with a late-term abortion (which deliberately kills the baby, ) I cannot believe anybody would compare that with their obvious best efforts to protect mother and child. There is no double standard here.

    Everyone who has posted about there being “good reasons for (individuals’ ) own late-term abortion” are by and large referencing people who were dealing with perhaps a disbaled baby, or perhaps their own personal life crisis, and then hiring an abortionist to painfully poison or take the baby apart in pieces. Hanlon, get your facts straight before you throw out such hurtful lies.

    • The fetus was alive when it was delivered, with everyone knowing full well the fetus would die UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS. It’s defined as a partial-birth abortion. Suck it up. Whether or not they ‘deliberately’ inflicted pain is moot. You’re no judge, you weren’t there, you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

      I think they made the right choice, and as most of the sane people here note, the right to make the CHOICE is where the hypocrisy lies. Clueless to the end, eh?

      • @sockbunny I don’t really give a d*** about Santorum’s politics. Let’s say he was against abortion except to save the life of the mother, would you still be attacking him for doing his best to save both?

        The point is you are comparing delivering a child early because it was absolutely necessary, and people who DISMEMBER or POISON the child when life is NOT at stake. Look up the testimony of former abortionists, current abortionists, and their employees as well as some shameless pro-choice stories. Instead of doing whatever they can for a dignified, painless as possible death (that is as INEVITABLE as anyone can tell), people do decide to put their child through a horrific form of torture because they can’t handle Down’s syndrome, the parents dragged their unwilling teenager in, etc. I don’t know about you, but it would make a big difference to me if someone removed my life support when I was brain dead or irreversibly dying versus someone pulling my limbs off while I was fully conscious because my husband couldn’t handle a handicapped wife.

        It is absolute bullsh** that method, timing, manner, and reason of death don’t matter. Compare a child treasured for two hours after an unfortunate early delivery, and bloody limbs on an abortionists table.

      • “people who DISMEMBER or POISON the child when life is NOT at stake.”

        How do you know and what business is it of yours? You judge people’s motives you know absolutely NOTHING about.

        “Instead of doing whatever they can for a dignified, painless as possible death (that is as INEVITABLE as anyone can tell), people do decide to put their child through a horrific form of torture because they can’t handle Down’s syndrome, the parents dragged their unwilling teenager in, etc.”

        Again you presume to know, judge and be done with it. You aren’t in the office with patients, you don’t know the person’s mind and sure don’t have a say over another person’s body.

        Don’t send me to some trumped up right-winger fan page with pseudo testimonials that gullible people like you buy as if it’s God’s word – that’s why Crossroads GPS provides it, because you buy it.

        People like you are too emotional about this, and it’s NOT because you care, it’s because you’re filling some void and you think this gives you purpose. You think people who make these decisions (unless of course it’s someone you respect, and then whatever they do, you’re sure they did the right thing) make these decisions easily but you have no idea of the complexity involved.That much is clear. You’ve been given the talking points and you’re sticking to them. It’s been an awful experience reading what you spew, but I don’t think most people who makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy are as superficial and insensitive as you are. If I never run into you again, it will be too soon.

  9. Abortion does not mean intentionally ending a pregnancy. It means stopping a pregnancy. Any pregnancy that is stopped is aborted. This was absolutely a late-term abortion, and it was done to save the mother’s life. Whether it was a so-called partial-birth abortion or not is debatable, as that is a non-medical term used to describe a specific procedure. However, this was absolutely a late-term abortion, as a 20-week fetus cannot survive outside the womb. So Ann, you may want to get your facts straight.

  10. They can try and say “it wasn’t aborted, we just induced labor early and our child died.” Bullshit. I can’t wait for the first sign that says “If Santorum was actually pro life, his wife would be dead.”

  11. My only comment is that a person’s economic standing should not have to alter the same life threatening decision Mrs Santorum was privileged enough to be able to make.  Right now in the District of Columbia because they do not have statehood and their budget is controlled by Congress women with public health care or medicaid can not have an abortion, this is definently placing another’s moral judgement on the masses

  12. The majority of the people who have commented on this article are ignorant and judgemental. Clearly, this family is Pro-Life due to the number of children they already had prior to this pregnancy. Its not like they used abortion as a means of contraceptive like many woman in this country have done. Was this “event” really an abortion? We were not in the room with the doctor and family members to know the actual viability of the baby. From what I’ve read mom was spotting…which is usually an indication of complication. Additionally, the article says a “long shot surgery” was performed. Risks were involved. I don’t see the problem…seems like there are those looking to make it a hypocritical issue based on minimal facts to discredit this man and his family. Get a Life People!

  13. Because Truth MattersJanuary 6, 2012 by lesliesholly
    Let’s get this straight from the very beginning.  I’m not planning to vote for Rick Santorum.  I disagree profoundly with most of his positions.  So the defense that follows has nothing to do with my personal political leanings.  It has to do instead with my passion for the truth, the same passion that leads me to consult Snopes before forwarding emails, and to risk offending people by telling them that the email they are forwarding is a LIE.  And you can believe me or not, but I have even done this when the email in question supported my own prejudices.Rick Santorum’s wife DID NOT have an abortion, no matter what you may have read to the contrary on your favorite website, or what your friend on Facebook said, no matter how much you want to believe it.  Here’s what happened in my own words:  Karen Santorum was about 19 weeks pregnant when her unborn baby was found to be suffering from a fatal condition.  This is where a lot of people choose to terminate.  Instead, the Santorums tried intrauterine surgery.  Tragically, the surgery caused an infection.  Mrs. Santorum had a fever of 105.  Again, instead of moving straight to early induction of their non-viable baby, the Santorums tried antibiotics first.  Labor started due to the infection.  Mrs. Santorum even asked for drugs to stop the labor.  Despite all the lies circulating on the internet, Pitocin was never administered.  Baby Gabriel was born at 20 weeks and apparently lived a short while.  Through this whole ordeal, the Santorums acted according to their stated principles.Despite his admittedly strict anti-abortion/pro-life sentiments (no exceptions for rape or incest), I cannot find any evidence that Mr. Santorum ever said that abortion should be prohibited if it is necessary to save the mother’s life.  Both he and his wife in fact stated that if early if it came down to his wife’s death or early induction, they would have chosen induction.  Mr. Santorum did sign a personhood pledge, but it provides an exception to save the mother’s life.Here are links about the Santorums’ baby:  Salon articleNPR interviewHere are more links about his position on abortion to save the mother’s life:  http://www.dennyburk.com/gop-candidates-dont-allow-exceptions-for-the-life-of-a-mother/http://politics.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=23681&content=63653356&pageNum=-1So hate Mr. Santorum (or vote against him) for being pro-life, or anti-abortion, or anti-choice if you want–I don’t really care how you express it.  But don’t hate him for being a hypocrite, because he’s not.

  14. That wasn’t a partial birth abortion. Did the doctor murder the child after all but it’s head was delivered to make sure it wouldn’t live? 

  15. I also want to add that my niece was induced at 19 weeks because she had severe eclampsia and she and the baby both survived.

  16. Here’s a wikipedia link to what a partial birth abortion is.  It is performed on a baby that is viable to insure that it’s not born alive. 

  17. Absolutely heinous final statement – you should be ashamed!

  18. @7b75ca0643ad081b757be264a72ca00a:disqus why is that?  Santorum has stated himself in interviews that their should be no  medical exemptions to abortion including the health of the mother.  By his own standards his wife should have died.

  19. Late Term Abortion ARE usually to “Save the life of the Mother” or because the fetus has a life threatening abnormailty. They are Women Just like Mrs. Santorum, Women who want Their babies. THIS WAS an Abortion. You can call it whatever you like, It was STILL an abortion. Maybe People should be educated as to exactly what a lateterm abortion is and why women have them.. Prolife’s Jill Stanek became “famous” by testifying “babies” were left without medical treatment, and left to die after botched abortions” That’s How The Born Alive Infant Protection Act  was passed in the first place.  And from everything I’ve read, No Medical treatment was given to THEIR “born baby” they just let it die(and Took it home).Mr Santorum has repeatedly called for the total illegalization of abortion with NO EXCEPTIONS and said abortion doctors should be in jail. If His “laws” had been in effect at the time, Mrs. Santorum WOULD be dead.

  20. Healthy Woman 5 (6,7) months Pregnant says “Oh I think I’ll go have an abortion, so I can go to that party tomorrow” This Has Been The Prolife Lie and Ignorant People have bought into it. LateTerm Abortions are done for HEALTH reasons…just like Karen Santorums. It’s So Sad, She could have educated the Public if it wasn’t for her Husband’s Political Ambitions.

  21. The one thing that is painfully obvious from your post is that you don’t even know what a partial birth abortion is. 

    First of all, a partial birth abortion is an abortion which is performed on a baby which is capable of surviving outside the womb despite being born premature.  Secondly, a baby at 20 weeks gestation is too small to perform this procedure on, and wouldn’t need to have it done because it is not viable.

    A partial birth abortion is a ‘procedure’ in which the baby’s head is delivered, with the rest of the baby’s body still in the birth canal.  The ‘doctor’ then pierces the baby’s skull with a pair of scissors and vacuums out the brains of the child.  The baby has to be killed because it can survive outside the womb. 

    In the case of Karen Santorum, this was NOT a partial birth abortion.  This was a premature birth brought about by complications from pregnancy, and it is not an uncommon occurrence.  I know this because my wife spent a decade as a labor and delivery nurse, and was in the O.R. on several occassions when a baby was born premature and died shortly thereafter.  Most often (like Karen Santorum) the mother is suffering from toxemia.  As a result of trying to address this (toxemia), premature labor occurs.

    Before you post this garbage, at least have the decency to check your facts. 


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