Politics

01.07.12

Rick Santorum’s Abortion Comments

The former senator’s strict views on abortion are coming under new scrutiny as he rises in the polls. The Daily Beast rounds up what he's said on the issue over the years.

“Do we consider a child that may not live long, or may have an abnormality, to be less of a child? Is this less of a human because it is not perfect? Have we reached the point in our society where because perfection is so required of us, that those who are not perfect don’t even deserve the opportunity to live for however long they are ticketed to live in this country? Are we saying we need these kinds of infanticides to weed out those who are not going to survive or those who are not perfect, and that somehow or another we have to have a method available that we only allow perfect children to be born? If that is the argument, I am willing to stand here and have that debate. If that is what you want us to show, I am willing to stand and show that.”
—During a debate on the Senate floor with Hillary Clinton over the partial-birth abortion ban on March 12, 2003

“That would be taking a life, and I believe that any doctor that performs an abortion, I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion, should be criminally charged for doing so.”
—During an appearance on Meet the Press, June 2011.

“You know, the U.S. 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.”
—At the 2011 Iowa straw poll debate

“The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion.”
—At a GOP primary debate in South Carolina, May 2011

“The Hyde Amendment allows rape, incest, life of the mother. That is the common ground we could get, and I would support that.”
—2006 Senate debate

“The undermining of the fabric of our society all comes from this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in the U.S. 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.”
Interview with USA Today, April 2003

“This isn’t taught in any medical school. It isn’t done in any hospital. It isn’t done by any obstetrician. This is a rogue procedure for the convenience and economic benefit of abortionists and abortion clinics. Of course, it is not medically necessary. It is not even medically recognized.”
—Discussing the partial-birth abortion ban on The NewsHour on March 13, 2003

“And what the Dred Scott case did was put the liberty rights of people ahead of the life rights of a slaves. And what we are doing—and by the way, that was the law of the land and eventually overturned by a war and then subsequently by the court. The same case is here. We are putting the liberty rights of the mother ahead of the life rights of the child. And that’s wrong. That’s taking—there’s a reason life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in that order. You can’t have happiness without liberty. You can’t have liberty without life. And so, I would argue it’s fundamentally flawed and needs to be changed.”
—On Overturning Roe v. Wade, during an appearance on Hardball, June 13, 2003

“This is drawing the line where it absolutely needs to be drawn.  This baby is outside of the mother.  It’s not even in the uterus anymore with the exception of the head.  And what—what we’re saying is this baby has rights.  This baby is—this baby is—should not be murdered.  I mean, you have Senator Specter, who’s an ardent pro-choice supporter, who says this is murder.  This baby is no longer in the uterus.”
—On partial-birth abortion, CNBC News, May 1997

“If the case was a situation between the life of the mother and the life of the child, then obviously that’s a decision where—we run into all the time in the law, which is if it’s two people’s lives then obviously you aren’t prosecuted for, in a sense, self-defense. If you’re defending your own life, then you can take the life of another to defend your own life. That is clear in the law.”
—Appearing on Fresh Air, August 2004

“Mr. President, I just need to restate, we have quoted physician after physician, obstetrician after obstetrician, pro-life, pro-choice, people who have performed abortions—this is not Rick Santorum or James Inhofe or Mike DeWine or Bob Smith—these are physicians, obstetricians, who are saying that this procedure is never, never, never medically necessary to save the health or life of the mother. Never. Never.”
—Debating the partial-birth abortion ban in 1996

“You can say it is not human life. I can say this piece of paper is not a piece of paper, but that does not make it what it is not. It is human, and it is alive.”
—While debating the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006, July 2006