Saturday Reads: Abortion, Loss, Grief, and Privacy

Rick and Karen Santorum

Good Morning!

Tonight is the New Hampshire Republican debate. Will there be fireworks between Newt and Mitt or even Newt and Rick Santorum? Newt is still on the warpath. Tonight Wonk the Vote is planning a very special live blog with drinks and maybe drinking games.

I liked the suggestion I heard from Willie Geist on MSNBC yesterday morning. He said people should take a drink every time Rick Santorum says “partial birth abortion.” And then he played audio of Santorum saying it over and over. Okay, I know that’s tasteless, but it did make me laugh yesterday around 5AM. Anyway, be sure to drop by tonight for Wonk’s live blog!

Speaking of late-term abortions (or not-abortions), I’ve been thinking a lot about Rick and Karen Santorum and the story of how they reacted after Karen lost a pregnancy at 19-20 weeks in 1996. Once I started writing, it ended up being the focus of this post. I hope some other people also think it’s worth thinking and writing about and you won’t think I’m too “weird” for doing so.

There has been quite a bit of discussion around the internet about the couple’s decision to bring their dead baby (actually a second trimester fetus) home with them for their children to hold and cuddle. Karen Santorum subsequently wrote a book about the family’s experiences, Letters to Gabriel. Dakinikat wrote about this in a recent post that I can’t seem to locate at the moment. From 2005 NYT article (previously quoted by Dakinikat):

The childbirth in 1996 was a source of terrible heartbreak — the couple were told by doctors early in the pregnancy that the baby Karen was carrying had a fatal defect and would survive only for a short time outside the womb. According to Karen Santorum’s book, “Letters to Gabriel: The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum,” she later developed a life-threatening intrauterine infection and a fever that reached nearly 105 degrees. She went into labor when she was 20 weeks pregnant. After resisting at first, she allowed doctors to give her the drug Pitocin to speed the birth. Gabriel lived just two hours.

What happened after the death is a kind of snapshot of a cultural divide. Some would find it discomforting, strange, even ghoulish — others brave and deeply spiritual. Rick and Karen Santorum would not let the morgue take the corpse of their newborn; they slept that night in the hospital with their lifeless baby between them. The next day, they took him home. “Your siblings could not have been more excited about you!” Karen writes in the book, which takes the form of letters to Gabriel, mostly while he is in utero. “Elizabeth and Johnny held you with so much love and tenderness. Elizabeth proudly announced to everyone as she cuddled you, ‘This is my baby brother, Gabriel; he is an angel.'” ”

Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, a hormone with important roles in childbirth, breastfeeding, and attachment (love). As a drug, it is used to induce labor contractions. Therefore, many people see what happened as a late term abortion. At 19 weeks, the child when delivered is fully formed, but is still technically a fetus because it cannot live outside the womb.

In fact, hospital forms about the death read “20-week-old fetus,” according to a 2005 Washington Post story, but the couple insisted the form be changed to read “20-week-old baby.”

Of course most people would agree that the Santorums did the right thing to save Karen’s life. But since Rick Santorum was the author of the legislation that banned “partial birth abortion” (a made-up medical procedure), some have seen hypocrisy in their choice. Others have mocked them for bringing the corpse home and encouraging their children to handle it.

Alan Colmes was heavily criticized for “mocking” the Santorums on Fox News, and he later apologized to them personally. Eugene Robinson called the Santorums’ actions “weird” in an appearance on MSNBC, and the Washington Post Ombudsman felt the need to weigh in on the reader reaction. According to ABC News,

The Internet lit up with comments this week after Santorum’s meteoric rise to second-place in the Iowa caucuses, nearly tying him with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Some described Santorum’s story as “weird” or “horrifying.”

So of course now the “experts” are being consulted for their opinions on the Santorum family drama. From the ABC News story:

In the context of the times — the year was 1996 when the family buried Gabriel — their behavior was understandable, according to Dr. David Diamond, a psychologist and co-author of the 2005 book “Unsung Lullabies.”

Helen Coons, a clinical psychologist and president of Women’s Mental Health Associates in Philadelphia, said couples are not encouraged to bring a deceased fetus home.

Apparently at the time, couples were being encouraged to express their grief over miscarriages and stillborn babies.

Diamond said that 20 years ago, around the time that the Santorums suffered their loss, professionals encouraged their response.

“It was getting to be more in fashion,” he said.

“The trend was, rather than ignoring, to help people with their grieving and make it a real loss rather than something stuck in their minds and imagination for years,” he said. “Even before that, they allowed families to hold the dead infant or fetus and spend time with them — as much as they wanted.”

A corpse was not often taken home, but might be kept in the refrigerator for “a couple of days,” so the family could have access, according to Diamond.

“It was kept in the hospital, but of course you can’t do that for too many days,” Diamond said. “But there were cases were they basically allowed the family to handle and be with baby and say goodbye.”

I can certainly identify with the grief the family felt, and I could even understand having the children view the child’s body in the hospital; but I admit to feeling uncomfortable with the idea of taking the body home. I’m not sure how long they kept it either; none of the articles I’ve read are specific on that point.

Charles Lane, a columnist at the Washington Post, wrote about his own and his wife’s experience of losing a baby in the third trimester.

Nine years ago, my son Jonathan’s heart mysteriously stopped in utero — two hours prior to a scheduled c-section that would have brought him out after 33 weeks. Next came hours of induced labor so that my wife could produce a lifeless child. I cannot describe the anxiety, emotional pain, and physical horror.

And then there was the question: what about the corpse? Fortunately for us, our hospital’s nurses were trained to deal with infant death. They washed the baby, wrapped him in a blanket and put a little cotton cap on his head, just as they would have done if he had been born alive. They then recommended that we spend as much time with him as we wanted.

My wife held Jonathan for a long while. I hesitated to do so. At the urging of the nurses and my wife, I summoned the courage to cradle Jonathan’s body, long enough to get a good look at his face and to muse how much he looked like his brother — then say goodbye. I am glad that my love for him overcame my fear of the dead.

We, like the Santorums, took a photograph of the baby — lying, as if asleep, in my wife’s arms. We have a framed copy in our bedroom. It’s beautiful.

Lane says that his six-year-old son asked where the baby was, and Lane now regrets not letting his son see the body.

I think part of the squeamishness that I feel–and I’m probably not alone–is that the Santorums chose to share their experience with the public. Santorum’s general fetishizing of fetuses and his absolute anti-abortion stand–even to the point of saying a victim of rape or incest who gets pregnant or a woman whose life is in danger should not be able to have the procedure–naturally leads people to question why he agreed to doctors inducing labor to rid his wife’s body of a fetus that was endangering her.

Here is what Rick Santorum has said about abortions to save the life of the mother:

ABORTION EXCEPTIONS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH ARE ‘PHONY’: While discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban in June, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony.” “They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective,” he said.

So the second part of the public discussion of what I think should really be a private issue (but the Santorums are the ones who made it very public) is did Karen Santorum have an abortion or not? At Salon, writer Irin Carmon reports that an unnamed “expert” says no, it wasn’t an abortion.

Of course, without direct access to Karen Santorum’s medical files, we have to take their word for what happened, and with only sketchy details. But according to a nationally respected obstetrician-gynecologist from a Center for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Gynecology who has long been active in the reproductive health community and who provides abortion services — who spoke on condition of anonymity due to not having treated Santorum directly — by their own account, the Santorums neither induced labor nor terminated the pregnancy.

“Based on what is presented here in these couple of pages, it looks to me as if there’s confusion with some people about what the word ‘abortion’ means,” the doctor told me today. “The word ‘abortion’ probably shouldn’t even be used in this context.” (It is technically correct to say that Karen Santorum had a septic spontaneous abortion, but that’s a medical term for an involuntary event that is different from “induced abortion,” which describes a willful termination.)

After rumors spread in Pennsylvania that Karen Santorum had an abortion, the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to the Santorums for a story that has served as the main source for the recent chatter. In the 19th week of pregnancy, the paper reported, “a radiologist told them that the fetus Karen was carrying had a fatal defect and was going to die.” They opted for a “bladder shunt” surgery that led to an intrauterine infection and a high fever. The Santorums were told that “unless the source of the infection, the fetus, was removed from Karen’s body, she would likely die.”

There is no mention in the Salon article or in the Philadelphia Inquirer article about the injection of Pitocin that is mentioned in the longer NYT piece. So did Karen have an abortion. I’d say so. Even the “expert” in the Salon story says that what happened was “a septic spontaneous abortion.” So what’s the basis for saying it wasn’t an abortion? I guess the the “expert” feels some compassion for Karen, and so do I. Unlike Karen’s husband, I can empathize with people who are experience something terrible–even if it’s something I’ve never personally experienced.

But it is important when the person is running for President of the U.S. and he promises, if elected, to do everything in his power to ban all access to not only abortion, but also birth control. From the Salon article:

Rick Santorum did tell the Inquirer that “if that had to be the call, we would have induced labor if we had to,” under the understanding that the fetus was going to die anyway and intervening would save Karen’s life. And it is accurate to say that the direct experience of a life-threatening pregnancy and a tragic loss did not leave Rick Santorum with any empathy for women who do have to make those difficult decisions in extremely murky circumstances.

As the doctor put it, “One takes from this that pregnancies can go very, very wrong, very quickly.” Moreover, the kinds of legislative hurdles Santorum wants — or hospital administrative committees that seek to supersede the family’s decision-making — can certainly slow down the process and endanger women’s lives in the process.

Carmon writes that she feels “uncomfortable about having gone this far up Karen Santorum’s womb,” and I do too. But let’s face it: Santorum wants every woman’s womb to be invaded and her every decision about her pregnancy analyzed by strangers on committees. For that reason, I do think it’s important to talk about the choices made by Rick and Karen Santorum.

To summarize, I think grief over a miscarriage, even early in a pregnancy is normal and natural. When it happens late after the baby’s body is fully formed, it’s probably even more traumatic. In fact, according to Dr. Andres Bustillo, many women opt for cosmetic surgery as a way to cope with grief and extreme stress. Charles Lane’s story gave me a lot to think about, and after reading it, I agree that having young children view the body in the hospital could be appropriate.

However, I really think “kissing and cuddling” a corpse “for several hours is a little strange. Keep in mind that the other children were only 6, 4, and 18 months at the time. I also think frequently talking about the dead baby in public in the present tense and showing it’s photo to people is extremely weird. But that’s just me.

The people who are trying to absolve Rick Santorum of hypocrisy by claiming what happened wasn’t an abortion are mistaken. What happened is indistinguishable from the experience of many women–women who would not be able to receive the treatment Karen Santorum got if her husband achieves his political goals.

I’m sorry for the pain this public discussion is probably causing Rick and Karen Santorum and their children. But that’s the price of running for president. Think of the public discussion of the Clinton’s private lives that the media has engaged in for decades! In Santorum’s case, it will probably be over soon, because he’s not likely to get the nomination or ever become president.

Bottom line, this man wants to take away women’s constitutional rights. We’re talking about a politician whose main focus as Senator and in his campaign has been denying women privacy and control over their own bodies. Therefore, I think it’s normal for people to discuss the Santorums’ somewhat unusual, even arguably odd, behavior and to explore the question of whether Karen Santorum had an abortion or not.

I promise you some links to other news in the comments. What are you reading and blogging about today?

92 Comments on “Saturday Reads: Abortion, Loss, Grief, and Privacy”

  1. Pilgrim says:

    As you write, this is something that should be very private, but the Santorums themselves have chosen to be very public about it. I believe you said Mrs. Santorum had written a book about it. As you point out, Mr. Santorum continues to be devoid of any empathy for anyone but himself and his family (e.g. his recent public breakdown and embrace with his wife). That is one of the most remarkable factors here.

    Your consideration of the matter seems to be very thoughtfully balanced. It’s sad that the Santorums’ experience has become political fodder, rather than having remained privately in the realm of therapy.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It is sad, but when you think of all the other women whose private lives Santorum’s policies would open up to public scrutiny, it’s important to examine the pathology behind those policies.

      • Pilgrim says:


      • Fannie says:

        Thanks BB, very good article. I stretch my arms out to any woman who has had to deal with difficult prenancies. I myself have had pitocin, and it did not work for me. I have also been in a couple situations when my friend and family, had miscarriages and had to take action to help them, and get them to a hospital. We understand what women go through, and we are quite for them when need be. What women experience is very private and very important.

        It is a process to make peace with death, and I wonder when the white wolf will come for me, and I know there is no escaping.

        So thank you for sharing…………..Today, I have two people that will laid to rest, and I know they both changed my life, peace is at hand, and an offering of food and love is bountiful.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    It could also be “agrued” that the decision made by the Santorum’s to induce labor could be viewed as “progressive” since at one time the life of the fetus trumped that of the mother. Women were sacrificied in childbirth in order to “bring a new soul” into the world.

    Rick, though he denies membership, is associated with Opus Dei, the radical sect within the Catholic Church that includes Anton Scalia among others. He worships at the same church and has addressed this group on several occasions while maintaining ties to those who practice these beliefs. These are people who “flog” themselves to drive “sin” from their bodies. And the press thought that Rev. Wright was weird!

    Adherents to Opus Dei have kind of “gone round the bend”. Sin for them is a living thing and can be found in even the most innocuous thing. However, like most sects, keep their agenda “secret” which begs questions right up front. And they are worldwide. If you remeber, Louis Freeh, the FBI director during the Clinton impeachment hearings, is a member of Opus Dei. They are also “loosely connected” to C Street and the Family.

    Interesting to note that during the last 5 years or so, many of these “religionists” have come out of the closet, touting their views and marrying them with public policy. Bachmann, Palin, and quite a few candidates from the GOP side have a special interest in bringing forth their radical views and basically go unchallenged in the public sphere. Where once this stuff was considered “verbotten” to discuss out loud, it has now become almost fashionable and necessary to proclaim them along with their public policies.

    Rick may be a hypocritical giant when it comes to how he makes his money but in this one area of his life he is dead serious. The eradication of gay and women’s rights is not simply a plea to the Christian Taliban but a way of life he is eager to practice.

    This man is dangerous on many levels.

    • bostonboomer says:

      In revolutionary times, the “founders” that these fundamentalists try to claim were so “christian” like them, abortions were legal and commonplace and second-trimester fetuses weren’t considered to be “persons.”

      I think it really is dangerous that these fetus fetishists are trying to bully the rest of society into unscientific views of pregnancy and fetal development. At 20 weeks, the bones aren’t even hardened, the fetus weighs about 5 ounces and is only around 5 inches long. The brain and nervous system are not very developed. The lungs are at least 8 weeks away from being developed enough for breathing. The heartbeat is just beginning to be heard. This is not a “baby” yet, no matter what the Santorum’s want to believe.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        At the same time that he was “hawking” his views regarding “family values”, Rick was sitting ont the Board of Directors for a healtcare chain administering to troubled boys.

        This “school” was discovered to be nothing more than a warehouse, devoid of proper food, clothing, and education but taking money from private insurance companies and the federal government that paid to house these poor kids.

        Tell me how these so called religious beliefs played into his $400,000 annual pay off when these kids were being denied the services needed to help them? Obviously he was able to turn a blind eye to the injustices and greed this corporation carried out in favor of the “bottom line” and how this elevates his “faith” is beyond me.

        He also “billed” the township in PA for his kids home schooling while living in another state. If this does not smack of corruption I don’t know what else does. Somehow he managed to leave a small house in PA to live in a mansion in VA during his tenure in the US Senate which should at least raise eyebrows in some quarters as to how this was accomplished.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The hypocrisy is beyond the pale.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        I agree

    • Back Bay Style says:

      Opus Dei scares the living wits out of me, Pat.

  3. Sophie says:

    I don’t think that what the Santorums did was weird or creepy–perhaps unusual, but not evil or wrong. I think their family will come out stronger dealing with death because of it. I don’t think grief is necessarily better handled in a sanitized hospital environment.

    However, if Santorum really believes in everything he says he believes and really wants to enact all the laws he says he does, then clearly, he wants to make it illegal for anyone else to do as they did. As far as I’m concerned, hypocrisy is the biggest sin of all.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Best to keep in mind that this is the same Rick Santorum who also “rushed” to the bedside of braindead Terry Shiavo in an attempt to keep her alive at any cost thus interfering in the wishes of her husband who wished to end her ordeal.

      A true representation of governmemt interference in matters that should be left to the family.

      Following her death, the autopsy revealed that she had beem braindead since her horriffic accident and was only kept alive through the use of technology thus overriding the insistence that she was “communicating” through responses that were no longer viable.

    • dakinikat says:

      The Santorums were told about the outcome of this pregnancy. That’s the one problem I have with the Lane narrative which I read last night too. It sounds like the Santorums knew about this for some time and should’ve been prepared and preparing their children for the inevitable. You don’t get fair warning and then go off on some melodrama-like grief scene and convince me it was spontaneous. I’m really suspicious because of this time line. Also, Lane’s baby was in the viable zone. Fetal death was a complete surprise. There’s a big difference in development between 20 and 30 weeks. A 19 – 20 week old fetus won’t even weigh a pound. We’re talking about a mid term pregnancy here. Then there’s the book and the publicizing of all of this. It comes under the heading of protesting a bit too much, if you get my drift. What’s the point in publicizing all of this and your response if you’re not trying to garner some kind of attention?

      I’ve talked to my ob/gyn daughter about what’s an “abortion” and what’s not. The profession considers anything after the third trimester to be a delivery with either a good or bad outcome. What the Right to Lyfers have done has turned procedures–like what the Santorums underwent–into the categories of abortions. Including the totally fabricated partial birth abortion Since the Santorums are part of the circus of mislabeling medical procedures, they should come clean about the decision they made. They basically got a choice and they saved the mother. Now days, we have examples of hospitals that said wait until the fetus actually dies to do anything. Meanwhile, the mother’s up to her eyeballs in blood dying. Santorum is at the very least a hypocrite, at the very worst, he took a personal crisis and turned it into a scripted public drama. And yes, I mean scripted because I will remind you that the Santorums knew what the out come was going to be. This was no surprise for them.

      As others have mentioned, Santorum has the habit of usinga family crisis for grandstanding. He turned the Terry Schiavo situation into a hell realm for the country. I wouldn’t put it past him to have planned the “grief”. That may be harsh of me, but you have to consider all the evidence.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I agree. The Santorums were told very early in the pregnancy, and according to the WaPo story I linked, they opted for a “shut” of some kind and that is what caused the septic condition in the uterus. They should have had an early abortion. Also the NYT story says Karen had an injection oxytocin to speed up contractions. Then in the WaPo story, Santorum claims it was spontaneous because of the severe infection.

        To me it makes no difference. What happened was an abortion, whether induced or spontaneous. They just can’t deal with that fact. A second trimester fetus is not a “baby.”

      • peggysue22 says:

        I think it’s really about the privacy issue, which, of course, Santorum types insist doesn’t exist. The family in this case publicized the loss, then Santorum has tried to wriggle around the details of the induced labor.

        I think most reasonable people would say that Santorum and his wife made the right decision in this case, that inducing labor saved the mother’s life. The real problem is that Santorum’s ideology forces him to do the doublespeak trot. But more disturbing is that he and his ideological-correct bedfellows would deny choice to others.

        That’s wrong, period.

        As for what the family did with the dead fetus? To me, it’s positively ghoulish and the idea of sharing a corpse with young children is beyond the pale. But again, it’s a private family matter, a choice. Why they chose to publicize the details is beyond me. Foolish, very foolish. And they shouldn’t be surprised by the reaction.

        These ‘reveal alls’ turn me off anyway.

        Good piece, BB!

      • quixote says:

        After hearing too much about Santorum (almost anything about him turns out to be too much), I’d believe anything of him. Given the depths he’s known to have plumbed, making a fetus-and-wife show out of a spontaneous-plus-induced abortion fits his past atrocities.

        Brief note on terminology: medically, “abortion” means ejection of embryo/fetus without possibility of survival. One that happens spontaneously and early enough is generally called a miscarriage. Later on it’s a “spontaneous abortion.”

        Politically, “abortion” means only “induced abortion.”

        It can get a bit a bit confusing between the two realms, because the same word doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing. Although it can. Induced abortions are a subset of all (medical terminology) abortions.

        Santorum’s wife was undergoing a spontaneous abortion, and it and the complications of the uterine infection were killing her. So the doctors speeded the process up (i.e. added induced abortion to the mix) and saved her life.

        I’m not sure what Ricky “No Rubbers” Santorum’s position is on artificially speeding up the process when the fetus will die anyway. Is the woman supposed to die regardless? I wouldn’t put it past him. If so, and if his wife believes the same garbage, she’s a hypocrite for not refusing the pitocin. It’s very easy to understand her taking it at the time. But she’s an even bigger hypocrite for not acknowledging her choice afterward. And he’s the biggest hypocrite of all, but that’s no news.

  4. Sophie says:

    The more I think about it, the more pissed off I’m getting at these hypocritical fundamentalist extremists. They want to bring every sperm cell to term and they want to prolong the lives of the obviously dying but they are rabidly against doing anything for the health and life of anyone in between. Look at how hard they fought health care (and I mean a good plan like Hillary’s as well as the ill-conceived Obama plan). Look at how hard they’re trying to wipe out medicare and medicaid. Look at what they said and did on prescription meds. Look at how much they hawked two wars. They are not pro-life at all. At best, they’re pro-birth and anti-natural death but they haven’t shown they value life one bit.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s the thing. Around 20-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Between 50% and 75% of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted–they never implant in the uterus. But to these fetishists, each one of those events is a “baby.” This is really part of their attack on science that goes along with their beliefs about evolution, climate change, etc. It’s sick.

      • Back Bay Style says:

        BB, I am not a nurse, but I believe a big part of the confusion is that the fetus is EXTERNALLY near fully formed at twenty weeks. The vital organs are NOT fully formed-particularly the lungs. That is why pregnancy needs to last a minimum of 32 weeks, preferably 36. A 20-30 week fetus, howver “human” looking, is NOT fully developed. only appears so to the fetishists. People need to get clear on this. Intervention to keep a severely deformed fetus alive can do more harm than good.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Karen Santorum is a former nurse, so she should know better. From her book:

        Karen Santorum, a former nurse, wrote letters to her son during and after her pregnancy. She compiled them into a book, “Letters to Gabriel,” a collection of prayers, Bible passages and a chronicle of the prenatal complications that led to Gabriel’s premature delivery. At one point, her doctor raised the prospect of an abortion, an “option” Karen ridicules. “Letters to Gabriel” also derides “pro-abortion activists” and decries the “infanticide” of “partial-birth abortion,” the legality of which Rick Santorum was then debating in the Senate. The book reads, in places, like a call to action.

        “When the partial-birth abortion vote comes to the floor of the U.S. Senate for the third time,” Karen writes to Gabriel, “your daddy needs to proclaim God’s message for life with even more strength and devotion to the cause.”

      • bostonboomer says:


        The issue came up again the following spring. Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, appeared on the Senate floor with oversize illustrations of fetuses in various stages of delivery. He described the process by which a physician “brutally kills” a child “by thrusting a pair of scissors into the back of its skull and suctioning its brains out.” He asked that a 5-year-old girl be admitted to the visitors’ gallery, though Senate rules forbid children under 6. “She is very interested in the subject,” Santorum said, explaining that the girl’s mother had been a candidate for a late-term abortion when doctors advised her during her pregnancy that the child was unlikely to survive.

        Sen. Barbara Boxer objected, saying it would be “rather exploitive to have a child present in the gallery” during such a debate. Santorum relented, bemoaning Boxer’s objection as proof that “we have coarsened the comity of this place.”

        The same has been said of Santorum. In so many words, or facial gestures.

        Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat, grimaces. “You couldn’t quote what I’d have to say about him,” she says.

        Boxer (D-Calif.) says he has a knack for “becoming remarkably harsh and personal during debates.”

        Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey once wondered whether Santorum is “Latin for [anus].” Teresa Heinz Kerry called him “Forrest Gump with an attitude.”

    • gxm17 says:

      Amen. Considering the impact that “pro-life” legislation would have on the health of women and girls, I find the term “pro-life” insulting. They view the lives of women and girls to have less value than a zygote’s presumed potentiality. That’s not “pro-life,” that’s femicide. It’s a reprehensible ideology and I find it frightening that the anti-woman, anti-science, anti-choice movement has been able to move the discussion of reproductive choice so far to the extremist right.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s some non-Santorum news: Drunken woman attacks painting and rubs her butt over it.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Rick Santorum suggests that a father in prison is better than a same sex parent.

    For the second time in as many days, Rick Santorum waded into the issue of gay marriage, suggesting it was so important for children to have both a father and mother that an imprisoned father was preferable to a same-sex parent.

    Citing the work of one anti-poverty expert, Santorum said, “He found that even fathers in jail who had abandoned their kids were still better than no father at all to have in their children’s lives.”

    Allowing gays to marry and raise children, Santorum said, amounts to “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”

    At a private boarding school Friday, the Republican presidential candidate’s voice grew emotional as he argued that only a man and woman should be able to marry. “Marriage is not a right,” Santorum said. “It’s a privilege that is given to society by society for a reason…. We want to encourage what is the best for children.”

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Under Mitt Romney, Bain Captial drove a Kansas City steel company into bankruptcy and its employees out of work, costing the taxpayers 44 million.

    …in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.

    It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Technologies, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.

    Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.

    What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Overall, Bain made at least $12 million on the steel company it created by merging the Kansas City mill with another in South Carolina before the new entity declared bankruptcy in 2001. Bain also collected an additional $900,000 a year through 1999 for management consulting services, public filings show.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Our “Mittens”, the job creator!

      No wonder he is hesitant to release his tax forms. A multi millionaire living off the grief of others would be hard to explain.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Rick is such a sack of lying sh*t.

    Better to have a father in jail as a role model than a gay parent who is there 24/7?

    A father doing time for domestic battery, murder, drug dealing, armed robbery, fraud, possibly carrying a weapon at the time of arrest, is a better role model than having a gay parent?

    What kind of illogical thinking is this? A child needs to be raised in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. A jailed parent has shown that his child does not come before his activities and this is Rick’s rationale?

  9. grayslady says:

    Personally, I’m really grateful that you are providing some in-depth investigation into this story, BB. I remember after Dr. Tiller was murdered how many of his former patients told their stories on a tribute web site. What came across from those stories, quite distinctly, is that potential outcomes for problem pregnancies are frequently impossible to predict until late into the second trimester or even into the third trimester. The vast majority of the women who wrote about their experiences were married and looking forward to adding a child to the family, even while the pro-fetus crowd would like to portray these women as unmarried and sexually profligate.

    While reading your post, it struck me that the issues involved with late-term abortions are similar to those involving an individual being kept on life support with no hope of recovery. Most states now provide for Living Wills, so why is it that we can’t apply those rules to women who are known to be carrying a dead fetus, or one that will not survive much beyond birth, or even one that will only develop into a being whose survival will depend on other types of “life support”? Why is a woman not automatically determined to be the legal guardian of the fetus, able to determine what is in the best interest of the fetus, just as she would be able to do if named as having power of attorney in a living will?

    • Back Bay Style says:

      The short answer Greys, is that a fetus is not legally a person; therefore it cannot have a “guardian” because the legal definition of a guardian is “guardian OF THE PERSON”.

      We do have a legal precedent for these decisions. It’s called “Roe v. Wade”, and this is exactly why we need it upheld.

      Any woman making a health care proxy or “living will” should include specific instructions as to what measures she wants taken if she is unable to communicate, pregnant, and the fetus is healthy or unhealthy, and who should make these decisions as her health care agent.

      • grayslady says:

        I agree with you, Back Bay, that the fetus should not legally be considered a person. Unfortunately, since the original Roe decision, the Supreme Court has muddied the waters in subsequent cases by referring to “viability outside the womb”, even if that means viability only by means of life support systems. Also, in spite of the SC proclaiming that any state laws must allow for health of the woman being paramount in making decisions after “viability”, that doesn’t appear to be the case in some states, does it? The legislatures seem to pass the laws in defiance of common sense, basically daring women to challenge the law. My personal belief is that so long as the fetus remains inside the woman, whether technically viable or not, it is part of her body, and all decisions regarding her body are hers alone to make. I just happened to see what I think are some parallels with the Living Will issue in terms of individual freedoms.

  10. gxm17 says:

    Excellent post, bb. I’ve been waiting for some incisive commentary on this topic. Personally, I think taking home a dead fetus, to share its body with young children, is extremely creepy. I also think it’s none of my business. But the Santorum family made public their private grief, and they’ll have to deal with the public reaction.

    What I find most interesting about the hypocrisy, is that too often I see this same attitude in people who want to legislate other folks private/sexual lives. They are all to willing to wag fingers and support anti-choice and anti-gay legislation, but when the tables are turned what choice did the Santorum’s make. They made the choice to save the mother’s life. A choice they want to take away from other families. This is worse than hypocritical, it is downright evil.

    FWIW, I’m here almost every day (Sky Dancing is my homepage), mostly lurking only because saying “Great post!” over and over would get rather tiresome.

    • bostonboomer says:


      It’s wonderful to know that you are here everyday, and I wish you would comment more!

    • quixote says:

      I disagree. It’s extremely crazy and it’s none of my business so long as only mutually consenting adults are involved. In my world, subjecting their children to their perversions is grounds for putting the kids in the care of normal people.

      Of course, in my world there’s also a thorough and benevolent foster care system and plenty of normal people to call on. So it doesn’t really apply here.

      But still, the point stands that once they involve their kids in their craziness, it ceases to be a private matter and child protective services (if they were any good) should rightfully become involved.

      (And I, too, wish you’d comment more!)

      • HT says:

        I agree with gxm and I also agree with your modifier – if it involves consenting adults, it’s nobody’s business but their. What does that make the Santorums, who chose on behalf of their very young children to have those children hold a dead baby? It’s rather bizarre. Also agree about the child protective services, however it’s difficult when an agency is underfunded, it’s people overworked and it’s administration subject to gridlock vis a vis political whims and quite frankly incompetence at the managerial level.

  11. janicen says:

    BB, I’m so glad you posted on this subject. The story is rife with contradictions. I’m sorry for what the Santorum’s went through and for their loss. My brother and SIL had to make the difficult choice to abort their pregnancy when it was determined that their situation was the same as the Santorums’. Even though they aborted earlier in the pregnancy, their grief was real, painful, and long lasting.

    One of the contradictions that bothers me with the Santorum’s story is the fact that they took the fetus home. First of all, I’m skeptical that this was standard practice at the time. However, if one believes that the fetus is a person, then why isn’t the practice extended to all deceased family members? Why can’t we bring grandma home for one last look at her garden? My point is, fundamentalists insist that the fetus is a person, but yet they see no contradiction treating the dead fetus differently than we would an actual person.

    I’m also bothered by the privileges that were extended to the Santorums. As I said earlier, I’m skeptical that everyone under similar circumstances was allowed to take their dead fetus home, and I’m doubtful that we would all have the same clout in getting the medical examiner to reword the death certificate.

    Lastly, it seems obvious that their experience describes what the right-wingers describe as a late-term abortion, the pregnancy was terminated. End of story.

    • bostonboomer says:

      None of the experts said it was standard practice to take the body home. Exposing very young children to a two-day old corpse could be dangerous to their health. The children at the time were ages 6, 4, and 1-1/2! What was coming into vogue at the time was encouraging parents to express their grief in appropriate ways–like talking about their feelings or maybe having some kind of family ritual.

      • janicen says:

        Sorry for misinterpreting that, but it again speaks to the privileges that were extended to the Santorums that ordinary people would not receive.

        • dakinikat says:

          I still think the entire thing was probably scripted and planned for a show of piety, political purposes, and fundraising for a book. I’m thinking prop, frankly. Some one at the hospital had to go out of their way to allow this, and yes, that means that got special treatment. And yes, I’m that jaded about people like Santorum to think this actually was a staged response.

      • dakinikat says:

        What still bothers me is the time line here. Janicen, your brother and SIL found out and had the procedure. Their grief followed finding out and then they moved on to deal with it. The Santorums knew about this and yet acted bizarrely when the event actually happened at a period of time much later. I still find this odd about the Santorum situation.

      • dakinikat says:

        Plus, I still think a lot of the hooplah was used to turn what essentially he has labelled an abortion into what the medical community considers an induced pregnancy with a bad outcome. He wanted to ensure that his groupies didn’t confuse what he did with what he’s trying to tell them would be an abortion in the case of other women.

      • janicen says:

        I agree, dak. The one thing that crops up at various stages of this story is that the Santorums are a couple of sick f*@ks. Making your children hold a dead fetus goes beyond the pale. I like your theory that the ritual was staged. If it wasn’t, they would never talk about such an intimate and personal thing.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Absolutely, Janicen. I had the same reaction about the Santorums getting special privileges.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Another interesting thing I found out about Rick Santorum is that he wasn’t particularly religious before he met Karen. He was raised as a Catholic but never too it very seriously. She is the one who originally had the virulent anti-abortion views. Before he met her, Santorum had only had one other relationship of any importance. It sounds like she is the one driving all this.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I still think the entire thing was probably scripted and planned for a show of piety, political purposes, and fundraising for a book. I’m thinking prop, frankly. Some one at the hospital had to go out of their way to allow this, and yes, that means that got special treatment. And yes, I’m that jaded about people like Santorum to think this actually was a staged response.

        I agree.

        Furthermore, some of the facts seem a bit off to me. The fetus lived 2 hours? Seems rather long to me.

        And I feel that everything this family does is scripted. Just like that photo of the girl crying…it looks fake.

        It all stinks like shit on hot ice…

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    And there we have it ladies and gents: Mitt the “Job Creator”, Ron the racist, Rick the sanctimonious cheat, Newt the corrupt, and Perry the Dumbbell. Take your pick!

    An array of some of the most ethically challenged men to ever step onto the national stage.

    The saddest statement of all will be those made by us and our like minded blogger brethen arguing over the next 11 months as to why they would each be better than Obama for another 4 years.

    There is no valid explanation since all, and this includes The One, are so damaged by their lack of integrity that it is difficult to even suggest they are worthy of attention let alone becoming POTUS.

    A bunch of mean spirited, money hungry egomaniacs without a clue of how the rest of us get by. Nor do they much care.

    • ralphb says:

      I hate to say it but these fools make Obama look good in comparison. Wow.

    • jmacwa says:

      The only way I see to explain this is that Obama is the best repulbican running, and the party will get more of their agenda accomplished with Obama then without him.

  13. Minkoff Minx says:

    Wow, is this a Sat? I need to catch up on the comments…but you all have been busy!

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I think when religious fundamentalism is the topic of discussion it brings out the best in those of us who shrink from its dangers.

      I have been shouting about the separation of church and state for years, regarding this as the most serious issue we face as Americans, far more dangerous than threats of war or economic crisis, because it goes to the heart of who we are and what we stand for as a nation.

      Once that line has been crossed, as it surely has been over the past 30 years, we are opening ourselves up to the most dangerous trends that is more destructive than any other force within our nation.

      When critical thinking is being distorted to meet the “values” of hypocrites and thieves then we have indeed lost our moorings.

      To address this topic invites calls of being “anti religious” and in the context that is presented to us as poltical policy I would agree. I am anti religion for those wishing to cram this stuff down my throat by making it into law.

      • ralphb says:

        I don’t see it as anti religious at all. I think of if as anti tyranny.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Absolutely right on, ralph.

        But you know as well as I that once we offer a differing opinion on this unhealthy trend of religious intrusion, there are those who rant, rave and condemn us for being “anti religious” when it is the furthest thing from the truth.

        As far as I am concerned, a person’s faith is his own business. But to ram it down my throat is as obnoxious as those who called “racist” whenever a criticism of Obama was raised in 2008.

        The only comparison I have is that I loathe broccolli. But I do not expect my host or any of the guests to be deprived because of me. It’s my choice to either eat it or pass the plate to others.

        But to force me into eating this stuff is something I refuse to oblige. The same holds true for these fundies who believe they have the right to force me to accept their beliefs when I don’t.

      • dakinikat says:

        The hypocrisy comes in that it’s the same folks that don’t want sharia crammed down their throats that are willing to jam their version of it down others. Like screaming that we all have to say Merry Christmas to them so as not to offend them? WTF? Religious extremists are dangerous no matter what the flavor. I have no problem with any one practicing a religion in their place of worship or home. I draw the line when they want to drag me and the government into it. Again, when they single out one group of extremists for torment without looking in their own groups it drives me nuts. Every single blend of religion has its own crackpots although some are more prone to it that others because of cultural factors. I mean, look at Israel, they have special buses driving around that relegate women to the back and make women wear certain kind of clothing just to not offend ultra religious orthodox Jewish men. How enlightened and democratic is that? Thousands of “Blue” laws have been passed in this country because a lot of Baptists and Methodists think drinking is Satanic. Criticizing those intrusions and discrimination is hardly “anti religious”. You’re not implying every single one in any of those faiths is a nut. But then, that same group of people will have members that think that every single Muslim is going to fly a plane into building and is a nut and they don’t find that bigoted. To point and scream at some other religion’s nutcases and to ignore your own is really bad form. To point to the nutcases and say, look they’re just nutcases dressed up in a religious frock isn’t being anti-religion. Also, to ask them to keep it to themselves isn’t being anti-religious either. They don’t seem to understand that one person’s displays of piety will creep others out. They’re so wrapped up in their own belief system they can’t empathize with others.

      • ralphb says:

        {applause} Dak, right on.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I worked in a hospital that was a very public and diverse setting.

        Each day walked by people wearing yarmulkes, adorned with crucifixes, and women with head coverings proclaiming their faith.

        I have no idea what I was supposed to get out of these exhibitions other than that these people were attempting to impress the rest of us with their religious leanings. Though tatooing was frowned upon, we were to be blindly tolerant to those shoving their religious leanings in our faces.

        But one idiot, covered in piercings, took it one step further by “demanding” that we accept her nose rings, tongue piercings, and eyebrow rings as a statement of her “religion” since asking her to remove them for the sake of sanitation was a from of discrimination. She lost but only because her presence in the OR might invite germs.

        Why people see the need to proclaim their religious beliefs all over the place when campaign stickers and buttons were considered inciteful was beyond me. No one was asked to rid themselves of their religious beliefs but to consider that perhaps it should remain private and not put on such open display.

        Again, some of this stuff is tolerated to our own detriment as it too easily gets out of hand.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        The hypocrite thing is what really pisses me off…

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Pat, I just started reading Charlie Pierce book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free eBook: Charles P. Pierce: Kindle Store and it is about the country moving backwards…

        I just started it but it is awesome so far.

        Book Description
        The Culture Wars Are Over and the Idiots Have Won.
        A veteran journalist’s acidically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.

        In the midst of a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, Charles Pierce had a defining moment at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where he observed a dinosaur. Wearing a saddle… But worse than this was when the proprietor exclaimed to a cheering crowd, “We are taking the dinosaurs back from the evolutionists!” He knew then and there it was time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed.

        With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States, and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

        With Idiot America, Pierce’s thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.

        A Q&A with Charles P. Pierce

        Question: What inspired, or should I say drove, you to write Idiot America?
        Charles P. Pierce: The germ of the idea came as I watched the extended coverage of the death of Terri Schiavo. I wondered how so many people could ally themselves with so much foolishness despite the fact that it was doing them no perceptible good, politically or otherwise. And it looked like the national media simply could not help itself but be swept along. This started me thinking and, when I read a clip in the New York Times about the Creation Museum, I pitched an idea to Mark Warren, my editor at Esquire, that said simply, “Dinosaurs with saddles.” What we determined the theme of the eventual piece—and of the book—would be was “The Consequences Of Believing Nonsense.”
        Question: You visited the Creation Museum while writing Idiot America. Describe your experience there. What was your first thought when you saw a dinosaur with a saddle on its back?
        Charles P. Pierce: My first thought was that it was hilarious. My second thought was that I was the only person in the place who thought it was, which made me both angry and a little melancholy. Outside of the fact that its “science” is a god-awful parodic stew of paleontology, geology, and epistemology, all of them wholly detached from the actual intellectual method of each of them. The most disappointing thing is that the completed museum is so dreadfully grim and earnest and boring. It even makes dragon myths servant to its fringe biblical interpretations. Who wants to live in a world where dragons are boring?

  14. janicen says:

    And then of course, for people who would like to avoid abortion altogether by exercising their legal right to buy Plan B, we have pharmacy employees who block their efforts when men try to buy it for their wives or girlfriends. After all, if a woman goes and gets herself pregnant, she should be forced to buy her own Plan B.

  15. RSM says:

    On a lighter note, it’s still January, but cable news may have already had its defining OMFG moment of the year. This has to be seen to be believed.

    You just know Stephen Colbert’s response is going to be epic.

  16. Minkoff Minx says:

    Here is some info on Bladder Shunt: Bladder Shunt

    Rarely, ultrasound may reveal a fetus with evidence of lower urinary tract obstruction. This is usually seen in a male fetus, where the bladder and kidneys are enlarged and there is decreased amniotic fluid. When low amniotic fluid persists the fetal lungs may not develop properly. In severe cases the fetus may not be able to survive after birth because of breating problems.

    After extensive evaluation and consultation a bladder shunt may be recommended. The shunt is a thin plastic tube which allows fluid to flow out of the blocked bladder and into the amniotic fluid. This both relieves the urinary tract obstruction and increase the amniotic fluid, allowing for more normal lung development.

    Bladder shunting is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour to complete, however much of this time is spent setting up equipment and performing ultrasound. The technique is similar to that of amniocentesis; once the mother’s abdomen is cleaned with an antiseptic, a needle is inserted into the fetal bladder and and the shunt is placed. This is all done under ultrasound guidance.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for that info, Minx. It sounds like the doctors told them the baby wouldn’t survive anyway. But I guess they didn’t believe it.

  17. Minkoff Minx says:

    Check it out:

    h/t TN Guerrilla Woman

    I am getting a tattoo tonight…may be a bit late to the party, but I am so looking forward to the live blog tonight with Wonk.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      It looks like Funny or Die is having a mock debate before the real debate tonight:

      The 2012 election has already prompted a treasure trove of parodies, like Michelle Bachmann’s Newsweek cover, Rick Santorum’s Google problem and um… what was the third one? Election season always brings its fair share of comedy, and this cycle has been no exception, with comedy site Funny or Die leading the charge with various satirical videos.

      As the New Hampshire primary approaches, another GOP debate is set to air on ABC this Saturday, but not before Yahoo and Funny or Die host their own mock debate.

      The companies on Thursday announced that they have teamed up for a collaboration dubbed the “Yahoo News/Funny or Die Presidential GOP Online Internet Cyber Debate.” It will air Friday at 8am EST on Yahoo News and the Yahoo Screen page, reports the New York Times.

      Moderated by former CNN host Larry King, the 16-minute spoof features a side-splitting cast of actors and comedians playing the Republican candidates including Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live fame as Newt Gingrich; John C. McGinley from Scrubs as Rick Santorum; Patrick Warburton playing Gov. Rick Perry; Leslie Jordan as Rep. Ron Paul; Greg Germann playing Jon Huntsmann; Erin Gibson as Rep. Michelle Bachmann,; and Twitter funnyman Rob Delaney as Mitt Romney.

      Mike Tyson, who has already shown off his comedic chops in Funny or Die election spoofs, will reprise his role as former GOP hopeful and pizza mogul Herman Cain. Additionally, Bryan Safi will play Bachmann’s husband Marcus and Reggie Brown will play President Obama.

  18. northwestrain says:–136863353.html

    Jakadrien is back in the US — upon arriving she was INTERROGATION ICE for 3 hours. I sure hope that she had a lawyer — she is still underage.


  19. Brilliant post, BB. Thank you so much for doing the yeo-bloggerwoman’s work on investigating this and putting out a great piece for discussion. Busy but hope to add to the conversation later this weekend.

  20. Pat Johnson says:

    Mink: I just ordered Pierce’s book for my Kindle. Thanks for the head’s up.

  21. foxyladi14 says:

    Obama is the best repulbican running 🙂

    • northwestrain says:

      That’s for sure.

      The others aren’t really Republicans — just radical wing nut fundamentalist Christian Taliban.

  22. that just crazy this guy is adovating for a policy that would change the law that would cost his wife her life had it been in play when they diecided on having on termating her pregnancy.

  23. Amazing post and comments as usual. I’m so glad that I’ve found ya’ll & find this blog is a daily must read. I’ve shared it with many of my friends, as well as on my Facebook page. I think everyone should read all the great content by each of the contributors.

    Personally, I don’t think it much matters whether the Santorum’s loss was a miscarriage, a late term abortion or even if it qualified as illegal under Santorum’s efforts in Congress. There are rules for the anointed ones and rules for the rabble (the rest of us). Isn’t that pretty much how it’s always been throughout history? When priests can mandate that sex outside of marriage, birth control, abortion, gay sex are all against god’s will and yet rape children or look the other way when they know a priest is raping children it just validates that some “special” people are above the law – secular or religious. How many of the “family values” politicians were screwing around on their wives while advocating about the sanctity of marriage between one man & one woman? Yes, they are hypocrites. While I don’t like to paint any group with a broad brush, it’s difficult to take those exclaiming their faith & love of god seriously. Those professions of devoutness just make me skeptical.

    Looking forward to the live blog tonight and the debate. Will Newter smite Mittens or will Newter get neutered? Oh please, let there be a live Fight Club exhibition tonight.

  24. quixote says:

    (I’m so late to the party that I should have responded here at the end and not upthread. I hope it’s okay if I add the part I think is informative again.)

    Brief note on terminology: medically, “abortion” means ejection of embryo/fetus without possibility of survival. One that happens spontaneously and early enough is generally called a miscarriage. Later on it’s a “spontaneous abortion.”

    Politically, “abortion” means only “induced abortion.”

    It can get a bit a bit confusing between the two realms, because the same word doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing. Although it can. Induced abortions are a subset of all (medical terminology) abortions.

    Santorum’s wife was undergoing a spontaneous abortion, and it and the complications of the uterine infection were killing her. So the doctors speeded the process up (i.e. added induced abortion to the mix) and saved her life.

    I’m not sure what Ricky “No Rubbers” Santorum’s position is on artificially speeding up the process when the fetus will die anyway. Is the woman supposed to die regardless? I wouldn’t put it past him. If so, and if his wife believes the same garbage, she’s a hypocrite for not refusing the pitocin. It’s very easy to understand her taking it at the time. But she’s an even bigger hypocrite for not acknowledging her choice afterward. And he’s the biggest hypocrite of all, but that’s no news.

    • bostonboomer says:

      He says in the WaPo article that they would have induced labor if necessary to save Karen’s life. In fact, they DID induce labor according to the NYT.

      Also, Karen is the one who is the anti-abortion fanatic. She seems to have latched onto Santorum and brainwashed him, because when he was in college he wasn’t particularly religious. His family were just normal everyday Catholics, not nutty ones. But now he’s way out on the fringe. I think he has serious psychological problems, frankly.

      I think it’s beyond weird that the dead fetus was actually taken to Karen’s parents’ home for the children to handle. I’m guessing her parents are probably radical right christofascist types.

      • quixote says:

        Beyond weird is right. Pathological, perverse, crazy.

      • Stephanie says:

        See Blue Lyon’s current post.

        She seems very reasonable while still acknowledging that Mr S is a dangerous person (my word & interpretation).

        According to BL, Mrs. S was Already in labor, in response to the infection which could not be controlled. Mr & Mrs S initially wanted labor stopped via drugs, but when Drs informed them that the infection would kill Mrs S, then they would have no baby and no mother for the other children, Mr & Mrs S agreed to the picotin to speed up the labor.

        The thing that makes no sense, especially regarding them wanting the premature labor (i.e. spontaneous abortion) stopped, is that they knew for at least a while that the baby could not survive once it was born. They had some time to prepare, but apparently didn’t.

  25. Linda C says:

    What really irks me is that women have sacrificed. I have known of women to stop their chemotherapy when they found out they were pregnant. All of the mothers died and sadly so did their infants. Not like the lying Santorums, even if the baby did not have a defect, inducing labor at 20 weeks is pretty much a death sentence. Fanatics usually only apply their beliefs onto others and not on themselves. Then they go about making a parade after the fact to cover their own hypocrisy.