Santorum to pregnant rape victims: “make the best out of a bad situation”

We all knew Rick Santorum was a raging anti-abortion politico who finds it appalling that a black man like President Barack Obama can have a pro-choice stance. But, he’s also a cold, callous anti-abortion political has-been who believe rape victims should embrace their pregnancies:

From an interview he did with CNN’s Piers Morgan:

MORGAN: On abortion, you did harden your position on that as you got older. Why was that?

SANTORUM: Life. You know, when I decided to run for public life, I was informed very quickly people wanted to know what my position on that was. So I went through the process of trying to better understand the facts.

It became very clear to me that life begins at conception and persons are covered by the Constitution and since life — people, a human life is the same as a person, to me it was a pretty simple deduction to make. That’s what the Constitution clearly intended to protect.

MORGAN: But do you really — do you really — let me ask you this. Do you really believe, in every case, it should be totally wrong, in the sense that — I know that you believe, even in cases of rape and incest — and you’ve got two daughters. You know, if you have a daughter that came to you who had been raped.

SANTORUM: Yes.

MORGAN: And was pregnant and was begging you to let her have an abortion, would you really be able to look her in the eye and say, no, as her father?

SANTORUM: I would do what every father must do, is to try to counsel your daughter to do the right thing.

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: It’s an almost impossibly hypothetical thing to ask you, but there will be people in that position, and they will share your religious values.

SANTORUM: It’s not a matter of religious values.

MORGAN: And they are looking at their daughter ,saying, how can I deal with this, because if I make her have this baby, isn’t it going to just ruin her life?

SANTORUM: Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to youAs you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

First I want to say I’m proud of myself for not destroying my cell phone after reading a quick story (H/T to ThinkProgress) on this issue. My restraint for not slamming my phone down in rage has saved me a couple hundred bucks…

So, Rick Santorum not only wants victims to suffer at the hands of a system set up to sustain rape culture, but he also encourages them to carry their fetuses to term just to embrace the “gift of life.”

Hm…I wonder if he’s even talked to rape victims about the gift of life actual rapists attempt to away in their quest to violate a victim’s body.

I am more than tired of politicians like Rick Santorum dictating to women and rape survivors what they should or should not do with their reproductive organs. Rick Santorum has no damn right to tell a rape survivor she should give birth to a child a rape victim imposed upon her against her will. Rick Santorum and other politicians like him have no right to dictate to rape victims about how they should deal with the inconvenience of getting pregnant after a traumatic, life-changing experience.

What bothers me more about Santorum’s comments is not his black-and-white view on abortion, but his insinuation that somehow ‘killing her child” would “ruin her life.” For a long time, anti-abortion rights activists and their anti-choice politicians have promoted this idea that women who have abortions will somehow experience shame and regret, thus leading them to live a life full of emotional highs and lows. Abortion has been painted as this life-changing moment that will certainly lead to hysteria and mental illnesses if women choose to go down that road. Anti-choice activists have long feigned concern for a woman’s immediate physical and long-term mental health in their campaign to roll back constitutionally protected right to an abortion.

My problem with that thinking is it assumes that women are not mature enough to handle any possible physical or mental trauma associated with undergoing a common medical procedure. It assumes that women do not have the intelligence or acceptable mental capacity to make the decision to have an abortion.

Myself and other abortion rights supporters do not need politicians and anti-choice activists like Rick Santorum casting an eye of disapproval towards rape victims if they exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion. Anti-choice activists and politicians like Rick Santorum are not be entitled to force their extreme, reactionary beliefs upon a woman as she weighs all medical options in relation to her reproductive health.

Rape victims already have to “make the best out of a bad situation” when we are faced with law enforcement officers who aren’t equipped or properly trained on interviewing victims and collecting evidence to investigate rape cases. Rape victims already have to make the best out of a bad situation when friends and family members often doubt their story and lay the blame for the attacks at their feet. Rape victims and rape survivors have to make the best out of a bad situation when we have to cooperate with a criminal justice system set up to protect the rights of the accused and that places the burden on the victim to prove she did everything to prevent the rape from happening. Rape victims have to make the best of a bad situation when society’s perception of rape weighs heavily on whether or not she will proceed with pressing charges or even telling a soul that she was raped.

Rape victims have been making the best out of a bad situation for centuries and one of the tools they’ve been able to use to do so is the right to have an abortion. An anti-choice Rick Santorum presidency will give rape victims and survivors one less option they could use to make the best out of a bad situation and take back control of their lives.

  • Anonymous

    Rick Santorum is no better than men who force sex, and thus, rape on women after they say “No.” The correlation – these men don’t listen to what the women are saying, nor do they care for what women want done with the most sacred of private property – our own bodies. 

    It’s really sickening, their constant need to control women and tell us what is best for OUR bodies, and the path we should take for OUR lives. 

    He is incorrect about the constitution – which is first and foremost and liberty and freedom, not about the government making decisions into how people should live their lives. It is in fact, a safe guard we should uphold to PREVENT men like Santorum from dictating the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for women. 

    Abortion is not murder, and pregnancy from rape is not a “broken gift”… it is the biological consequence of a man forcing himself into a woman and ejaculating, all done without her consent – a burden only women bear. 

    Let women make the decisions on a strictly female condition, they are the experts and owners of their domain. 

    Excellent post, as usual :)

  • http://twitter.com/Brett_Cottrell Brett Cottrell

    Only a cruel man would punish the victim for the criminal’s crimes.  America outlawed involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, but Santorum would have impregnated rape victims involuntarily serve their attackers by making them bear their children.  Only a cruel man demands that a victim of a vicious crime must, for at least nine months, give of her body, her blood and her heartbeat to her attacker.   Deplorable.

    http://brettcottrell.blogspot.com/2012/01/cruelty-lacks-wisdom.html