Heartfelt Rick Santorum Confession Reveals His Hardest Fatherhood Moment (VIDEO)

Rick Santorum

Saturday in Iowa, gathered with five other Republican presidential hopefuls at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, Rick Santorum got real and raw about life with his daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18. Though he was using the story to make a point about abortion (many parents who find out they're carrying a child with this disease choose to abort), it was a heartfelt speech about parental love and hope that's worth hearing no matter where you stand on the issue.

He talked about how because of the deadliness of the disease -- 90 percent of children die from it within a year -- doctors encouraged him and his wife to "just let go" from the beginning. While he remained detached, his wife fought fiercely for Bella. He described how the doctors wouldn't give Bella oxygen on her dismissal from the hospital. "Then mama bear stood up," he said.


Bella got her oxygen and went through several near-death health scares, including one in which his wife resuscitated her and saved her life after she stopped breathing in his arms. It was after that in the hospital that Santorum realized what he'd been doing since she was born -- he hadn't been loving her: "I decided the best thing I could do was to treat her different, to not love her ... because it wouldn’t hurt as much if I didn’t love her."

Santorum said it was after that point that he realized because of her disease that he'd been treating her as "less than a person," and that since then, he's been committed to her and every child like her.

It's a touching story, and one that definitely brought tears to my eyes. I can't even imagine how I would function if I knew I was going to lose one of my children. I want to think I would love them every single second with all of my being and soak up every ounce of them that I could no matter how badly it would hurt in the end -- that I would love them even more. I don't, however, think any of us can predict what we'd do in such a situation, or judge others for what they do. But I do know it takes a lot of strength.

What do you think of Rick Santorum's speech about his daughter Bella?

Image via YouTube

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