Rick Santorum Thinks Rape Victims Can't Make Good Decisions

rick santorumThe recent Republican presidential debate has been analyzed ad nauseam by pundits and journalists all over the web. But one of the moments that hasn't gotten a lot of attention was the ridiculous statement by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (he of Google fame) on the issue of abortion. Now, Santorum is notorious for his hardcore views on banning abortion even in instances of rape or incest. But at the debate his stance was even more extreme than usual. Here's what he said:


Fox News host Byron York asked Santorum whether he was too conservative to be electable even within his own party given that a large majority of Americans support some exceptions for abortion. Here's Santorum's response:

That child is an innocent victim ... To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life, genetically human from the moment of conception. We in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who have been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion, I think is too much to ask. So I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.

In one sense, he's simply reiterating his -- let's be honest -- infuriating view that women who are innocent victims of a crime like rape shouldn't have a say in what happens to them afterward. But it's the second piece of his statement that's even more disturbing: That women in these terrible rape situations are too traumatized to make a good decision as to whether or not they should have an abortion. Therefore, lawmakers (in our country, those are predominantly male) should make it for them.

Not only that, he's twisting these terrible situations and placing the blame on the woman resorting to an abortion after rape instead of the male rapist who is at the center of this violent crime. Santorum glosses over the violent act that has victimized the woman to focus solely on the fetus. He says so himself -- "to be victimized twice would be a horrible thing." But what about being victimized once? Isn't that horrible, too?

Surely, there is a way to make a "pro-life" statement that takes into account the lives of the fetus and the woman without completely disregarding one for the sake of the other.


Image via vharjadi/Flickr

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