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The One-Sided Conflict: Santorum Attacked for Defense of Disabled Unborn | Faith Family and Freedom
The One-Sided Conflict: Santorum Attacked for Defense of Disabled Unborn PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 February 2012 13:09

On Saturday Santorum criticized Obamacare claiming it mandates prenatal testing.  Those of us familiar with the statistics on prenatal screening for Down Syndrome and other disorders are not alarmed by his words.  However, the pro-choice left is taking the occasion to feign outrage that he would criticize the provision of prenatal care.  They have set their sights on Santorum targeting him as an unreasonable anti-abortion ideologue who places his social agenda above prenatal care.  Sadly, even though many are not feigning their outrage, the left clearly is more concerned with the picture they choose to paint.  The Daily Kos, calling Santorum's comments grotesque, picked up on the reporting of MSNBC:


"Many doctors and medical experts would dispute Santorum's reasoning that the sole explanation for pre-natal testing is to have an abortion. There is value in pre-natal testing, because it can detect potential problems in utero or at delivery and allow parents and doctors to get the proper care for their child.  "Early detection of a fetal condition gives parents the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy in an early stage or to make the preparations necessary to best care for an affected child," Clare O'Connor, Ph.D., of the Biology Department at Boston College, wrote in Nature Education."


MSNBC makes Santorum's comments out to be dismissive of pre-screening testing as something good for the unborn child without noting that its not prenatal care that the screening makes possible but preparation for care after birth.  The blog post on the Daily Kos left out the quote from Clare O'Connor that regards using prenatal screening with the potential goal of obtaining an abortion.  Since 90% of unborn babies diagnosed in the womb with Down Syndrome are aborted, its reasonable to suggest that abortion is the ultimate goal of such screening.  That this fact is ignored in the analysis of the pro-choice left is consistent with how they approach the abortion conflict.

dailykos2Let's take a moment to understand how the pro-choice left mismanages the ethical conflict of abortion.  Conflict arises when a situation or proposed action(s) impact two opposing concerns.  In the case of abortion there are two basic goods at issue, the well being of the mother - what some reduce to a woman's right to determine her health care -  and the well being of the unborn child, which also refers to the child's right to life.  Despite the truth that the great majority of abortions occur in situations where the health and well being of mother and child can be preserved, the pro-choice left will never discuss the well being of the child.  For Santorum and pro-life Americans there is typically no conflict, we can love and protect both.  Somehow, the ever-so-reasonable and rational pro-choice left have done it again.  All they see in Santorum's comments is the imagined lack of concern for womens' health care not the harm that often accompanies prenatal screening.

Fortunately, Santorum has addressed their claim that he is making an unreasonable jump in logic and subordinating prenatal health care concerns to his pro-life agenda.  From The Christian Post, in an interview on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer Santorum said:

 "The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions...We know, Bob, that 90 percent of Down syndrome children in America are aborted. So, to suggest, where does that come from? I have a child who has Trisomy 18. Almost 100 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are encouraged to be aborted. So I know what I'm talking about here".

After the TV journalist said that Santorum had a child who was stillborn, the former Pennsylvania's senator interrupted to correct him.

"My child was not stillborn. My child was born alive. He lived two hours. And, by the way, we had a sonogram done there and had detected a problem and, yes, the doctor said, you know, consider an abortion. This is typical, Bob. This is what goes on in medical rooms around the country. And, yes, prenatal testing, amniocentesis, does in fact result, more often than not in this country, in abortion. That is a fact."

Here's video of his discussion on Face the Nation:


Dim lights


Remember the end game, characterize Santorum as anti-woman and an irrational ideologue.  A quick read of the comments following the Daily Kos article should tell the informed American that something is wrong there. We all have a stake in this argument. The abortion debate has swung in the favor of the unborn child and we should never allow cheap rhetoric to hide something as truly grotesque as the screening of Down Syndrome babies for abortion.

Thank you Rick Santorum for having the guts to take this battle to the public without buckling!



Some resources on the pre-natal screening issue:

National Catholic Partnership on Disability

NCBC Statement on Early Induction of Labor

Physicians for Life


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