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Enough to Give Hard-Heartedness a Bad Name

by | Oct 12, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

What I am about to write applies equally to pro- and anti-life forces. What we choose to ridicule—or this case, specifically, to trivialize as “a scrapbook moment indeed”—speaks volume about us.

You wouldn’t go to www.rhrealitycheck.org if you didn’t have a strong stomach. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a radical pro-abortion site which a fondness for abortion that would be hard to match.

Yesterday Robin Marty ran what can only be described as a hard-hearted, cruel item. Under the headline “Santorum Nostalgic for a Baby’s Cry,’” Marty mocked the comments former Senator Rick Santorum made at the Values Voter Summit.

She said he was “reminiscing about the good old days of fighting against partial birth abortion” in which Santorum quoted a newspaper article. Beyond the fact that he is pro-life what was Santorum proximate sin? That the article (written by the Post’s Marc Fisher) was “about himself.”

Talk about missing the boat. The context is the unsuccessful 1996 effort to overturn pro-abortion President Bill Clinton’s veto of the partial-birth abortion ban. Read the quote from the article that ran in the Washington Post and ask yourself what is Santorum really talking about.

“Not five feet away, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum turned to face the opposition and in a high, pleading voice cried out, ‘Where do we draw the line? Some people have likened this procedure to an appendectomy. That’s not an appendix,’ he shouted, pointing to a drawing of a fetus. ‘That is not a blob of tissue. It is a baby. It’s a baby.’

“And then, impossibly, in an already hushed gallery, in one of those moments when the floor of the Senate looks like a stage set, with its rich wooden desks somehow too small for the matters at hand, the cry of a baby pierced the room, echoing across the chamber from an outside hallway.

“No one mentioned the cry, but for a few seconds no one spoke at all.”

Regardless of your position on abortion, is that ALL this excerpt represents? It does to Ms. Marty, not just because of her position on abortion, but because she only read an excerpt from a pro-life site, rather than hear/read the remarks in their full context.  (You can read Mr. Santorum’s full remarks at http://thepage.time.com/2011/10/08/santorum-values-voter-summit-transcript/)

While it is true Santorum is in the story, he is in the dual context of a discussion of the horrific partial-birth abortion technique that Marty so glibly dismisses and the book his wife wrote, titled “Letters to Gabriel.” Gabriel Michael Santorum lived only two hours after his premature birth on October 11, 1996.

Mrs. Santorum recalled that Post story and added this:

“A coincidence?” Perhaps. A visitor’s baby was crying just as the door to the Senate was opened and then closed.

“Or maybe it was the cry from the son whose voice we never heard but whose life has changed ours forever.”

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