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Hypocrisy of the Sanctity of Life

By Vickie Stangl
Analysis | January 4, 2012

WICHITA, Kan. - As the Kansas legislature gears up for another session of spending most of their time on abortion bills, I could not help but reflect that Rick Santorum would be the presidential candidate to win Kansas.

Everyone knows a candidate in Kansas only has to support one issue to be electable; support the unborn. Nothing else matters; not a good jobs bill, not money for the arts or providing good healthcare and funding public education, but forcing women to give birth is the ticket to elective office in Kansas. This one issue defines evangelical conservatism across America as well.

Nothing illustrates this better than Rick Santorum's campaign leading up to the Iowa Caucus. A voter in Newton, Iowa asked Santorum about his reaction to a liberal journalists who criticized Santorum's decision to take his deceased infant home to show his other children.

The question quite naturally caused Santorum's wife to tear up.

Obviously, the tragedy of recalling the death of an infant child who lived just a few hours is an extremely sad memory to recall. One would have expected Santorum to quietly reply he would not comment on something so personal and painful but instead he cried and described the episode to the voters present.

His words and tears pulled on the heartstrings of the voters. He failed, however to mention that he and his wife are hypocrites when it comes to other women facing the same tough medical decisions about their pregnancies.

Not only do I reject Santorum's holier than-thou position on the sanctity of life, but I find it pretty self-serving to talk about something so personal before the voters. Dare I say, his discussion of the death of his child bordered on political expediency and revealed his true character as a man who will use any means at his disposal to win votes. Where I come from in Iowa, we are not supposed to talk about such deeply personal things in public, even if we are asked.

Mrs. Santorum discovered in her second trimester that their child had serious fetal abnormalities and when several medical interventions were tried, she developed a high fever and was rushed to the hospital.

The couple was told she would die if she continued with the pregnancy. She was just 20 weeks when the child was delivered and died soon after. The Santorum's rationalized, as any reasonable parents would, that it was better to save Mrs. Santorum's life rather than leaving her children without a mother.

Of course, their decision upset the pro-life principle that life is sacred and the loss of the mother is a small sacrifice a women must make. Suddenly, that pro-life principle was thrown out the window when the Santorum's had to face the reality of such a one dimensional and nutty choice.

What is most offensive is that the Santorum family had options with this doomed pregnancy that candidate Santorum would deny for other women. The Santorum's made the medical decision to take the drugs to save Mrs. Santorum but it ultimately lead to the premature birth of the child-or abortion, as they refused to call it.

There is no mistaking that if the pregnancy had continued without the intervention, Mrs. Santorum would have died. She chose life as so many other women choose to do every day ,and yet conservative Kansas legislators demonize these women and want to take away the choice the Santorum's were given.

The Santorum's certainly wanted all their options on the table when faced with such a tragic set of circumstance but when we are talking about other women and other families, Rick Santorum would prohibit any medical intervention to save the life of the mother.

To take that choice away from every other woman while electing to choose life for Mrs. Santorum, is what I call a hypocrite.

During his speech after the Iowa Caucus, Rick Santorum used his children once again by talking about his three-and-half-year-old daughter Isabella Maria who has a disability. He said the dignity of ever human life motivated him to run for president. This was a not so subtle code to voters that Santorum believes everyone facing the cost, care and stress of raising a disabled child should follow his example.

Of course, the dignity afforded to other women and families to determine their own decisions in such circumstances would be denied and rejected. Again, this is conservative hypocrisy at its finest.

The conservative tag line of "less government" doesn't mean less government intrusion in the most private decisions of a woman and family's life. It doesn't matter to conservatives in Kansas if a woman has been raped, if the pregnancy will kill the woman or emotionally destroy her mental health. The only thing that matters is giving birth unless of course, it is a conservative's daughter, sister or wife and then suddenly it's not an abortion-it's a pregnancy that had a bad outcome.

Conservative's obsession with the sanctity of life is just fraudulent. If life is so precious, war would be outlawed, guns would be destroyed, liquor taken off the market since it ruins so many lives in addiction and car accidents and polluting the earth and water would be seen as a death sentence to all humanity and laws would uphold the integrity and safety of the earth's resources. So much for the sanctity of life.

It's nice to know that as the 2012 legislative session begins, Kansans can look forward to the same sorry group of conservative legislators who are only interested in promoting their big egos, their extreme religious views and obsessing over finding clever ways to continue making women give birth against their will-unless of course you are a conservative and then God gives you free will to make an intelligent decision to have an abortion.

Look for Rick Santorum to visit Kansas and help our crack legislators write a bill to outlaw birth control.


Thank you Vicky, for giving us 'the inside story' on the pious Santorum character. It never ceases to amaze me that absolutes are only absolutes when 'I' say so. We all can find exceptions, when it is 'I' that needs the variance.

If this information, you have given us is true, why didn't someone point this out to the voters in Iowa? The whole nation has been listening to the Iowa candidates campaigning. Why didn't any of the other candidates bring this out? Could it be because they too have skeletons in their closet? We all do! But we all don't try legislating Biblical morals or any other religious morals on everyone else.

Yes, you are right about Kansas and the direction we seem to be headed with the present Governor and right wing conservative majority in our legisltature.

Please, continue to ferret out these contradictions in the everyday lives of those who have the power to sit in judgment of everyone. We can't elect perfect people, because no human being is perfect. But, we can certainly look at the character of a person and predict how they will handle certain situations.

News commentators do a poor job of analysis when it comes to reporting the news. This is true even of what once were the best outlets, such as NPR. If a candidate makes a statement, that statement goes unchallenged. I knew that Mrs. Santorum had had an abortion, no matter what they called it, a few years ago. It was a sad, sad thing that the family had to endure. However, she at least was able to do it legally and with the best medical care she could get.

I'm quite sure that the upcoming legislative session will be just as stupid as the last one was. I'm going to the Sedgwick County Democratic luncheon on Jan. 28th, where the new ED, Ruben Eckles, wants us to tell him what the Party's priorities should be. I will tell him that abortion rights and gay rights should be at the top of the list. So far, the Democratic Party has paid little attention to these issue. It's horrifying that those right-wing anti-choicers have gained so much power over the most personal aspects of our lives.

Thank you Ken. That's a very good question. The media is very reluctant to challenge any candiate about their prolife views. I'm not clear why Santorum was given a pass on this but what reporter had the nerve to ask "So,when your wife's life was in danger you elected to save her life. How is that different from other women in similar circumstances?" Journalists are not doing their jobs is the short answer to your question and they seem to want to avoid confrontation and just talk about polling and turnout and fundraising and blah,blah,blah.

It is so taboo to confront prolife candidates which explains why the nation has been held hostage to extremists views about abortion in this country since Roe. The prolife momement has been dividing and harming our nation politically since 1980 and yet, the media is very,very timid to confront this fact. It's like we know we have this serious illness in politics but no one wants to discuss how serious it is to the body politic.

Now that Santorum is in the sunlight from his virtual tie in Iowa, I hope we can count on a reporter pointing out the fact that in America, if you really value freedom, no public official or government agency should demand or support the a policy that women must die if their pregnancy develops complications or an 11 year girl raped by her cousin or stepfather should be forced to go through the trauma of childbirth.

The stories go on and on and they are so pesonal but prolife people use God to end the debate. We have to stop talking nonsense and it is nonsense every time the prolife people inject God into the conversation, since there is no need to listen to reason. God has got to come off the political table.

For centuries, political philosophers used the ridiculous phrase "God given rights" as if this is a fact when man just made up that phrase. The minute we are born, humans have the right to live free and unharmed because that is what is RIGHT and good, not because I believe God wants this-I want this for myself and everyone else.

I understand "God given rights" was rallying cry for the oppressed when earthly tyrants abused their subjects, but God has become the modern day tyrant who is untouchable in the great debate of life on earth and the prolife people understand how this insulates them from hard questions the moment they invoke God.

It is the government by human beings who determine the rules and addtional freedoms of their community but Santorum and other prolife candidates want God to determine the nations policies and NO one is pointing out how that is taking away the freedoms Americans claim to love in their democratic republic.

"God given rights" ??? I'm no theologian, but I'm of the opinion that man's given rights from God was the right to do as he pleased. That right meant that man would have to suffer the consequences of his choices. God doesn't guarantee the Christian any more physically or materially, on this earth, than He does for anyone else.The story (or account if you will) in Genesis says man made his choice and man and all mankind has suffered the consequences. For those who do not consider the Bible any more than man's imaginations and creations, this probably doesn't mean much. But for those who do put their faith in the account of man and his relationships with man and God, this story should say something.

The legislative hall is not the place for setting religious standards for anyone. That doesn't mean no one should use their religious standards to shape their political views or actions. Their is a difference between forcing and convincing through example of one's own lifestyle.

Neither is Kansas Free Press blog the place for declaring standards for someone else. It is a place to share our differences and show what I, or you, think is the best thing for society. Together we can make life better for all of us.

Frankly, I wish they would drop every social issue (abortion, gay rights, feminism, racial issues) and just concentrate on creating jobs and economic development.

But then looking back at 2008 and from the democrats it was all about hating Bush and "Yes we Can!". No real substance there either.

It's a sad situation! Why can't we stop the character assasinations? There is no need for condemnation of individuals. It is a human fault, not a partisan political or religious fault. We can oppose their policies without attacking them or accusing them of not being patriotic or being good Christians (or any other religious identity).

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