Santorum: 'Life is a civil right'
January 24th, 2011
08:31 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: 'Life is a civil right'

(CNN) - Republican 2012 presidential hopeful Rick Santorum ramped up his criticism of President Barack Obama's stance on abortion writing Monday for the National Review.

This follows a controversy sparked Thursday when the former senator made comments to CNSnews.com comparing abortion with slavery and criticizing Obama's stance on abortion. In the article Santorum explains the merit of his comments, stating that the president has "wrapped himself in the history and legacy of civil rights."

But in the scathing rebuttal to critics posted on the National Review's "The Corner" Monday, the former senator from Pennsylvania also lashed out against the "condemnation" he says he received "mostly, but not exclusively, from the left." And to those who thought their words would silence him, Santorum said they "obviously haven't done a Google search."

"Over a million lives will be taken this year, and a disproportionate percentage of these children will be black. How is this any less a civil-rights issue than any other issue we tie to civil rights?" Santorum wrote.

He further blasts Obama for education choices made for the first family.

"When we point out that our president does not allow the educational choice for poor black children in Washington, D.C., that he provides to his own children, does that make headlines?" he writes, continuing that his support comes from both sides of the aisle.

Citing first, Rev. Jesse Jackson: "In 1977, the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote, 'I believe that life is not private, but rather it is public and universal. If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery.'

He also sees support in President Reagan's writings: "In 1983 Pres. Ronald Reagan wrote: 'is is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives.The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade...'"

Santorum further compares Obama's response to the question of when life began as "above my pay grade" with Stephen Douglas, the Democratic presidential candidate who lost to Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and who, he wrote, had a "don't care" attitude toward the question of personhood for blacks.


Filed under: Abortion • Rick Santorum
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    Rick Santorum,another one who has Not A Clue. WHERE do they get these people,Good Lord!

    January 24, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Marcus

    '"When we point out that our president does not allow the educational choice for poor black children in Washington, D.C., that he provides to his own children, does that make headlines?" he writes, continuing that his support comes from both sides of the aisle.'

    First, the obvious...
    WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THE 'ABORTION' ISSUE?
    Trying desperately to shift the spotlight from yourself because youcan't stand the heat?
    Then don't make stupid and asinine comments/assertions (like this one)!

    Second, the even more obvious...
    With Al Qaeda, domestic lunatics and/or terrorists and all that...
    Do you honestly thinks that the POTUS should not provide the best for his daughters and not necessarily endangers everybody else's sons and daughters (that goes to the same school that his daughters goes to), especially those who CAN'T afford the bill of the security system and modifications in the security protocols that the daughters of the POTUS brings with them everyday when they go to school?
    He can affords the bill (HE is paying fortheir education, not tax payers doillars), so his daughters' education is his problem.

    January 24, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Vidhya

    Why are people still arguing this ridiculous issue. Stay out of my body. Women have been doing abortions for years and they will continue to happen even if abortion is made illegal. An embryo is not viable, and a fetus is only viable once you get into the 6-7 month range. If I want to get rid of a clump of 8 week old cells it's my business, my life, my body.

    January 24, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. Derek from Liberal America

    If life is a civil right, I suppose health should be one, too.

    January 24, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. Marcus

    Since he can't find words to explain his weird idea (first time that I ever heard someone linking abortion to slavery) he using words of other people to do that.
    P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C
    Because it's not working man.

    January 24, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. finn

    yup, life is as much as a civil right as is gay marriage.

    January 24, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Ballymore

    This guy is right up there with George Allen. A Senate loser who's trying to get his moment in the sun. He's a loser. The press should just ignore him, for crying out loud.

    January 24, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    So explain the Republican view on welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any social program. Oh yeah, they're lazy and don't want to work. So what's your plan, just put the kids out in the street? Dump them on doorsteps?

    January 24, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. bobby

    If life is a civil right Mr. Santorum, then you should come out in FAVOR of the health care bill. An average of 45,000 people die per year due to lack of health insurance.

    January 24, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    "Life is a civil right" quoth the man whose party and whose faction within that party have fought with all their heart against every form of civil-rights initiative. While he clearly learned a lot about religion and self-righteousness in his youth, he apparently never took in one important lesson that most learn from their mother: Mind Your Own Business!

    January 24, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. walt

    Go away Ricky!! We voted you down in PA baby, your' 15 minutes are so over.

    January 24, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. Jacob

    but the right to marry as two consenting adults of the same sex is not a civil right!? guess what? IT IS!

    January 24, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. Lisa P

    Funny how the rights of the mother always get left out of this equation. No fetus is a "human life" without the contribution made by a woman. That contribution should only be a gift, freely made. Forcing a woman to bear a child she does not want is slavery; forcing her to bear it when doing so could be injurious to her health is assault, or worse, murder. A woman *is* a human being, and because of that deserves full respect and responsibility for her choices.

    Of course, if Mr. Santorum would like to apply his "life is a civil right" dictum to the health care reform debate and *actual* people I would be very interested in hearing the conclusions he comes to, because his education example sounds a lot like socialism to me.

    January 24, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. lynn

    Just how many babies does Santorium promise to raise and support from women who feel they must abort? Put up or shut up Santorium.

    January 24, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. Kara

    Wow! What a disgusting human being!
    if 'life' is a civil right, does that mean that trees get a vote when they turn 18? becuase they have a more complex structure that the undifferentiated single cell that a fertilized ovum becomes.
    And furthermore, where do WOMEN'S civil rights fall in this racist lowlife's plan? or does he believe we're all just useful incubators for our republican lords and masters?

    January 24, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Please go away

    Sorry Santorum, but no matter how much you use President Obama as a means to the nomination, IT WON'T WORK. All anyone with an ounce of common sense has to do is realize that you were beaten soundly for your senate seat. If the people of PA don't want you, what makes you think that the rest of us do. Please sit down

    January 24, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Kara

    And furthermore, do poor white children get to go to the same school as HIS kids, or does he just think ALL black kids should go to crummy schools, even the president's children?

    January 24, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. CK1

    Yawn! Just another Republican that feels the most important issues facing our nation today are social issues. Funny how quickly we go from being focused on jobs and reducing the debt to overturning every law of the land that the church doesn't agree with.

    January 24, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. Mr. Moderate

    Santorum dare not tread on the issue of educational choice. One of the many reasons us Pennsylvanian's threw him out office was the fact he was living full time in Virginia with his family, yet charging the tax payers of Pennsylvania the cost of educating his kids through a Pennsylvania based cyber school.

    January 24, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Jon

    Wow. Continuing with our flashback to the 90's here, apparently... Look. Seriously. Isn't life complicated enough at this moment without resurrecting old problems we know we're not going to be able to agree upon?

    January 24, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. OneMoreTime

    So this idiot wants to mix apples and oranges. Dred Scott dealt with the legality of ownership of human beings, ie slavery.
    If he wants to accept that "owning people" is unconstitutional, then he must accept the concept that women own their
    bodies. While abortion is usually unacceptable, he should look at the reasons for the decisions that are made by women.
    Were they raped, was incest involved, did the person abusing these women have access to the much touted and
    beloved "viagra" and is this impotent solving medicine given to known child molesters, known rapists, or any man who
    "feels the need"? While it has enhanced many couples' lives, is there a limit on who gets this "privilege"?
    As for the "above my pay grade" comment, President Obama, I think, meant he is not the ultimate judge, only God is,
    and that is something we all need to remember when we so blatantly pass judgement on those who disagree with
    our personal opinions.

    January 24, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Tam

    When Santorum has an unwanted pregnancy (maybe the condom broke or the pill didn't work) - only then can he comment on abortion.

    January 24, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. bennie new york

    It's sick and appalling for Santorum to even act like he cares about the problems facing the black community and that he would try to advocate for them. Last I checked, African Americans are overwhelmingly pro-choice, and I hope that Jackson, Sharpton, and the NAACP rip Santorum to shreds for this. If you manipulate race to advocate for veiws the people you claim to speak for don't even hold, you won't get away with it. Not in 2011. Santorum is a pig, and I trust the American people can see that pretty clearly.

    January 24, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Sbtcpa

    I am in complete agreement with Sen. Santorum. Life is the ultimate civil right, yet pro-choice opponents continue to deny that basic right to millions each year. This is an abomination and must stop. Roe v. Wade should have never become law and it's time to overturn it.

    January 24, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. Sbtcpa

    I said "opponents", should have said "proponents"

    January 24, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
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