Santorum, Rand Paul lead abortion opposition March for Life
January 25th, 2013
02:34 PM ET
1 year ago

Santorum, Rand Paul lead abortion opposition March for Life

(CNN) - Opponents of abortion congregated on the National Mall in Washington on Friday and counted several prominent members of Congress and other political figures among their ranks.

The demonstrators at the March for Life marked the 40th anniversary earlier this week of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of abortion rights in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade.

"Give these poor children who are all too often if they're discovered in the womb to have a disability, all too often aborted, please give them a chance," said Rick Santorum, the former senator and 2012 presidential candidate. "Welcome them into our home as you here welcome them into our human family."

His plea was very personal: Santorum and his wife, Karen, are raising a four-year-old, Bella, who suffers from the developmental disorder Trisomy 18. Many children born with the disorder either die before birth or before their first month, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Santorum put on hold his White House run and eventually ended after his daughter was repeatedly hospitalized, and as the electoral math made winning the GOP nomination unlikely.

"One of our little ones is not here, but she made quite an impression on this country as a result of the race that we were involved in last year," he said. "And what we saw from our little girl, a little girl that we were encouraged to abort, we were encouraged to abort her, because well, she was going to be saddled with disabilities and it would be better for her. But we all know that death is never better."

Sen. Rand Paul, a first-term Kentucky Republican who is a physician, spoke about times he looked "into the eyes of one-pound babies … cradled their small bodies in the palm of one hand."

"I believe that great nations and great civilizations spring from a people who have a moral compass," Paul said. "Our nation is adrift, adrift in a wilderness where right and wrong have become subservient to a hedonism of the moment. I believe our country is in need of a revival."

House Speaker John Boehner recorded a video message for the event and spoke about the importance for the anti-abortion movement of "defining human rights as the issue of our time because human life is not an economic or political commodity and no government on earth has the right to treat it as such."

Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican and strong opponent of abortion, blasted the "infamous, reckless, and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to the abortionists."

"Know this, Mr. President, the pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion, we are on the right side of responsible science and of history," he said, directing his remarks at President Barack Obama.

Other speakers at the event included faith leaders, anti-abortion activists, and women who said they regretted having abortions.

They bundled up, braving wind chill temperatures in the mid-20s for the rally in the shadow of the Capitol. As attendees left the rally to march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court building, snow began to fall.

"When the Supreme Court made their decision forty years ago they certainly didn't do us any favors," said Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black, "but they certainly didn't do us any favors in doing it in January. Yet despite that, the threat of snow and ice did not keep you all away. Thank you so much for being here today."


Filed under: Abortion • John Boehner • Rick Santorum
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. David C.

    Safe and legal abortion is safer than illegalizing it. IMO

    January 25, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Right-wingers love to rant about the evils of abortion (and even contraception), the number of people on food stamps & welfare, and the high cost of Medicaid. Does it ever occur to them that unwanted children are the greatest contributor to the costs of food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid?

    January 25, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. n, tx

    Sen Paul has your patents not taught u how to respect SOS Mrs Clinton, enjoy the last 2 years in Sen. Because u Will lose the election next year.

    January 25, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. AZ Girl

    When will you, pro-life or pro/choice, all realize one big thing. IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! It is between a woman, her partner, her Dr and HER beliefs, not yours. What ever happened to less govt intrusion into your life?

    January 25, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Yes, please prevent the abortion of disabled children. Nothing says "America loves you" like "we made sure you were born into a world in which we killed SS, Medicaid and the rest of the New Deal type programs you would've needed."

    January 25, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Moose

    I have a hard time when someone tells someone else what to do with thier body.

    January 25, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. California Gary

    These "pro-life" people.....aren't they the same ones that are also "pro-death penalty" and "pro-gun" folks? The same ones that don't want to have to pay taxes because they don't want their money going to the needy? These people don't put much of a premium on anyone's life but their own.......so it seems a little odd to me that they label themselves "pro-life".....

    January 25, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    These anti-abortionists have hijacked the term and phrase "pro-life". If they are so "pro-life", then why are they so in favor of the death penalty. If they are so "pro-life", then why on earth are they so pro-gun ready to shoot the bad guys. Remember, the Jesus they claim to love so much said, "turn the other cheek." If they are so "pro-life", then why are they so against helping the sick, the poor, and the weak?

    January 25, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Yawn. Westboro 2.0 much?

    January 25, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    I am opposed to abortion, but these idiots are causing me to rethink my position. Actually, maybe post natal abortion for 40 year old tea baggers might be a good idea.

    January 25, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. kayla

    and i thought GOVERNMENT should stay out of our lives, ANIMAL FARM.

    January 25, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Yet 'these people' have no problem with the death of 26 kids and teachers in an elementary school.

    January 25, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Alfenius J. Whoppee

    The conservatives want to eliminate abortion so there will be more young men and women to be sent off to die in battle. And, as callous as it seems, if you made a decision and regretted it later–join the club. That's life–no pun intended.

    January 25, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Len

    Yes.....as John Boehner indicated ...human rights is the issue of our time......That is why we must stand up for equality in gay marriage, right to make sure semiautomatic weapons are not sold, all cultures are treated equally..white, black, brown.....immigrantion problem must be solved.....We all have rights.....do not pick and choose your beliefs unless all people are treated with respect and dignity...

    January 25, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. spacecalculus

    “Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    January 25, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. wgf

    "infamous, reckless, and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to the abortionists."

    I guess this is the rhetoric of the new likable GOP ?

    January 25, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Tampa Tim

    Now the president is being blamed for the law of the land for over 50 years? Religious zealots are funny, if you overlook how dangerous they are.

    January 25, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. jennymay

    What makes one's moral opinion superior to another? Who on earth has to authority to dictate how anyone lives their own lives and treats their own bodies? The way I see it, if you don't let these woman make this decision themselves, then someone else is making it for them. Someone who doesn't know the woman, someone who isn't involved in the situation. And that is terrifying.

    January 25, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. rs

    Remember when Jindal made his "stop saying stupid things" comment? It didn't last long, eh?

    January 25, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Fai is Fair

    Larry L

    Right-wingers love to rant about the evils of abortion (and even contraception), the number of people on food stamps & welfare, and the high cost of Medicaid. Does it ever occur to them that unwanted children are the greatest contributor to the costs of food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid?
    ------
    You really can't put human life in terms of dollars, Larry. Medicare is bigger than Medicaid and food stamps combined – should we just go and kill everyone over the age of 65 to save money?

    January 25, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The only way abortion rates will be reduced will be a concerted effort to have women be able to control their own reproduction (get something to switch their reproductive organs on and off at will), have any woman who has an unplanned pregnancy be given complete pre-natal care and have someone ready to adopt the child from day one.

    January 25, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. nothing new here

    If the "Party of Stupid, aka the GOP" would do more to expand access to cheap birth control, education, help for needy families, we would not have to deal with all this abortion.
    These people scream about abortion, but do little to push for alternatives. Plus, outlawing abortion will only drive this business bac into the back alleys. At least keeping it legal, keeps it safer, and can be regulated.
    Just like marijuana, the GOP and rightwingers don't get it. So now it is time for all freethinking people to stand up to all this small thinking.

    January 25, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Facts don't Lie

    Men leading opposition to abortion..I wonder when was the last time either Paul or Santorum was pregnant?

    January 25, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    I take it that planting bombs in clinics then more bombs so first responders also die is okay with these lunatics?
    These hypocrites think killing doctors in church such a sacred place for them is okay?
    Somebody tell them that they are the traitors, killers and human mutants! Imhope we get 10" of sow and they are stranded in the Mall overnight.

    January 25, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. jbo

    Fact- On 9/11/11 about 3,000 innocent Americans died. What did our country do?
    EVERY DAY about 3,000 innocent Americans die by abortion. What does our country do????
    Interesting perspective to think of the numbers in that way.

    January 25, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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