Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday that all abortions should be illegal without exceptions for rape or incest.

“Do you believe there should be legal exceptions for rape and incest when it comes to abortion?” NBC’s David Gregory asked Santorum.

“I believe that life begins at conception and that life should be guaranteed under the Constitution,” Santorum replied.

“Even in the case of rape or incest? That would be taking a life?” Gregory pressed.

“That would be taking a life,” Santorum agreed. “I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion — I would advocate that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so. I have never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them.”

“I do believe that life is sacred,” he added. “It’s one of those things in the Declaration of Independence. We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. The first is life and I believe that life should be protected at the moment it is a human life. And at conception, it is biologically human and it’s alive and it’s a human life and should be a person under the Constitution.”

Watch this video from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast June 12, 2011.


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