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Santorum: Prenatal testing is to ‘encourage abortions’

By David Edwards
Sunday, February 19, 2012 14:05 EDT
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Rick Santorum speaks to CBS News
 
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday suggested that “Obamacare” required free prenatal testing coverage because President Barack Obama wanted to see more disabled babies aborted.

The former Pennsylvania senators had told supporters on Saturday that the Affordable Care Act just created the requirement “because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.”

“You sound like you’re saying the purpose of prenatal care is to cause to have people to have abortions, to get more abortions in this country,” CBS host Bob Schieffer told Santorum on Sunday. “I think any number of people would say that’s not the purpose at all.”

“That’s simply not true,” Santorum replied. “The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero, and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions.”

“And in fact, prenatal testing, particularly amniocentesis — I’m not talking about general prenatal care,” he added. “We’re talking about specifically prenatal testing, and specifically amniocentesis, which is a procedure that actually creates a risk of having a miscarriage when you have it, and is done for the purposes of identifying maladies in the womb. And which in many cases — in fact, most cases physicians recommend — particularly if there’s a problem — recommend abortion.”

Santorum said that he had personal experience with the issue because his daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with a fatal chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18 shortly after her birth.

“I know you also had another child that was stillborn,” Schieffer noted. “Didn’t you want to know?”

“My child was not stillborn!” Santorum objected. “My child was born alive! He lived two hours. And by the way, prenatal testing was — we had a sonogram done there and they detected a problem. And, yes, the doctor said, ‘You should consider an abortion.’ This is typical, Bob. This is what goes on in medical rooms around the country.”

He continued: “And, yes, prenatal testing, amniocentesis does result, more often than not, in abortions. That is a fact.”

“Do you not want any kind of prenatal testing?” Schieffer wondered. “I mean, would we just turn our back on science?”

“Look, people have the right to do it,” Santorum admitted. “But to have the government force people to provide it free just has to me — is a bit loaded. … I think the president has a very bad record on the issue of abortion and children who are disabled, who are in the womb, and I think this is simply a continuation of that idea.”

Contrary to Santorum’s assertion, the Department of Human Services Office on Women’s Health says that “medical checkups and screening tests help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy.”

Watch this video from CBS’s Face the Nation, broadcast Feb. 19, 2012.

 
David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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