Rick Santorum’s Pro-Choice Past

On Tuesday morning, Rick Santorum’s spokesman Hogan Gidley was interviewed by MSNBC.  He said something that we’ve all gotten quite used to on the campaign trail – yet another slam against Gov. Romney for becoming pro-life.  In extolling his own candidate, he said:

“I mean, that’s who he is,” Gidley said. “He doesn’t have to tack to the right on social issues like Mitt Romney because he actually firmly believes those things.”

However, this morning, I came across this interesting Huffington Post article which shows that Santorum apparently was pro-choice until he ran for public office:

In a December 1995 Philadelphia Magazine article — which the Huffington Post pulled from Temple University archives — Santorum conceded that he “was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress… But it had never been something I thought about.” Asked why he changed his mind, he said that he “sat down and read the literature. Scientific literature,” only to correct himself and note that religion was a part of it too.

So why does this matter?  Aren’t we glad when people change their minds?  Of course!  We have maintained for years that pro-lifers should be thrilled when we win converts from the pro-abortion mindset.  Is that why we’re having conversations across the country?  To convince people to change?  So why, when people do actually change their minds, do we wag our finger at them and say, “Well, that took you long enough.”

In other words, Santorum’s pride and arrogance towards Gov. Romney – a man much more qualified to run this country – is unjustified and offensive. You didn’t see this contempt towards Fred Thompson (who ran as a pro-choice candidate in 1994 in Tennessee) and you didn’t even see it towards Rick Perry (who endorsed the ONLY pro-choice candidate in 2008).

Gov. Romney had a pro-life conversion as did a lot of candidates – including Sen. Santorum. Let’s retire the condescension and be thankful that our message of life is resonating.

See also: Santorum is Running for Pastor-in-Chief

About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • http://rightcal.blogspot.com Calvin Freiburger

    Good article. But to be fair, I’m not aware of Santorum himself ever suggesting that Romney’s pro-life conversion is insincere.

  • Liz

    Woah. This is what we affectionately call a DEAL BREAKER. His pristine moral code was all he really had going for him.

  • lorrainecunningham

    I am uncomfortable wiht the piety of rick santorum. God knows what is in peoples hearts. I am not a mormon I am a catholic. I really prefer that people follow their hearts and not judge other peoples sexuality. Let he who has not sinned etc. etc. Mitt Romney seems to have lived a decent life,he knows about the economy we need more like him. If given the chance I will vote for him.

  • Larry

    OK, though Rick is not my first choice it appears that as he positioned himself for his first run he began to examine the issue of abortion. In so doing the obvious choice was an essentially pro-life choice. Good. Very good.

    Romney’s choice? When choosing to run for the Senate he chose abortion. When running for governor several years later he again chose abortion.

    Am I missing something here?

  • Larry

    An interesting new video from Slate on this very matter … http://www.slatev.com/video/romneys-abortion-record-spin-vs-truth/

    • Alma

      And just to be fair, check out this site: http://www.teapartyforromney.com/.
      It seems there is more than one way to interpret those quotes noted in the Slate video (which I noticed put words in, or took words out of Romney’s mouth on more than one occasion).

  • Linda

    Romney hit Santorum on his past pro-choice view in the debate tonight. Senator Santorum voted for a contraceptive mandate that included Plan B in Congress/federal employees health insurance policy. The majority of republicans voted for the mandate, including all of the ones that are currently making the most noise:
    John Boehner,
    Newt Gingrich,
    Eric Cantor,
    Roy Blunt,
    Mitch McConnell,
    Darrell Issa

  • cypher20

    Thanks for pointing this out. It does annoy me how people treat Romney regarding his pro-life views (among other things). Ann Coulter pointed out in a recent article that it seems to be hip now to consider yourself “hoodwinked by the Establishment”, to me that seems to go hand-in-hand with a defeatist attitude I see among some conservatives. We argue for conservatism until we’re blue in the face but don’t expect anyone to actually change their minds. Thus, when someone like Romney does, instead of celebrating we dig up 25 year old quotes and completely ignore how he actually governed only a few years ago. Don’t actions speak louder than words? And honestly, I hope that in 25 years I’ve grown and matured some and maybe don’t hold every single view that I hold now (I’m not arrogant enough to think I know it all). Politics is what it is unfortunately, but I would hope that at least more of the pundits would point out this kind of hypocrisy, instead they seem to blithely repeat the “Romney is a flip-flopper” line ad nauseam.


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