LifeNews.com

Rick Santorum Shares Bold Pro-Life Message at Values Summit

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/7/11 4:14 PM

National, Politics

Rick Santorum made one of the strongest stands for human life of his Republican presidential campaign today when he spoke to thousands of pro-life activists at the Vales Voter Summit.

”Ladies and gentlemen, I am committed – we are committed – in the fight,” Santorum said, pulling his family on stage to talk about how he would work day and night as president to protect family values.

Santorum said the economy is the key concern in the 2012 presidential elections but added that it can’t be fixed without first addressing the pro-life and pro-family crisis in the nation:  “We cannot have a strong economy unless we have strong families and strong faith.”

Santorum recalled his involvement in the partial-birth abortion debate during his time in the U.S. Senate as a senator from Pennsylvania. He cited the federal ban on the gruesome abortion procedure as responsible for changing public opinion on abortion in general and making it so that more Americans hold a pro-life position today than in the past two decades. http://bit.ly/nnVvmV

“For the first time, the issue of life and the issue of partial-birth abortion brought to the reality that the choice was a little baby, because in a partial-birth abortion you couldn’t miss the baby, it was in the doctor’s hands, it was alive, it would be otherwise born alive,” he said.

The presidential hopeful described a conversation he had with pro-abortion Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat who typically supports abortion but was prepared to support the partial-birth abortion ban. Leahy asked for some of the time during the debate that Santorum was allowed in order to support the bill, but Santorum assumed Leahy sought time to opposed the pro-life bill and thought to himself that he should have asked abortion advocates for time.

“He walks up to me and says, I want 20 minutes of your time. … I said, are you sure you don’t want 20 minutes of her time?” Santorum said. “If you don’t give me time, I’m prepared to vote against your bill,” Santorum said Leahy responded.

“So I gave him 25 minutes,” Santorum said. “After four years of arguing this bill, of laying out my heart and soul on the floor of the Senate, Pat Leahy stood there, and in a pained fashion, finally admitted that the arguments we were making on the floor about this bill and about this horrific procedure were just too overwhelming to resist.”

Santorum then shared the story of his daughter Gabriel, who died two hours after her birth and recalled the way that affected him and his wife and family.

But his closing comments on the famous story about a baby crying out during the partial-birth abortion debate kept the audience riveted and on the edge of its seats and he talked about the Washington Post coverage of that moment.

“Not five feet away, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum turned to face the opposition and in a high, pleading voice cried out, ‘Where do we draw the line? Some people have likened this procedure to an appendectomy. That’s not an appendix,’ he shouted, pointing to a drawing of a fetus. ‘That is not a blob of tissue. It is a baby. It’s a baby,'” the report Santorum read said. “And then, impossibly, in an already hushed gallery, in one of those moments when the floor of the Senate looks like a stage set, with its rich wooden desks somehow too small for the matters at hand, the cry of a baby pierced the room, echoing across the chamber from an outside hallway. No one mentioned the cry, but for a few seconds no one spoke at all.”

Santorum concluded:  “We are committed to the cause of life and family and American exceptionalism. I have never put social issues and values issues on the back burner. I’ve been leading the charge.”