Rick Santorum’s Dead Baby Etiquette


The loss of a child is the worst nightmare of any parent. For almost any parent, the loss of a child that had become a part of your life would surely be worse than the loss of a pregnancy with a child that never became part of your family. However the loss of a baby is traumatic for everyone who was hoping for the birth of the child. Certainly the further along in a pregnancy, the more difficult it would be for everyone if the baby died before birth. The good news is that Rick Santorum seems to know just how to deal with this most difficult of situations. Rick seems to feel that he is better equipped to make decisions for other people than the people themselves who are struggling with a wide variety of tragedies in their lives, or difficult decisions about their private sexual relationships. I know I am so glad to know that I can rely on Rick Santorum to determine what type of sexual relationship my husband and I should have in the privacy of our bedroom. Since nobody is there to know what we do in our bedroom, who can we turn to except Rick to tell us what God thinks?! .

Much controversy has surrounded the publicized book of Rick Santorum’s wife, “Letters to Gabriele.”

Ms. Santorum describes her book by saying that “What began as a normal pregnancy for Karen ended with serious difficulties just as her husband Rick Santorum (Republican – Pennsylvania) was leading the charge against partial birth abortion in the U.S. Senate.”

First there was the commentary by Alan Colmes, a Fox News Commentator, who was critical of the fact that the Santorums took the body of the dead baby home to show their children, to see and play with their brother.  Then commentators were critical of Colmes, and he issued an apology. 

The manner in which the Santorums dealt with this most private of matters should be private. Obviously they did the best they could at the time.  However reducing this event to a book, the Santorums made their approach public.

The background on this incident was that Mrs. Santorum was in her 19th week of pregnancy when a radiologist told her that the fetus had a fatal defect that could only be fixed through a surgical procedure which was described as a  “long-shot” and carried a high risk of infection.  Two days later when Karen developed a 105 degree fever and was diagnosed with an intrauterine infection. The fetus was the source of the infection, and Karen was told that she would likely die unless the fetus was removed. Rick Santorum said. “Obviously, if it was a choice of whether both Karen and the child are going to die or just the child is going to die, I mean it’s a pretty easy call.” Karen also agreed that for the sake of her living children she would have terminated the pregnancy if her life was in danger. .

The incredible thing is that when discussing his position on abortion, Rick Santorum has made the bold proclamation that medical considerations are “phoney”!!!!

Thus medical considerations for his wife are real, and justified termination of the pregnancy. Medical considerations for anyone else are “phoney”. Santorum also feels it is appropriate for HIM to decided that in cases of rape and incest that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be his choice, and he always chooses “NO” for any woman or child in that situation.  Rick Santorum also seems to feel that HE is the best person to decide issues about another person’s choices about who to have sex with, and what specific forms of sex are appropriate. Rick Santorum cried when asked in an interview about this tragic, and most personal of events in his life. However when talking about the tragic events and most personal of decisions of other people’s lives, Rick isn’t so sensitive or tearful. The tears Santorum shed are tears he should be shedding for every person who has faced a difficult situation in their lives, and politicians tried to limit or control their decisions. It makes me cry to think that politicians of any party feel it is their place to control decisions that have been made by people facing the most difficult of decisions, whether to abort a pregnancy,or what type of sex they want to have in the privacy of their bedrooms, and with whom.

26 thoughts on “Rick Santorum’s Dead Baby Etiquette

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  1. Santorum is a real BUFFOON! I can’t believe he has any followers! People so ignorant that give him the time of day!! Almost like Jim Baker!! Now thats what makes me sad!

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  2. Oh Malia,
    Where to begin. This touches my heart…I cannot imagine losing a child. Writing about that loss may be a way to give meaning and value to that child…in utero or??? That being said I wholeheartedly agree with you. Ricky…you would do better to myob. God is my judge…not you with your hypocritical nonsense…do unto others as you would wish to be dealt with…hopefully God is in a benevolent mood when She deals with you…otherwise, you will and should be sent to that hell you so vigorously and vehemently prescribe for others…no one is above God’s Law…

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  3. Another “Do as I say,not as I do” Republican hypocrite. Do he and his wife only have sex when trying to conceive a child? As I recall from long ago Catholic teaching,sex is for procreation only,not pleasure.Anything else was a sin. Now granted it has been a long time since I quit that outdated religion and its’ practice,but,I find it hard to believe the Church has changed much in twenty years from what I have seen and read. Lil’ Rick is another weak,ignorant twit trying to force his beliefs on the rest of us to maintain control.Why are these type of pathetic excuses for men so scared of those of us who can think and act for ourselves? Does it make them less somehow in their limited world? Don’t understand it,never will,and don’t ever want to.

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  4. As someone posting elsewhere stated regarding the TP zealots/bigots,”Their small government = small enough to fit into a vagina.”

    Personal, private choices like the Santorums made are just that, personal and private and not suitable for public policy.

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  5. At lunch a group of us women were briefly discussing the current crop of Republicans.

    None of the above, though Perry seemed to garner a load of scorn. Romney for his flip flopping, they didn’t know much yet about Santorum, but think all of them are unelectable.

    As they say they one thing for the stupid electorate, and for themselves do another, whatever suits them at the moment.

    Hypocrites.

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  6. I just don’t understand how the Santorums have gotten away with a very public partial-birth abortion, and yet he continues to demonize other women who must make such a tragic decision. How does this work exactly.

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  7. I am so glad you decided to give more attention to this abject hypocrisy of Santorum. Several days ago I responded to an HP article about him and mentioned how he carved out a late term exception to his wife’s pregnancy via the surgery and the medication and I was nearly blasted to another planet by the comments. I was amazed how many folks felt it was just fine for this to happen in Ricky’s world but it should be absolutely denied for other expectant couples. I hope I was just unlucky enough to get that day’s trolls because I can’t believe the majority of people agree with his hypocrisy regardless where they stand on the abortion issue. We had a third trimester situation in the family where we were told the baby was no longer ‘viable’ which means no signs of life. Still had to get ‘permission’ from the CA advisory board to approve the final procedure and it took several days. The other choice was to let her continue the pregnancy and give birth to a stillborn. It made an already traumatic situation far more painful for everyone concerned. Santorum should NEVER be allowed to make decisions for others and I hope he finds himself at the bottom of the pile quickly when the public discovers what a rasputin he is.

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    1. dz, In doing the research for this article, I listened to a lot of Santorum interviews and he repeatedly mentioned some idea advocated by Ron Paul and indicated he thought Ron Paul had a good idea. I couldn’t help but wonder if he is trying to position himself as a possible VP candidate with Paul.

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  8. Omamma, I too have wondered about this … I kind of think the Santorums are using this baby’s death to their political benefit. It is a dog whistle issue and reminds me of Sarah Palin and her use of Trig as a campaign prop. I think privacy is the issue and we keep seeing right-wing politicians invite all of us into the most private areas of their lives. I am simply not interested in anyone’s sex life or reproductive issues.

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    1. jenny,
      Yes, writing a book about the experience invites criticism, but when criticism is lodged against them about this event we are called crass and inappropriate, but who says that Mrs. Santorum was inviting this type of criticism. It’s like writing a book about the oral sex you have with your husband, and then claiming in a political campaign that sodomy is against God’s will.

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  9. Excellent post, Malia!
    Alan Colmes and Eugene Robinson both screwed up – in my opinion they should have pointed out the hypocrisy that Karen Santorum had an ABORTION – TO SAVE HER LIFE, something that Rick Santorum would deny to all other women. Instead, Colmes mockingly said they brought the dead baby home to “play” with their other children, and Eugene Robinson didn’t help when he remarked that it was “weird”. Because of the crass comments by these MEN, now the Santorums are soaking up the pity party, when the whole point should have been about the hypocrisy of the 20 wk abortion. I have heard so many wrong accounts: that it was “stillborn”, or that it was a “premature birth”. The fact is, it was a 20 wk fetus with a fatal defect whose birth was artificially induced to end the pregnancy, or Karen would die. The humane procedure would have been to give the fetus a shot of barbiturates to stop it’s heart before inducing labor. But you must remember Rick Santorum’s interference in the Terri Schiavo case – extreme to the max, and phoney!
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/rick-santorum-terri-schiavo-6633360
    “In 2005, Santorum made headlines — not all positive — for visiting the deathbed of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a national right-to-die controversy. What my Philadelphia Daily News colleague John Baer later exposed was that the real reason he was in the Tampa, Fla., area was to collect money at a $250,000 fundraiser organized by executives of Outback Steakhouses, a company that shared Santorum’s passion for a low minimum wage for waitresses and other rank-and-file workers. Santorum’s efforts were also aided by his unusual mode of travel: Wal-Mart’s corporate jet. And he canceled a public meeting on Social Security reform “out of respect for the Schiavo family” even as the closed fundraisers went on.”

    I have a strong feeling the doctors would have recommended stopping the heart of the fetus before they began the inducement – but Rick’s political reputation would require the fetus to suffer and die OUTSIDE the womb. No compassion, even for his own progeny.

    It is tragic when a pregnancy ends in the loss of the baby a couple had looked forward to having. But Mother Nature does this ALL THE TIME, in humans and animals. I understand their grief. I don’t understand taking the dead fetus home to their small children. That just seems so inappropriate. I just can’t imagine the hospital allowing them to remove the fetus from the hospital to take it home.

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  10. It wasn’t even a baby. It was a non-viable 20-week fetus who doctors said would not survive out of womb even if carried to term.

    How CONVENIENT that he was able to excuse the drug-induced abortion based on the possibility that his wife would perish without those drugs.

    How MORBID that he tried to do penance for the act by handling and transporting (according to his book) the dead fetus to his home to be petted by his living children, with he and his wife even sleeping with the fetal corpse.

    How GRUESOME that he has framed pictures of the unborn corpse sitting next to those of his living children on his desk.

    I’m sorry, but no way in hell does a person who does this qualify as a candidate for US President.

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    1. Ennealogic,
      Can you imagine what he might do if elected President, and his mom or dad, or close relative died. Outrageous to think about!

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  11. An intro by Dr Laura Schesslinger? Isn’t she the one that was fired from radio for using the N word over and over during a broadcast? OMG!

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  12. Ha! I forgot to compliment you on the picture of Santorum with the Hitler mustache! Santorum wants to be POTUS (Poop Of The United States, or Pope Of The United States). I cannot imagine what would happen to our country if he made it to the White House. Then I remember the Diebold machines, and I shudder.

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  13. These creepy, rightwing, lunatics cause all of us indigestion and it’s obvious to me there’s a significant, shared outrage. We’re all sick of it. We all want them to STFU.

    I console myself with the absolute knowlege that santorum will never, ever be elected to anything…..except asshole of the century.

    Any man that brings his wife’s dead fetus home to spend the night is a very sick and unhealthy person. Bet they all slept well that night. And what is the point of doing such a horrible thing? Why? Why would you do that?

    That’s so unsanitary and icky just for starters. If something dies inside of you, it’s probably not a good idea to bring it home with you.

    Is that some kind of twisted guilt trip for his wife? “Look what you did! You failed this fetus and now look at it’s lifeless body! We’re all gonna spend the night thinking about this dead fetus in the living room so not only are you crushed over the unexpected ending, you will now have this image burned into your brain forever!! Give it a kiss goodnight.”

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    1. shughes2853,
      That’s not even considering the fact that the fetus’ demise was brought on by a bacterial infection, so it would have been full of that bacteria.

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  14. Of all the hypocritical asshole Republicans running at this point, Santorum pisses me off the most. I really believe he deserves a brown frothy pit in hell. Unfortunately, there are legions of sanctimonious Christians who will nod and murmur in approval at his explanation of his wife’s late term abortion. Where the hell are the archbishops who need to condemn him and his holy wife for doing what they have forbidden others to do? For fuck sake, they excommunicated a nun hospital administrator for allowing a doctor to save the life of a mother and sacrifice a fetus! Why is this man and his holy wife getting a pass on this? They all deserve a brown frothy pit in hell.

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  15. Santorum’s views on sex, on contraception, on “pro-life” issues, are so scary to me, I cannot even respond to this post, except to say I am glad you have the mettle to talk about it and to point it out and your “Hitler” depiction of him seems right-on. Again, as I have said so many times these last two years or so, thank you Malia!

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    1. daisydem,
      Thanks for the feedback! At first I thought about writing about the act itself of taking the body of the dead baby home and showing it to the kids, and doing things like they would do to a baby if it was alive. In my view that was so wrong…so sick…would scar the kids for life. However I realized that I would be putting myself in the same position that Rick Santorum puts himself in every day as he talks about the way we should live the most private parts of our lives. That is also so wrong, so I have to respect his right to make those type of decisions for his family, but he should respect the rights of others.

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  16. My husband and I had a son 29 years ago who died after 5 days.
    He was born at 28 weeks, after a few weeks of trying to stop my labor. These days, those babies survive but the mortality rate was high back then.
    We also had to make the decision to remove him from the respirator, since after several severe brain hemorrhages, he was declared brain dead.
    We brought our children to the hospital to see their brother before he died.
    They were very young, but understood that mommy and dad were Very sad .
    Never, ever would have I considered bringing that child home for my children to look at, I can’t even imagine why they were allowed to do so.

    It occurs to me that rick santorum needs to be asked over and over again, why he and his wife were given a choice that he states should be denied to others.
    Young women, their husbands, partners and families families everywhere should understand that this man does not care if they live or die. That rick santorum feels he should and can make medical decisions for others.
    That he can decide what you can and cannot do in your bedroom.
    That he and his buddies have a right to decide how many times a month you can have sex and who you can have sex with.

    And after all that, think, really think if he should be be POTUS. He is not advocating smaller government, he is advocating BIG BROTHER government, where all our day to day living will be regulated by a religious zealot.

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    1. Diane,
      Thank you for sharing this most private matter. You are in a position to comment in a way the rest of us can not. Thank you.

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  17. It bothers me that Rick Santorum has garnered as much support as he has. He does not seem to have any ideas about the real issues that face the country and the world. He is fixated on sex issues – not a good qualification for the presidency. I also think that his “stunt” with the dead fetus was grotesque. And made all the more so because he would deny other women the right to abort a fetus that was non-sustainable or that was threatening the life of the mother.

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