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Rick Santorum And The Fetus

August 17, 2009

Somehow this news story flew over my head back when it was in the media in 2005.   At least I do not recall hearing about it.  But after reading this today, and with the potential of a Rick Santorum for President committee being set up to push for his election at some point down the road, I think this is worthy of posting about today. 

First and foremost I think this story very strange.  Even creepy.  I recognize that people deal with loss in their own way, but to impact small children in the way that Rick Santorum did with his own kids, ages 6, 4, and 1 1/2  is very troubling to me.  Listing the fetus as a baby on the official form is also just another indicator of  Santorum’s overly political reasoning.  On a good day Santorum can be way off the mark, but this story below from the Washington Post places the former senator waaaaay on the the fringe.

In his Senate office, on a shelf next to an autographed baseball, Sen. Rick Santorum keeps a framed photo of his son Gabriel Michael, the fourth of his seven children. Named for two archangels, Gabriel Michael was born prematurely, at 20 weeks, on Oct. 11, 1996, and lived two hours outside the womb.

Upon their son’s death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen’s parents’ home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.

He and Karen brought Gabriel’s body home so their children could “absorb and understand that they had a brother,” Santorum says. “We wanted them to see that he was real,” not an abstraction, he says. Not a “fetus,” either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described — “a 20-week-old fetus” — on a hospital form. They changed the form to read “20-week-old baby.”

The best that could be stated about the matter was that it was a 2o-week old fetus, which died.  To pretend it was a 20-week old baby is amazing, even when in grief.  To give him credit though, at least he did not haul it around on the campaign trail like Sarah Palin did with her youngest child.

6 Comments
  1. Randy permalink
    March 14, 2012 2:42 PM

    Santorum is a psychopath. This is a scary story. I do not want this man to be my President.

  2. Sue permalink
    January 5, 2012 12:07 PM

    Well let’s just say if the baby had been 40 weeks and stillborn, I don’t think Rick Santorum would have been allowed to leave the hospital with the body. If his 4 year old had died, would he have brought the body home to make sure the other kids knew he was really dead? I think not. Santorum is a strange bird. Not like any Catholic man I’ve ever met. Seriously, he’s a wingnut.

  3. keri permalink
    June 12, 2011 2:12 PM

    Yikes! That is all I have to say.

  4. 109951 permalink
    February 17, 2011 4:36 AM

    I completely understand that loosing a child is wholly devastating. I can’t imagine the pain and what it would take to heal, but I still feel that even if I lost my mind in grief, I’d never show my other children the body of a 5 month old fetus. Rick and his wife probably had closure, but I can’t agree to exposing children to something of that nature. I had to google “20 weeks pregnant” to get a reference, but I can’t help but feel it was pretty macabre. (Translucent and about the size of a dollar, just to start.) I just don’t see how that could help a four year old emotionally.

    And the next couple paragraphs in the article did nothing to help change my view.

    ‘Karen Santorum, a former nurse, wrote letters to her son during and after her pregnancy. She compiled them into a book, “Letters to Gabriel,” a collection of prayers, Bible passages and a chronicle of the prenatal complications that led to Gabriel’s premature delivery. At one point, her doctor raised the prospect of an abortion, an “option” Karen ridicules. “Letters to Gabriel” also derides “pro-abortion activists” and decries the “infanticide” of “partial-birth abortion,” the legality of which Rick Santorum was then debating in the Senate. The book reads, in places, like a call to action.

    “When the partial-birth abortion vote comes to the floor of the U.S. Senate for the third time,” Karen writes to Gabriel, “your daddy needs to proclaim God’s message for life with even more strength and devotion to the cause.”‘

    I’ll admit, that part is fucking creepy. So yeah, maybe he’s used his dead fetus to push religiously charged politics. Also, I’m pretty sure most states have made it illegal to take bodies home for a night or two- but not for a Senator, of course. It’s hard to believe there’s yet another way to be simultaneously disturbed and disappointed by Rick Santorum.

    Also, lights flicker when he uses the “a” word! Spoooooky!

  5. March 25, 2010 1:42 PM

    There were allegations by some that the Santorum family also engaged in a blood orgy with the fetus, and then consumed the body along with a chicken-broccoli casserole.

  6. sam e. permalink
    March 18, 2010 8:45 AM

    The word fetus in the latin simply means “little one” the use of semantics to somehow imply that a human being at a certain stage of his or her life is less then a human being is simply a ploy to confuse the issue on his right to life, to divide this issue the “pesonhood” issue was introduced stating that personhood begins at the time of birth, unfortunate for Csection babies which implies that they were brought into the world through the window instead of a door so therefore are they not persons ?, modern science is doing blood transfusions and operations on “little ones” while still inside the mother’s womb, should they be excluded in the insurace form because they have not yet achieved “personhood”. or furthermore because they’re wanted versus unwanted.
    Traditionally in the Judeo/Christian tradition the term “death” means that the soul has left the body so therefore the body is no longer animate, conversely through this same reasoning process the term life which is what animates the body begins at the time of conception, which science has been able to capture through the miraculous breaktroughs in movie making. Your attempt to portray a parent’s love as creepy and that this love should only be given to children at a certain age is more distubing to me then your article.

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