The following Op-Ed by Rick Santorum first appeared on CaffeinatedThoughts.com on March 13, 2012:
Four dimensional ultrasound technologies show unborn children smiling and yawning in the womb. Fetal surgeries demonstrate that, just like us, unborn children need medical treatment and care. Over and over again we hear news like this that reminds us the unborn child is a life.
I am running for president because I have a vision for creating opportunity for all in America – and that includes the unborn. And at the heart of that vision is one of my guiding principles and core convictions: the dignity of life for all human beings.
I believe that all life is precious. I know life begins at conception and science does as well. I know that every person, every child conceived in the womb, has a right to life. I know that life is a right endowed by our Creator, that it is inalienable, as laid down in the Declaration of Independence, and should be guaranteed under the Constitution. The right to life is the first right. Without its protection, no other rights matter.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, destroys roughly 900 unborn lives a day. It’s not news to me or to those who support my candidacy that Planned Parenthood does not share my vision of the dignity of all human life.
My record over the years fighting for life and against Planned Parenthood’s culture of death is quite clear. Planned Parenthood knows this and Governor Romney should know this as well. This is not a political game- this is about our core values and the soul of our nation.
As president, I would use every power granted to me, including the veto, to push for elimination of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In fact, this is one of the items in my plan to cut $5 trillion of federal spending over five years. I will put half of the money from defunding Planned Parenthood and its extreme agenda toward deficit reduction and the other half for promoting adoption. I was thrilled to support legislation to respect the rights of pro-life doctors and nurses through a pro-life and pro-religious freedom conscience clause. These types of protections are now being gutted and under attack by President Obama and his Administration.
While I was successfully fighting to end the gruesome practice of Partial Birth Abortion, Mitt Romney was allowing abortions for $50 through RomneyCare, free abortions for some and attending Planned Parenthood fundraisers.
Through RomneyCare, Massachusetts has the highest healthcare premiums in the nation and all citizens must subsidize abortion through their tax dollars.
The same Governor Romney who said it wasn’t until he was in his fifties and running for president the first time, that he discovered he was pro-life. I’m glad he’s moving in the right direction now that a majority of Americans are embracing the culture of life and momentum is on the side of life.
Defense of the unborn is not just about issuing a statement or casting a vote. It is about making a commitment — and upholding a promise — to never waiver or give up the fight for life. I have fought in the trenches of the pro-life movement for both unborn children and their mothers. Don’t just take my word for it. Look at my record. Ask those who advocate for abortion which of the Republican candidates for President will actually work tirelessly to stop it and affirm life.
I authored the landmark Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that put an end to the barbaric practice partially delivering an unborn child and brutally decapitating him or her. This legislation was opposed by Planned Parenthood and then Senator Obama. In fact, Planned Parenthood challenged the law in Court. I sat in the Supreme Court during oral arguments and heard Planned Parenthood’s lawyer argue against a common-sense ban on partial birth abortion. When liberal justices sided with Planned Parenthood, I did not give up. We sent the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act back to the Supreme Court to get it right which they did thanks to the new Justices; a significant step forward for the culture of life.
While I was working to confirm conservative Justices Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, Governor Romney was appointing moderate, liberal, and gay activist judges in Massachusetts.
I actively worked to defend President Reagan’s policy of not funding organizations overseas that promote or perform abortions. I pushed to expand the adoption tax credit and encourage more American families to consider adopting or becoming foster care parents. I cosponsored and helped move legislation to make it a crime to transport a minor over state lines for an abortion in order to avoid state parental consent laws. I was one of the top defenders and promoters of pro-life legislation. This was not offering a mere talking point in a debate, instead I worked on over 25 different pieces of legislation defending life, limiting abortion, promoting adoption, and protecting religious freedom of those opposed to abortion measures.
President Obama is a fierce proponent of abortion and more than willing to undermine religious freedom in the process. We need someone who stands tall for the dignity of all human life to be successful in November and to be successful for defending those who cannot defend themselves.
I believe just saying you are pro-life isn’t enough. America needs a demonstrated fighter and protector of human life from beginning to end. Someone who has a long established record of not just supporting life but for fighting the battles to protect this basic right. To stand for life is one of my passions and privileges. It’s not just an issue I support, its part of the very core of who I am.
We need a passionate defender of the dignity of all life, not mere lip service. By God’s grace, I have done so and will continue to do so for all of God’s children.