By Marcus Flores
This will not be the first column dedicated to Rick Santorum. Little attention was given to him when he was nestled into the shadow of obscurity and bigotry in which he ought to have remained. But since then, Santorum has claimed a belated win in Iowa and added more states to his count, meaning that he has catapulted himself into the role of a viable politician. Consequently, concerned voters ought to be glaring at the Senator even more.
Santorum has quite the desire—a need even—to insert his Catholic tentacles into everyone’s bedroom. This invasion takes numerous forms. By an act of sophistry, or perhaps creative ignorance, he posits that the Constitution permits states to decide whether or not to allow birth control for consenting and married adults. He has also vowed to annul all gay marriages if elected president, because he believes “nothing is wrong with homosexuality, only homosexual acts.” Most significantly, the Senator has made it incredibly clear that he opposes abortion under all circumstances. These are no less than outrageous assaults on civil liberties.
First of all, the Supreme Court in its 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision declared that outlawing contraceptives was unconstitutional. The reason was simple. The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects against unwarranted searches and seizures, meaning an elite unit of condom cops tasked with snuffing out instances of safe sex would have to violate one’s privacy in order to enforce the rule of law. Thirty-eight years later, in 2003, a Texas law enforcement official took a call about a threatening gun-wielding man near an apartment complex just outside of Houston. When the deputy arrived, he found what people like Santorum deem far worse: two homosexual men engaged in consensual oral sex, who were summarily arrested for violating the Texas Sodomy law (no word on the gunman). Their case ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court landmark decision Lawrence v. Texas, a ruling that invalidated Texas’ sodomy laws under similar grounds as Griswold v. Connecticut: privacy.
This leads to the point concerning abortion. Few Americans are entirely comfortable with the idea of feticide in any sense, but Retired Justice David Souter offers persuasive evidence to support the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Overturning it, he claims, would subvert the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and suggest a judiciary collapse under social and political tension. Although the legislative process makes it incredibly unlikely, suppose a well-funded interest group and pugnacious politician managed to succeed in challenging the legality of abortion? Common sense dictates that a provision regarding maternal health would be, at minimum, absolutely mandatory. This hypothetical clause should resonate with Santorum.
In 1996, his wife Karen underwent a most tragic pregnancy complication. After exhausting current medical methods, the doctors informed Santorum and his delirious wife that it was either her or the unborn child. Doctors attempted a vastly premature delivery resulting in the child’s death a few hours later. In order to assuage the unspeakable pangs of a lost child, the Santorums brought the child home and mourned with their family. Forms of catharsis tend to vary, but one has to ask: How could such an event fail to trigger considerations of the mother’s health? By allowing his wife to wrestle the Reaper, Santorum’s brainless views risked killing both mother and child while prolonging tremendous and avoidable agony.
In June of 2011 Santorum claimed, bafflingly, that “medical exceptions are phony exceptions” that would “make an abortion ban ineffective.” The dissonance here is really quite difficult to quantify, for if Santorum knew much about pregnancy (with seven children, he should), he would know that ectopic implantation poses a significant risk to not only fertility, but maternal livelihood. In fact, it accounts for some 9% of all pregnancy related deaths.
So if Santorum had it his way, he would dissolve homosexual marriages where they are currently legal. Contraceptives would be lumped together with other black market commodities like narcotics and explosives. If your wife’s nonviable fetus is killing her, she and her child will at least die together. This is the design of the Senator’s ridiculous social posture: a retroactive carving of the American landscape to impose staunchly religious standards to which a scarce collection of Catholics even adhere. Meanwhile, Obama’s bloated budget shows no signs of curtailing spending. The Middle East remains primed and volatile. The Mexican-American border is wrought with mayhem. Santorum’s solution? Start by overturning Roe v. Wade.