Santorum: Prenatal Testing Is To 'Encourage Abortions'

Speaking as a woman, I would appreciate it *right now* if the GOP candidates would kindly get out of my uterus, thankyouverymuch. Despite anything that crazy Michele Bachmann says, there is nothing remotely pro-woman about the increasingly more

2 years ago by David
up

Speaking as a woman, I would appreciate it *right now* if the GOP candidates would kindly get out of my uterus, thankyouverymuch. Despite anything that crazy Michele Bachmann says, there is nothing remotely pro-woman about the increasingly more strident rhetoric coming out of the mouths of the Republican Party. And I'll be damned if it isn't the candidate who is the most skeptical of science and the most righteous in his sense of faith who is the most judgmental against women's reproductive health.

Current GOP frontrunner Rick Santorum told an incredulous Bob Schieffer that he is against pre-natal testing. Why? Because it enables women the information they desire to abort a pregnancy. To be fair, Schieffer incorrectly generalized it to "prenatal care" (a stance that would guarantee that not one woman will ever vote for Santorum) and Santorum's particular issue is with the amniocentesis procedure, not all prenatal testing.

For those unfamiliar with amniocentesis, a needle is inserted through the abdominal wall to extract amniotic fluid from a pregnant woman's womb, usually around the 16th week of pregnancy. This is a fairly standard practice for pregnant women over the age of 35. From that fluid, doctors can tell a wide variety of genetic markers of the fetus. In truth, it's offered to older mothers because of the exponentially higher odds of genetic anomaly of Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome. But it also can test for other genetic disorders, like Tay-Sachs, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis.

It is true that the incidences of Down Syndrome in the US has dropped, because women are choosing to abort these pregnancies. Now, that may horrify you--as it clearly does Santorum--but I'm at a loss as to how Mr. Small Government reconciles the notion that the government can make this choice for a citizen and her family. The government now gets to tell you that you must continue with a pregnancy that may cause undue suffering of the rest of the family? While she does not have Down Syndrome, I do have a cousin who is developmentally disabled, the result of scarlet fever in infancy. I love my cousin and she's a wonderful part of our family. But her needs have not been small, nor inexpensive to my aunt and uncle. She and my family have been fortunate that they were and are emotionally, physically and financially prepared to handle the challenges that have come up and will continue to come up. My cousin will never be able to be fully independent and the eventuality that her parents will not be around to care for her has had to be considered. Sadly, there are few options that the government can provide there to help them be assured that she will be cared for after they've passed on.

But Rick Santorum wants to deny Americans that right to make that choice. He and his wife, faced with the reality due to prenatal testing that their daughter Bella would be born with Trisomy 18, opted to continue the pregnancy. Of course, the Santorums have a net worth of $4.2 million, so they've had less concern about her care than the average American.

I think it's important to acknowledge, no woman thinks of abortion as the most positive outcome. It is simply an option when the alternative is too difficult to consider. But let's not have the "Christian" unfairly judging these women and families who know that they do not have what it takes to care for a disabled child.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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