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Jewish World Review
April 24, 2007
/ 6 Iyar, 5767
Santorum's good fight reaping recent rewards
The U.S. Supreme Court's narrow ruling April 18 to uphold a federal ban on partial-birth abortion came after years of trying to prohibit this barbaric procedure that the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, called infanticide. And Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, now a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., had a partial-birth-abortion victory as early as 1998. As a frontrunner in the battle against this procedure, Santorum has created policy as well as some remarkable stories of perseverance in the process.
It was the night before the Senate was going to vote to override President Clinton's veto on the partial-birth ban, and everyone knew Clinton would have his way. Santorum was the only senator left on the Senate floor only the presiding officers, who were required to be there, were beside him at such an hour.
So Santorum stayed and talked, becoming one of those guys on C-SPAN, standing in the Senate and talking to virtually no one. But that night Santorum speech was much more than futile lip service.
Santorum talked about life and death, seemingly thanklessly, 90 minutes and then went home to his wife Karen and six children. The next morning the Senate did not override the president's veto of the infanticide ban. And not one vote changed because of Santorum's time spent the night before.
Five days later, however, Santorum received an e-mail from a student at Michigan State University. It read: "Senator, on Thursday night I was watching television with my girlfriend. We were flipping through the channels and we saw you standing there on the floor of the United States Senate with a picture of a baby next to you. And so we listened for a while and the more we listened the more we got interested in what you were saying.
"After a while I looked down at my girlfriend, and she had tears running down her face. And I asked her what was wrong, and she looked up at me and said, 'I'm pregnant, and tomorrow I was going to have an abortion, and I wasn't going to tell you, but I'm not going to have an abortion now.'"
A girl would be born to that young couple and given up for adoption. And Santorum had saved at least one life that night, later playing no small role in, not only, banning this particular inhuman decision but making Americans more aware of the brutal extent to which a permissive Roe vs. Wade mentality (and legal regime) has taken us.
And, meanwhile, despite that November loss, despite no longer having a Senate perch, Santorum has internalized the virtue in fighting the right battles, even as people roll their eyes and call you names.
While running for re-election he warned of the gathering storm we face in the war Islamo-fascists are waging on us. Not exactly chipper campaign talk. But he knew leaders needed to focus on the threat and the enemy to America. And he lost. But he goes on lecturing, writing and focusing in admirable ways.
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