Santorum: Obamacare's Prenatal Mandate Leads to Abortion of Disabled Babies; Obama Is Christian

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is greeted by supporters at a rally sponsored by a Michigan tea party group in Shelby Township, Michigan, February 17, 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Rebecca Cook)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, in a spirited interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, said that amniocentesis, a type of prenatal test, should not be mandated by the government because its purpose is to abort the disabled. He also clarified that he was not suggesting that President Obama is not a Christian when he referred to his views on the environment as "phony theology."

"The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions," Santorum asserted.

Santorum had said in a Saturday speech in Ohio that the Affordable Care Act, which he called "Obamacare," requires prenatal testing because it reduces health care costs by leading to abortions of disabled children.

The former Pennsylvania senator explained on "Face the Nation" that he was not talking about general prenatal care, as Schieffer implied, but about one prenatal test in particular, amniocentesis, which is used to identify whether or not a fetus has maladies. Since identifying those maladies early cannot lead to a cure, Santorum said, the only purpose of the procedure is for the parents to decide whether or not they want to abort the fetus if a malady is found. Santorum also stated the procedure itself can lead to a miscarriage.

Mayo Clinic's website states, "Generally, genetic amniocentesis is offered when the test results may have a significant impact on the management of the pregnancy – or your desire to continue the pregnancy."

The website explains that the procedure carries a "slight risk" of miscarriage.

Santorum also talked about his personal experience with having two children for who doctors recommended abortion.

"We know, Bob, that 90 percent of Down syndrome children in America are aborted. So, to suggest, where does that come from? I have a child who has Trisomy 18. Almost 100 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are encouraged to be aborted. So I know what I'm talking about here," Santorum said.

After the TV journalist said that Santorum had a child who was stillborn, the former Pennsylvanis senator interrupted to correct him.

"My child was not stillborn. My child was born alive. He lived two hours. And, by the way, we had a sonogram done there and had detected a problem and, yes, the doctor said, you know, consider an abortion. This is typical, Bob. This is what goes on in medical rooms around the country. And, yes, prenatal testing, amniocentesis, does in fact result, more often than not in this country, in abortion. That is a fact."

Santorum also clarified that he supports people having the right to have the procedure. His opposition is to mandating free coverage of the procedure.

According to Santorum, Obama's mandate for amniocentesis coverage is consistent with his support for partial-birth abortion and his opposition to a bill that banned the killing of a newborn who is unintentionally born alive due to a botched abortion.

In the same interview, Santorum explained his earlier remarks saying that Obama's views on the environment amounted to a "phony theology."

Schieffer implied that criticizing one's theology is the same as accusing them of not being a Christian. Santorum clarified that he was not suggesting that Obama is not a Christian, but questioning his beliefs about the environment.

"I've repeatedly said I don't question the president's faith. I've repeatedly said that I believe the president is Christian. He's said he's a Christian. But, I am talking about his worldview, or the way he approaches problems in this country and I think they're different than how most do in America."

Santorum compared Obama's views on the environment to those of "radical environmentalists," which is "this idea that man is here to serve to the Earth, as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth."

"This is not questioning the president's beliefs in Christianity," Santorum explained. "I'm talking about the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should be good stewards of it."

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