Musings —01.17.2012 03:04 PM—
…oh, wait. Not very newsy, is it?
My new book is going to jam-packed with gems like this one:
Rick Santorum’s wife once pro choice, lived with abortion practitioner
Source: The Canadian Press
Jan 17, 2012 14:53
By Lee-Anne Goodman
THE CANADIAN PRESS
WASHINGTON – As political scandals go, it’s a doozy – and it lands just as Rick Santorum is attempting to rally South Carolina’s evangelicals and social conservatives in advance of the state’s crucial Republican primary on Saturday.
Newsweek magazine is reporting that the pro-life Santorum’s wife, Karen Garver Santorum, once lived with an abortion provider 40 years her senior. Tom Allen claims his one-time lover had no problem with his chosen profession while they lived together for six years in the 1980s.
The story features an interview with Allen, a longtime Pittsburgh obstetrician and gynecologist who actually delivered Karen Garver in 1960. It includes a photograph of him cuddling with his former girlfriend, the daughter of a friend and business associate.
Allen, now 92, told Newsweek reporter Nancy Hass that his ex was “a lovely girl, very intelligent and sweet.”
But there was no sign in the 1980s of the passionate pro-life crusader she would become in later years, he added.
“Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” he said.
It’s not the first time the story has been reported. In a lengthy 2005 profile in a Philadelphia newspaper, Allen divulged his past out-of-wedlock love affair while dropping a bombshell that raised questions about Santorum’s commitment to the pro-life cause.
“When she moved out to go be with Rick, she told me I’d like him, that he was pro-choice and a humanist,” he said at the time. “But I don’t think there’s a humanist bone in that man’s body.”
The story’s resurrection seven years later couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time for the former Pennsylvania senator.
Spouses should matter, Santorum himself once said.
“When you look at someone to determine whether they’d be the right person for public office, look at who they lay down with at night and what they believe,” he said on a campaign stop last year.
In the Newsweek article, however, those who were friendly with the former Karen Garver and her older boyfriend when they were a couple backed up the doctor’s insistence that she was unconcerned about his work as an abortion practitioner and a keen advocate of reproductive rights.
One friend of the couple, Mary Greenberg, said Karen Santorum even offered to accompany her to a Pittsburgh abortion clinic in 1983.
“She told me it wasn’t that bad, that I shouldn’t be worried,” Greenberg told Newsweek. “She was very supportive.”
The couple broke up amicably in 1988 because Karen Garver wanted to have children and Allen, in his early 60s at the time and the father of adult children, had no interest in starting again. She married Santorum in 1990.
In recent remarks on abortion, her husband said he would “advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.”
On the campaign trail in South Carolina late last week, however, Santorum was on the hot seat when he was asked about subsidizing abortion and Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States.
“There is nobody that’s been a stronger pro-life leader in the United States Congress than I was,” he replied.
INDEX: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH POLITICS