S.C. Debate Includes Exchange Between Santorum, Paul on Pro-life Credentials

By:  Dave Bohon
01/23/2012
       
S.C. Debate Includes Exchange Between Santorum, Paul on Pro-life Credentials

Lost in the Newt Gingrich morality play that was the January 19 South Carolina GOP presidential debate was an exchange on the issue of abortion between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Both have come under fire over their voting records on abortion — albeit for very different reasons.

 

Lost in the Newt Gingrich morality play that was the January 19 South Carolina GOP presidential debate was an exchange on the issue of abortion between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Both have come under fire over their voting records on abortion — albeit for very different reasons.

During the section of the debate on abortion, Santorum took personal offense over Paul’s stated opposition to federal funding for abortion, birth control, and such. Attacking Paul’s legislative record on abortion, Santorum claimed that the 12-term Texas congressman had voted for “right to life” legislation only 50 percent of the time. “[You] say that you are someone who stands up for the right to life,” challenged the former Pennsylvania Senator, but “you repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life.” Paraphrasing Paul’s position on abortion as something that ought to be “an individual, personal decision, or a state decision,” Santorum fairly sang out the received opinion of mainstream pro-life groups, declaring that “life should be protected and you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal level — or on any level of government — and protect ... what our Declaration [of Independence] protects, which is the right from our creator to life. And that is a federal issue, not a state issue.”

Earlier in the week during campaigning in South Carolina, reported Politico.com, Santorum had blasted Paul for allowing his libertarian views to trump “Judeo-Christian values,” specifically related to the abortion issue. “He doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion on a federal level because he doesn’t think the federal government should be involved in restricting abortion,” Santorum said of Paul during one campaign stop. “Well, that’s just wrong! The bottom line is that we need to have restrictions on abortion.”

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Photo of Rick Santorum: AP Image

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