|Karen Santorum with her husband,
GOP presidential candidate Rick.
Various articles in the pro-abortion blogosphere are repeating a bizarre tidbit about GOP candidate Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen. They claim that in the 1970s, before she met future husband Rick, Karen dated an abortionist named Tom Allen. Not only that, Allen was 40 years her senior and had actually delivered her, before he got into the business of killing unborn babies instead. Their conclusion: Karen Santorum is a big, fat hypocrite for switching to the pro-life side.
Everything traces back to a single source: a 2005 article in the Philadelphia Citypaper. No offense to the Citypaper, but it isn’t exactly the New York Times; for one thing, the article in question begins “Rick Santorum is taking a piss.” This whole story strikes me as too sensationalist to be 100% legitimate.
But if it is, what should be the pro-life response?
We know that it’s possible for pro-abortion people to turn around. If abortionists (like Bernard Nathanson and Anthony Levatino) and abortion workers (like Abby Johnson and Jewels Green) can come over to the side of life, then certainly having dated an abortionist is not disqualifying.
On the other hand, Nathanson, Levatino, Johnson, and Green had very open conversions. They all told the world, very publicly, how they came to realize that they could no longer support the killing of unborn children. Karen Santorum is openly pro-life today. But to the best of my knowledge, she has not addressed the allegation that she used to support abortion, nor, if she is a convert, what caused her to change her mind. (Her story seems to be that she was always pro-life because she was raised Catholic.)
I’m sure that the Santorums are furious with the pro-abortion movement for their recent exploitation of the death of their son Gabriel. They have every right to be angry, and I completely understand why they might feel like the best response is to not engage at all. But these rumors are not going to go away. Karen Santorum is the only person who can shed light on the story. I hope she will speak up soon.