By BENTLEY OWEN - FRIENDLY ATHEIST
Added: Tue, 24 Jan 2012 02:33:27 UTC
Rick Santorum attempted to justify one of his most bizarre stances in an interview with Piers Morgan on Friday, and the results were predictably scary:
Morgan: Do you really believe, in every case, [abortion] should be totally wrong, [including] cases of rape and incest? You’ve got two daughters… If you had a daughter that came to you who had been raped, and was pregnant, and was begging you to let her have an abortion, would you really be able to look her in the eye and say “No,” as her father?
Santorum: I would do what every father would do, which is to try and counsel you daughter to do the right thing.
Morgan: It’s almost an impossibly hypothetical thing to ask you, but there will be people in that position. And they will share your religious values…
Santorum: It’s not a matter of religious values…
Morgan: …and they’re looking at their daughter saying, “How can I deal with this? Because, if I make her have this baby, it’s going to ruin her life.”
Santorum: Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.
I really don’t like the way Morgan conducted the interview. By asking Santorum to imagine himself as the father of a pregnant rape victim, he may have thought he was putting the candidate in a difficult position. But evangelical men thrive on this line of thinking. I get the sense that Santorum wouldn’t mind being regarded of as a clear-headed Daddy to a nation of hysterical women who might not “do the right thing.” If you want to challenge patriarchal ideas, you don’t do it by framing women’s health issues as father-daughter conversations.