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Rick Santorum’s Wife Was In Unmarried Relationship With Abortion Doctor

by David Badash on January 10, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Rick Santorum’s Wife Was In Unmarried Relationship With Abortion Doctor

Rick Santorum‘s wife Karen, before their marriage, was living in an unmarried relationship with the founder of Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic in the 1970′s, left the doctor to marry Santorum, and at the time both Karen and Rick Santorum claimed to be pro-choice. Further, the doctor, OBGYN Tom Allen, is the same man who actually delivered Karen Santorum (then Karen Garver,) and is 40 years her senior.

(Editorial note: Rick Santorum’s attacks on the lives and relationships of unmarried people, including but not limited to people within the LGBT community, we feel allow for this level of scrutiny on both his past and that of his family. The Santorums’ life choices certainly are theirs to make, but building a political career attacking the lives of good, decent, LGBT  Americans, pledging to “die on the hill” to stop same-sex marriage equality is not one of them. We’re not judging their choices, as fervently as we disagree with them, we’re highlighting their hypocrisy and their mistaken view that they have the right to judge us for who we are.)

A lengthy 2005 profile in a local Philadelphia newspaper, which includes an interview with Santorum, quotes Dr. Allen, Karen’s former boyfriend:

“When she moved out to go be with Rick, she told me I’d like him, that he was pro-choice and a humanist,” said Allen, an elderly but vibrant man, during a brief conversation on the porch of his Pittsburgh row home. “But I don’t think there’s a humanist bone in that man’s body.”

The profile also reveals that both of Rick Santorum’s parents worked for the federal government, the Veterans Administration, and were housed on the grounds of the VA hospital. Santorum’s father was the chief of psychology, his mother the chief of nurses, the profile reveals. So much for Santorum being able to understand current medical stances on homosexuality, and so much for Santorum’s position on small government.

Ironically, the profile (remember, this is from 2005,) includes this line:

“He had Republican values,” adds U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, another college friend of Santorum’s. “But it’s not like he was running around leading conservative jihads or anything.”

The profile also adds:

Santorum’s views on abortion changed around this time as well, recalls [Rick's] cousin.

“Our extended family has many strong women in it, who are intelligent and outspoken. There was one year Rick stopped by a family reunion for an hour or two. It was around the time he was ‘rising to power’ and becoming rabidly, ridiculously conservative. His views on abortion were quite contentious that year, and for those few hours of his visit, the women all descended upon him like flies, calling him on his change of views. He had always been pro-choice to my recollection. That’s why it was such a heated issue that year. The women in my family felt betrayed.”

A Washington Post profile of Karen Santorum, published today, notes, Karen “recalls their first meeting: He was the lawyer at the big firm, she was the law student. She says that she was the headstrong career woman. ‘But I came home that night and wrote in my diary that I had met the man I was going to marry.’ As hard as it may be to picture, she says, ‘He sang all the way to the restaurant’ on their first date.”

In this 2006 video, released by true Santorum campaign, Karen Santorum says, “I think it’s really sad, I think it’s tragic, that our opponent would use my family, go after my children, in the way he has, for political gain.”

Lost on Mrs. Santorum is how she and her husband are going after our families, our children every day, for political gain. The scales are severely unbalanced.

Carole Joffee, a University of California, San Francisco professor, in her article, “Collision of Reality and Ideology: Karen Santorum’s Past and Rick Santorum’s Vision of Your Future,” writes,

Normally, I feel that the past sexual history of a candidate’s spouse should be off limits to journalists and bloggers. But given Santorum’s rising fortunes as a serious candidate for the presidency, and in particular, his astonishing views on sexuality and contraception, I believe that attention to Karen Santorum’s past is warranted in this instance.

What does all this have to with Karen Santorum’s past, before her marriage to the Senator?  In simplest terms, Mrs. Santorum was living in a situation–unmarried but cohabitating, and presumably using birth control—that has become only more common in American society since the late 1980s, when she lived with Dr. Allen. (Indeed, the only difference between Karen Santorum and millions of other Americans in similar circumstances, then and now, was the unusually large gap in age between her and her partner).

In short, Rick Santorum’s stated policy positions, which include not only his well known obsession with abolishing legal abortion, but also his opposition to birth control and all nonprocreative sexual acts, are greatly out of step with the lives of the vast majority of Americans.  Clearly, the Santorums have changed their views over time on the issues of premarital sex and contraception as well as abortion, moving in a far more conservative direction. The couple has attributed these changes to a deepening religious faith, and such new beliefs are of course their right. But the Senator’s fervent desire to deny the rest of us the sexual and reproductive choices that his own wife once enjoyed is breathtakingly hypocritical and cruel.

Indeed.

Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this article, the first sentence incorrectly read:

Rick Santorum‘s wife Karen, before their marriage, was living in an unmarried relationship with the founder of Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic in the 1970′s, left the doctor to marry Santorum, and at the time both Karen and Rick Santorum claimed to be pro life.”

It has been corrected to read “pro-choice.”

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{ 27 comments }

Scott_Rose January 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

To understand why santorum behaves as he does, look at his various financial connections to politicians and clergy endeavoring to strengthen the position of the Catholic Church here and around the world.

rwj2010 January 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

This is wrong.

What Rick Santorum's wife did before they were married is irrelevant and off limits to any complaints you have against Santorum either as a person or as a candidate, or even as a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter.

To pull this bit out about his wife only makes you look small minded, vicious and petty. It plays into the narrative that Rick Santorum wants to present, and if anything will make people feel more sympathetic to him against such personal attacks on him and his family

As a progressive liberal who is 100% against the theocratic extremism of Rick Santorum and similar fundamentalist creeps, I say to you: thanks but no thanks, we don't need your kind of "help"

David Badash January 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Sorry you feel that way. Obviously, as I wrote in the second paragraph, I disagree. The Santorums feel our families are fair game; theirs should be too. They have built their careers on our backs, telling lies about us, peddling hate about us.

That said, I wouldn't report on their kids, and I purposely did not publish a photo of them, even though he has it on his website.

But fair is fair.

goddesswoman January 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

would find this offensive for any other candidate but Rick Santorum does not believe in the right to privacy so why does he deserve any privacy himself? He has compared homosexuality to bestiality and would outlaw birth control. He is a scary man who has chosen to set himself above others. Exposing his hypocrisies are fair game.

ProfW February 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

I really feel sorry for you goddesswoman. You are taking the lies being told to you and actually believing them. You aren't even trying to find out the truth. If you were you'd know that Santorum has NEVER stated that he would outlaw birth control. Do you want to know the actual quote that has people like you believing that he is going to take your birth control?

Here is an actual Rick Santorum quote: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.”

Where does he imply that he's going to outlaw birth control? He doesn't. But that doesn't stop Salon.com or the Huffington Post from running stories that say he is and running headlines that say "Rich Santorum is coming for your birth control."

And it doesn't stop people from being fooled into believing the lies. I really hope that you educate yourself and stop believing the garbage being fed to you.

David Badash February 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Santorum has said there is no right to contraception and states can outlaw it if they want:
“The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.”
More: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/03/396516

dianabofana January 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I think the nicest thing one can say about Rick Santorum and his wife is that they are honest and don't try to hide the fact that they want to meddle in and control our lives where they have no business meddling or controlling. Who do they think they are the Pope and Popess? I don't care about their strong religious faith. They are welcome to it. But don't try to foist it on the rest of us. In truth I don't this this smug, holier than thou couple have a snowball's chance in hell of being president and first lady. He couldn't even win a second term in the senate.

JimX123 January 11, 2012 at 4:42 am

Let me get this straight.

You're taking the word of a man in his 60's (as fact) supposedly dating a woman in her 20's? But hey, what a lovely old man right? Starting abortion clinics and dating 20 year olds…

But let's assume just for the moment the Santorum's are actually allowed (like the rest of us) to form opinions in their 20's which might contrast their current stance, or do you insist on all Christian's to be products of brainwashing? Wow, imagine someone finding God as an adult!

Here's an extract of the site where you got your information from (which you chose to omit)

"Santorum has often said that at the time of their meeting neither he nor Karen were that devout in their faith. Upon falling in love, he says, they embarked on a soul-searching examination of their lives that brought them both closer to God. "

Wow, so Santorum went from pro-choice to pro-life after changing his life and dedicating it to God when he met his wife… and this is suppose to be some shocking revelation?

Perhaps you could care to comment on Mitt Romney's every changing stance on abortion which you're at it, and not a stance he only held when he was 20! http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/10/g

As another poster mentioned, you're actually just helping Santorum.

David Badash January 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Jim,

I'll rebut this, but first let me point you to the fact that well over 1000 people on Facebook "liked" this piece, and I've gotten calls from several others congratulating me on it. The very few who don't care for it are just that, very few.

"You're taking the word of a man in his 60's (as fact) supposedly dating a woman in her 20's? But hey, what a lovely old man right? Starting abortion clinics and dating 20 year olds…"

So, now you're prosecuting a medical professional because of his job and his age. "Lovely," to use your word. Shame on you. And not only am I taking his word, but so did the Pennsylvania paper that published the piece in 2005, and so did U.S. News and World Report, in 2006. Get off your high horse and have some respect for doctors, journalists, and those who have managed to reach the age of 60. And as for the age of the person he dated, now you're also an ageist. Nice…

"But let's assume just for the moment the Santorum's are actually allowed (like the rest of us) to form opinions in their 20's which might contrast their current stance, or do you insist on all Christian's to be products of brainwashing? Wow, imagine someone finding God as an adult!"

As I wrote, which apparently you didn't bother to read, I have no issue with their life choices per se, it's that the Santorums decided to use their choices to attack our families, unmarried mothers, etc. The hypocrisy is very clear.

"Here's an extract of the site where you got your information from (which you chose to omit)"

"Santorum has often said that at the time of their meeting neither he nor Karen were that devout in their faith. Upon falling in love, he says, they embarked on a soul-searching examination of their lives that brought them both closer to God. "

"Wow, so Santorum went from pro-choice to pro-life after changing his life and dedicating it to God when he met his wife… and this is suppose to be some shocking revelation?"

Not a shocking revelation, just, again, hypocritical. How often has Santorum fessed up to this? He and his family present themselves as the ordained arbitors of mortality. They're not, and their daily attacks on those who are doing nothing wrong, doing nothing but — like most other Americans — just trying to live and make it thru the week, are unconscionable. And hypocritical.

"Perhaps you could care to comment on Mitt Romney's every changing stance on abortion which you're at it, and not a stance he only held when he was 20! http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/10/g

No. This isn't about Romney.

"As another poster mentioned, you're actually just helping Santorum. "

Thousands of folks here disagree.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

JimX123 January 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

David,

Sanctorum is currently the #1 target for the lesbian and gay community. It is no surprise that any post that criticises him in any manner will get a great deal of support. Regardless of how popular your article may be, you've digged up very personal dirt on a mother of 7 and made this public. You can villify this woman as much as you like to justify your actions, but it never is. You have tried to use this as a thinly veiled atttempt to highlight some sort of hypocrisy, but it simply has no objective other than slandering his reputation.

As for the word of a medical professor in his 60's who dated a woman 40 years his junior, why exactly is his age mentioned at all by you if not for greater shock value? More bizarre, sick and twisted? Sure.

>>The hypocrisy is very clear.

A man and his wife in their 20's had a different opinion than they do in their 50's regarding (in this case) a moral issues such as abortion. There is NO hypocrisy here, Sanctorum does not claim to have virtuals, morals or religious convictions or principles that he does not CURRENTLY have. Look up the definition in a dictionary in case you're unsure.

>>How often has Santorum fessed up to this? He and his family present themselves as the ordained arbitors of mortality

Sanctorum places value on family as a cornerstone to society and of course in your by proxy he's seen as brutally attacking single mothers! No, he has made no claims to be what you have attributed to him and has repeatedly made it clear that he does not believe government should be involved in regulating many acts he considered immoral (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic5EAO8RqVE&feature=related) see from 3:45 onward.

And yes, I know this isn't about Romney, because exposing Romney's history of hypocrisy would not achieve the objective of villifying Sanctorum. This article is what it is, don't pretend otherwise.

David Badash January 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Jim, clearly you're not a regular reader, and while I value all our readers, and work hard to present factual and relevant information, I have little hope you'll return here frequently. That said, were you a regular reader, you would know that I've been writing about Rick Santorum for years. This article is nothing new, and again, I am very comfortable with the piece, given how Santorum has made it clear our families are fair game. Santorum wants to make our families marriages illegal. He actually would support state-mandated divorce for same-sex couples. He wants to make it impossible for us to form legal unions. He thinks children would be better off with a parent whose a felon than with a same-sex couple.
Let's weight these two issues.
On the one hand, I have reported previously reported facts.
On the other we have a man and his family who have made it their mission to destroy families.
Who's wrong here?

JimX123 January 12, 2012 at 4:15 am

David, you claimed Santorum is a hypocrite, but as I've demonstrated that is false. That was pretty much the intention of this article, to 'highlight their hypocrasy' ?

I don't believe Santorum wants to make it impossible for same sex couples to form legal unions, but rather to prevent these unions for having exactly the same legal rights as a heterosexual married couple. For example, if two couples wish to adopt the same child and one couple is heterosexual, it would be illegal to give preference to the heterosexual couple based on this factor. Is this fair, I don't know, but these are some of the various legal issues that arise.

You've painted Santorum as a 'destroyer of families', while the poster below has made a disgusting remark about an extremely traumatic event in their lives, which quite frankly insults not only the Santorums, but every family that has lost a child during pregnancy. Let's be a little more grown up about this?

Robroberts2009 January 11, 2012 at 4:59 am

More shocking than Santorum's wife shacking up with an abortion doctor is the fact Rick ordered doctors to perform a late term abortion on her. They took the dead fetus home, named it, and had his children cuddle and kiss the corpse. They obviously suffer great guilt over this, and now want to ban all abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Perhaps this same type of guilt is driving Rick's obsession with banning gay sex.

Santorum is the worst, most dangerous type of hypocrite. Hopefully American's will have more sense than to submit their lives to this fanatical tyrant.

prochoicegrandma January 11, 2012 at 8:18 am

Contrary to what Tom Feeney said, Rick Santorum is and has been "running around leading conservative jihads". The only thing that separates Santorum's extreme fundamentalist Xtian rantings and those of the Taliban is 8,000 miles.

Interesting to note that U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney was a college friend of Rick Santorum.
http://videosift.com/video/From-The-Programmers-M

"Computer programmer Clinton Curtis testified at the December 13th, 2004 Congressional hearing in Columbus, Ohio naming Republican Congressman Tom Feeney as the person who hired him to prepare vote-rigging software."

JimX123 January 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Isn't it ironic how a site called 'thenewcivilrightsmovement.com' removes comments that actually dissagree with them and proves their accusations rather false. Surely this is propaganda at its best when you won't allow anyone with contradicting view expressing their opinion?

Disgusting.

David Badash January 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Isn't it ironic how people just always assume the worst?
What comments were "removed"?
We don't moderate the pages — sorry!

David Badash January 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Jim — I looked for what I was assuming was a previous post and approved it. It was "removed," as you put it, because enough people didn't like it and reported it. it's an automatic system — don't believe me, go look at Intense Debate, which is our commenting system.

I'll also leave a response to your previous post. I can see why so many people didn't care for it.

JimX123 January 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

David, it is rediculous that a post is removed because 'many people didn't care for it'. I'd recommend an entirely different system if post are going to be automatically removed because the majority of your ncrm.com members don't like it.

Of course the utterly childish and disgusting post by RobROberts2009 (ignorant even of the definition of fetus) is worthy to remain because what, not enough people disliked it? Great site.

David Badash January 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Jim, you appear to be so very much like Rick Santorum. Because something violates your morality, it is bad, but everything you say is good and must be accepted by the masses. Fortunately, America doesn't work that way.
The "report" button functions the same way many other systems, like YouTube, function. If enough people are uncomfortable or offended, they click "report" and then I get an email. That's how most commenting systems work. It's not perfect, but it's standard industry practice.
As I wrote, I don't moderate the comments, although if there are comments that are violent or threatening I will delete them and I will forward IP addresses, etc. to the proper authorities.
I'll assume you're a conservative, given your previous comments, and so, I'll remind you that conservatives talk a lot about liberty and freedom, but generally it's a one-way street. You would like me to delete comments you don't agree with or care for. I would rather allow an open discussion.
That sounds more like democracy and liberty than your preference, at least to me.

Wolfen January 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Nailed it. All I can say.

JimX123 January 12, 2012 at 4:23 am

Your site is dedicated to LGBT, yet you actually believe 'majority rule' to be a fair method of moderation? Democracy sure, liberty, no.

Robroberts2009 January 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Jim, you have a lot of gall to condemn this article for "slandering" Rick Santorum. First of all, the definition of slander means you are lying. I am not aware of sny lies in this article. But perhaps you are not intelligent enough to understand the concept of slander.

Secondly, Rick Santorum has spent his entire career slandering gays. Dehumanizing them. Lying about them. Making shit up about them. Santorum is the very definition of slander. Unless of course me and my friends enjoy fucking dogs, which Santorum suggests. Santorum is not only bigoted, but hateful and spiteful as well. HE DESERVES NO RESPECT. Its no coincidence his name is synonmymous with fecal matter, sperm and lube — he richly deserves this insult.

Nothing is off limits with Santorum, as for him no lie or slander about gays is off limits. Rick and his dead babies can rot in hell, along with his fornicating, late term abortion getting wife.

JimX123 January 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

When a woman gives birth to a fetus, it is called a child. Understand the difference.

Santorum supports abortion where the mother's life is at risk. Karen Santorum received risky surgery to save the pregnancy, however came down with an infection which would cost her her life. As a result of the infection she started going into labor at which point doctors gave her drugs to further induced labor. They hoped for a miracle, but their child, Gabriel passed away only two hours after birth.

Even if Karen Santorum were to have aborted the child to save her life, it would still have been consistent with his policy on abortion.

Your statements are not only inaccurate, but slanderous. Ignorance is no excuse. YOU DESERVE NO RESPECT.

Frictional_NV January 13, 2012 at 2:01 am

>mfw Jim is probably just a bored troll from 4chan.

Jim, you strike me as a 14-year-old with average IQ who looked up a few moderately sized words in a dictionary and decided to try them out. Is this accurate Jim? How accurate am I?

I know you're thinking "this guy isn't even presenting a valid ('presenting' and 'valid' being words you found in the dictionary) argument, he's just heckling me". But the beautiful truth is that I am and I don't care. I just don't care. You appear to support Santorum's crazy wacky ideas, which means you are a dangerously ignorant person. You do realize this man is insane even by Republican standards, correct? God, you're just so silly, Jim!

Tonya Root Schulte February 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Hypocrisy by definition is: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

You are twisting the definition of the word hypocrisy. If we were to use your definition as expressed in this blog, most likely 100% of us would fit the bill. We can't say one is a hypocrite for CHANGING their belief either by coming to a new understanding of a tenet of their faith, by coming to a new faith or just by having their conscience pricked. Would a woman who used to tell white lies to her partner, but came to a new moral conclusion that this was wrong then be a hypocrite for counseling a friend to be completely honest in her relationships? How much more so we must respect the changes that come to a person through new faith. And coming to a new faith is a life-changing circumstance and it does not always require one to change churches. Sometimes one can have attended religious services all of their life and suddenly come to a new understanding of what it is that is being taught simply by virtue of either age or maturity or even by the simple act of finally professing true faith.

I am not opposed to your posting this information. It's good to know people's backstories and where they came from, but to call someone a hypocrite because they previously behaved one way but now behave another is incorrect.

David Badash January 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Jim,
You write, "David, you claimed Santorum is a hypocrite, but as I've demonstrated that is false. That was pretty much the intention of this article, to 'highlight their hypocrasy' ?'" I fail to see where you have done that.
Then you say, "I don't believe Santorum wants to make it impossible for same sex couples to form legal unions, but rather to prevent these unions for having exactly the same legal rights as a heterosexual married couple. "
And herein lies the problem. Unless you ARE Santorum or work for him, your beliefs have nothing to do with this.
I'm not going to comment on other people's comments, other than to say I cannot agree with everything others write here. My responsibility as the publisher is to allow a free discussion within reason here, which I have done.
I have painted Santorum as someone who WANTS to destroy our families. There is zero question about that.

Frankly, this is getting tiresome. You refuse to see other points of view, and I refuse to invest more time arguing semantics. The bottom line is that the Santorums have injected their power and positions into our very lives, and that opens them up to a heightened level of scrutiny. I'm very comfortable with that.

ProfW February 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Could you please explain how his statement translates into "I'm going to ban your birth control"?

He is stating two points. One is that there is no Constitutional right to birth control. And two, that states have the right to pass whatever laws and statues they wish.

Neither of those points translate into him saying that he's going to, or wants to ban birth control. On the contrary he has said numerous times that even though he personally doesn't believe in it, he would not take any action to deny it to others.

"My position is birth control can and should be available," the former senator from Pennsylvania said at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/17/s

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