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Annals of Republican Policy Weirdness: Santorum Edition

What is the difference between "abortion" and "induced labor of a pre-viability fetus"?

Ayelet Waldmann:

Twitter / @ayeletw: Santorum's WIFE had a 2nd trimester abortion. That's what an induced labor of a fetus b4 viability is. AN ABORTION. http://bit.ly/AnfSMZ

Indeed:

Steve Goldstein:

Issue Turns Personal For Santorums The Senator And His Wife Had To Consider An Abortion As She Lay Near Death: Karen was in her 19th week of pregnancy. Husband and wife were in a suburban Virginia office for a routine sonogram when a radiologist told them that the fetus Karen was carrying had a fatal defect and was going to die.

After consulting with specialists, who offered several options including abortion, the Santorums decided on long-shot intrauterine surgery to correct an obstruction of the urinary tract called posterior urethral valve syndrome.

A few days later, rare ``bladder shunt'' surgery was performed at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. The incision in the womb carried a high risk of infection.

Two days later, at home in the Pittsburgh suburb of Verona, Karen Santorum became feverish. Her Philadelphia doctors instructed her to hurry to Pittsburgh's Magee-Women's Hospital, which has a unit specializing in high-risk pregnancies.

After examining Karen, who was nearly incoherent with a 105-degree fever, a doctor at Magee led Santorum into the hallway outside her room and said that she had an intrauterine infection and some type of medical intervention was necessary. Unless the source of the infection, the fetus, was removed from Karen's body, she would likely die.

At minimum, the doctor said, Karen had to be given antibiotics intravenously or she might go into septic shock and die.

The Santorums were at a crossroads.

Once they agreed to use antibiotics, they believed they were committing to delivery of the fetus, which they knew would most likely not survive outside the wommb.

The doctors said they were talking about a matter of hours or a day or two before risking sepsis and both of them might die,'' Santorum said.Obviously, if it was a choice of whether both Karen and the child are going to die or just the child is going to die, I mean it's a pretty easy call.''

It is a pretty easy call. But it is one that Rick Santorum claims to be in favor of making a crime.

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