Rick Santorum would urge his daughter not to get an abortion if she were raped, the Republican presidential candidate told CNN's Piers Morgan recently.

Santorum, who is known for his hard-line positions on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, told Morgan that he believed rape victims should make the best out of a bad situation.

This is not an easy choice. I understand that, he said. But as horrible as the way that daughter or 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. I believe and I think that the right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless, in a very broken way, a gift of human life, and accept what God is giving to you.

Even if one of his daughters were begging him to let her have an abortion, as Morgan put it, Santorum said he would do what every father would do -- to try to counsel your daughter to do the right thing. He dismissed the argument that having the child could ruin his daughter's life, saying, 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.

As a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum was strongly identified with his opposition to abortion. According to a recent analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, which promotes transparency in government, he mentioned the words abortion, fetus, partial-birth and womb more than any other senator between 1996 and 2007. He accounted for a full 12.2 percent of all mentions of the word abortion in that time period.

Santorum emphasized to Morgan that he had not settled on his positions lightly.

When I decided to run for public life, I was informed very quickly people wanted to know what my position on that was, so I went through the process of trying to better understand the facts, he said. It became very clear to me that life begins at conception and persons are covered by the Constitution, and because human life is the same as a person, to me it was a pretty simple deduction to make that that's what the Constitution clearly intended to protect.

You can watch the video of Santorum's remarks here.

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