Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has stridently opposed abortions and criticized President Obama's health care in his campaign events. On Sunday, in an event at Ohio, he said the Obama law which requires health insurance companies to cover certain prenatal tests used to identify abnormalities in the fetus, will encourage abortions.
Santorum, whose campaign mantra is religious conservatism and only that, has been sharpening his ultra-conservative rhetoric to new highs every day. It seems that Santorum believes that his religious conservatism is the only right weapon that can save America from recession, unemployment and every other peril that has descended on the hapless citizens, may be from heavens, due to the anti-religious administrations in the past and present.
Of course Santorum's ultra right wing theories are attracting the right wing GOP cadres. It seems he is pushing himself further every day to extreme ideologies, in order to gain support. But how right he can go to appease the conservatives? Especially, when much of his recent rants on social issues are getting scrutinized in the media.
Santorum's criticism of abortion in general is acceptable and understandable considering his religious conservatism. But saying that the government shouldn't encourage detection of abnormalities through pre-natal tests, because parents would choose to abort their disabled fetus, look too absolutist for even a conservative American population to accept. Of course, Santorum says he has modeled his life on the principles that he publicly preaches and upholds.
He has a baby with Trisomy-18, a fatal genetic disorder and he did not choose to abort her despite the medical advice to do so. Fair enough but, he was able to make that choice because he is wealthy enough to take care of the medical and other needs of the kid. But what if a poor American family gets a fatally disabled kid when they have no resources and medical insurance?
It can very well affect the well being of healthy children as more attention and resources would naturally go to the sick child. Or else the sick child will be deprived of the care it needs and will be forced to have a painful existence. This, apart from the huge amount of pain and suffering a fatally disabled child could undergo in its lifetime.
Santorum's another argument is that families are families when one of the partners stays back at home to take care of the kids. He again has his own example to model it. His wife left her career as a nurse to take care of their seven children. He is able to take care of his seven children plus his and his wife's expenditure with his million dollar income, but what should an American with average income in a similar situation do? How would he rationalize his resources?
The same goes with his idea of home schooling, again backed up with his own example, where he and his wife home-schools their children. Speaking to the Ohio Christian Alliance, Santorum said that public schools are factories and federal or state support for education amounts to anachronism.
Santorum thinks children's education is parents' responsibility, but how many Americans can home-school their children, and what really are the benefits of adopting such a measure?
Santorum's only qualification for his claim on the President's office is his ultra-conservatism. Hence his conservative rhetoric is understandable, but what about the real issues that both America and the world are facing now? How are his religious conservatism and strong pro-interventionist foreign policy going to help the country?
For a country which is marred with recessions, economic crises, unemployment and war any solution to these problems is welcome. If the Santorum formula can save the country, then people won't mind being religious in a 'Sanctorum' way.
In which case, people could happily convince themselves not to adopt any family planning, contraceptives of any kind, will not abort no matter whether they can afford to give children a decent life or not, not even when they know they have to live a painful life if they are disabled! Also we could stop the public school factories and home-school children. Most importantly, we may accept that family comes first and all the mothers should stop working and focus on taking care of their children! And let the cycle repeat -- let the girls learn how to take care of the family and the boys how to earn money!