Monday, April 18, 2005


You know, I find this to be creepy. Really really creepy. Do most people? I don't know.

In his Senate office, on a shelf next to an autographed baseball, Sen. Rick Santorum keeps a framed photo of his son Gabriel Michael, the fourth of his seven children. Named for two archangels, Gabriel Michael was born prematurely, at 20 weeks, on Oct. 11, 1996, and lived two hours outside the womb.

Upon their son's death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen's parents' home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.

...just to add, the story contradicts contemporaneous accounts. I hate to "go there" because I, unlike Rick and Karen Santorum, think these decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, but here's what the Post says:

At one point, her doctor raised the prospect of an abortion, an "option" Karen ridicules.

Steve Goldstein of the Inky reported for Knight Ridder in 1996:

Last fall, Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican who is the leading proponent of barring the procedure - termed ''partial-birth abortion'' by its foes - was within hours of having to decide whether to use an abortion to save the life of his wife, Karen Garver Santorum, who was in her fifth month of pregnancy.

Ultimately, they did not have to make a decision; nature made it for them. Karen went into premature labor brought on by infection, delivering a boy who had a fatal abnormality. The child died two hours later.

In an interview, the Santorums said they would have authorized an abortion had there been no other choice.

Facts, schmacts.