CNN looked hard to make the case Wednesday night and here is what they came up with: Santorum talked about “black” families on welfare on the campaign trail in Iowa and he talked about black babies being disproportionately aborted in an interview a year ago this month. (Watch here.)
First, about the “black” families. Sean Hannity asked him about it the other night, and Santorum didn’t really know what he was talking about. There is a reason for that. He didn’t say anything singling out black families. An NPR reporter translated his notes that way as the former senator was talking about the unsustainability of the welfare state and the indignity of cyclical government dependency. You can listen yourself. This Mediaite writer didn’t hear “blacks.” Seems fairly clear Santorum didn’t say it. CNN viewers were misled.
And now about abortion. Last year, in an interview with Terry Jeffrey, Santorum said: “Well, if that human life is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” He was clearly framing abortion as a human-rights issue, doing it right before the annual Roe v. Wade anniversary and March for Life, right after Martin Luther King Day was celebrated.
Santorum went on to say: “For decades, certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the Constitution. Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the Constitution. I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country.”
You don’t need Rick Santorum to tell you that abortions in America are disproportionately black. Just check the New York Times, which has reported that “data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black women get almost 40 percent of the country’s abortions, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Nearly 40 percent of black pregnancies end in induced abortion, a rate far higher than for white or Hispanic women.” And the New York City government reports that in New York City alone, there were far more abortions than births among blacks — 38,574 to 26,635, or 60 percent. As the Chiaroscuro Foundation pointed out Thursday, “that means for every 1,000 African-American babies born, 1,448 were aborted.”
That Planned Parenthood was founded by a eugenicist has long been an under-the-radar reality. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg told The New York Times Magazine, “Frankly I had thought that at the time [Roe v. Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” she reminded us it’s not a thing of history.
Rick Santorum is honest. Reporters covering him ought to take his lead.