Magazine April 16, 2012, Issue

The Culture Warrior

(Roman Genn)
Rick Santorum charges unprepared into battle

In the fall of Rick Santorum’s second year as a senator, he asked an impertinent question of his colleague Russ Feingold (D., Wis.). Most Democrats in 1996, including Feingold, were defending the legality of a procedure — dubbed “partial-birth abortion” by pro-lifers — in which an abortionist partially delivered a fetus, punctured its skull, vacuumed out its brain, and then removed the remains. What, asked Santorum, if the abortionist accidentally delivered the fetus whole? Could he then “kill the baby”?

Feingold answered: “I am not the person to be answering that question. That is a question that should be answered by

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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