Santorum: Democrats are the ‘extreme party’ on abortion

Updated
Rick Santorum speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas.
Rick Santorum speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The staunch anti-abortion Republican Rick Santorum has jumped into the Texas abortion debate.

The former Pennsylvania senator and failed presidential candidate joined lawmakers in Austin on Thursday to rally in support of a controversial abortion bill, which would ban the procedure after 20 weeks.

Santorum, accompanied by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, argued it’s the Democrats that are the “extreme party” on abortion. He also skewered the media for what he sees as the excessive praising of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis following her marathon filibuster to kill the bill.

“The person that blocked it is lionized by the media, roundly supported by the president and everybody in their party for taking an extreme point of the view by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.

After the 2012 election, Santorum founded the conservative group Patriot Voices.

Santorum continued, arguing that the media makes is sound like there’s some “extreme measure passing down, some radical ideas. You hear Republicans throughout the country saying ‘why are we talking about this, why are people in Texas doing this?’ I wish these people would simply go away.”

The Texas House approved the legislation, which would also mandate doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only permit abortions in surgical centers, and dictate when  abortion pills are taken. Critics argue it would force most clinics in the state to either upgrade or shut down completely. Meanwhile, proponents–including Santorum–say it protects women’s health.

“The truth is the extreme party on this issue are the folks standing up here saying women don’t deserve basic, sanitary standards when it comes to abortion clinics and that children that would otherwise be born alive  are not entitled to any protection,” he said.

Related: For Wendy Davis, standing up to the GOP is nothing new 

The issue is not one that Santorum’s unfamiliar with. The staunch social conservative frequently played up his pro-life stance on the campaign trail, pointing to his efforts in trying to pass the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act during his time in the Senate. While campaigning, he also signed the Susan B. Anthony List’s anti-abortion pledge, which has the “ultimate goal of ending abortion in this country” and has said he’s against abortion, even in cases of rape.

Santorum said proponents of the bill are simply acting in “human decency for the little child in the womb.”

The bill–supported by Texas Gov. Rick Perry–now heads to the state Senate, which convenes on Friday.

Santorum: Democrats are the 'extreme party' on abortion

Updated