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Rick Santorum on Families & Children

Republican Jr Senator (PA)


Contraception for teens helps fix fracturing families

Q: You told an evangelical blog, if elected, you will talk about what "no president has talked about before--the dangers of contraception." Why?

SANTORUM: I was talking about a society with an increasing number of children being born out of wedlock, and teens who are sexually active. What we're seeing is a problem in our culture with respect to children being raised by children, children being raised out of wedlock, and the impact on society economically, the impact on society with respect to drug use and a host of other things when children have children. The family is fracturing. Over 40% of children born in America are born out of wedlock. How can a country survive if children are being raised in homes where it's so much harder to succeed economically? The left gets all upset. "Oh, look at him talking about these things." You know, here's the difference between me and the left, and they don't get this. Just because I'm talking about it doesn't mean I want a government program to fix it.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Address breakdown of American family from bully pulpit

Q: The presidency is often called the bully pulpit. How would you use the bully pulpit to try to shape American culture?

SANTORUM: I haven't written a lot of books, I've written one: in response to a book written by Hillary Clinton called, "It Takes a Village." I didn't agree with that. I believe it takes a family, and that's what I wrote. And I believe that there's one thing that is undermining this country, and it is the breakdown of the American family. It's undermining our economy, and you see the higher rates of poverty among single parent families. We know there's certain things that work in America. If you graduate from high school, and if you work, and if you marry before you have children, you have a 2% chance of being in poverty in America. And to be above the median income, if you do those three things, 77% chance of being above the median income. Why isn't the president talking about that and trying to formulate policy to help people do those things?

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Gay adoption is a state issue; no federal ban

Q: We're in a state where it is legal for same-sex couples to marry. Your position on same-sex adoption?

SANTORUM: Well, this isn't a federal issue. It's a state issue, number one. The states can make that determination. I believe the issue of marriage itself is a federal issue. If we don't have a federal law [on marriage], I'm certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. So this is a state issue, not a federal issue.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Promote the family as economic anchor point

I grew up in a very modest home and was very blessed to have all my basic needs met. And one of the most basic needs was that I was blessed to have a mother and a father. That was the most important gift that I was given, that I had two parents who were together, who loved me, who supported me and made me feel safe. And made the little things feel like luxuries because I had that sense of security.

Unfortunately, we see the family continuing to break down. And with that, the economic status of those families. Single-parent households in America now have poverty levels approaching 40%. What we can do as a federal government, [is] to try to promote this institution of marriage. Try to promote the family and make sure that families are elevated and supported and fathers and mothers are there to take care of their families and be there for their children. That's the most important luxury, is a mom and a dad.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa , Dec 10, 2011

Poverty rate 5% with two parents; 30% with one parent

Q: Over the last 30 years, the income of the wealthiest 1% of Americans has grown by more than 300%. And yet, we have more people living in poverty in this country than at any time in the last 50 years. Is this acceptable?

A: There's more to it than that. The biggest problem with poverty in America we don't talk about in an economic discussion. And that is the breakdown of the American family. You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have a husband and wife working in them? It's 5% today. A family that's headed by one person? It's 30% today. We need to do something. We need to talk about economics: the word "home" in Greek is the basis of the word "economy." It is the foundation of our country. We need to have a policy that supports families; that encourages marriage; that has fathers take responsibility for their children. You can't have limited government, you can't have a wealthy society, if the family breaks down that basic unit of society.

Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH , Oct 11, 2011

No-Fault Freedom: doing whatever we want damages society

The liberal definition of freedom is the freedom to be and to do whatever we want--freedom to choose, irrespective of the choice, freedom without limits (with the obligatory caveat that you can't hurt anyone else DIRECTLY. But someone always gets hurt when masses of individuals do what is only in their own self-interest. That is the great lie of liberal freedom, or as I like to say, "No-Fault Freedom" (all the choice, none of the responsibility).

Believers of No-Fault Freedom turn a blind eye to the damage such a notion of freedom causes not to this or that individual but to society as a whole. We have sexual freedom: and the resulting debasement of women, mental illness, and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases causing infertility, cancer, and death. Adults have freedom to divorce (No-Fault) when it suits them: and too many children end up being scarred for life. This is but a taste of the collateral damage inflicted on society, families, and individuals by No-Fault Freedom.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 14 , Apr 30, 2006

Shotgun marriage wasn't all that bad in some cases

The government in the form of the social worker communicates loud and clear that it doesn't believe low-income, minority couples can maintain a marriage. It effectively says: don't bother trying, just be sure the father establishes paternity so we can come after him for child support. But where are the churches, the civic groups and community organizations? Have they given up hope as well? Sadly, the answer is, with a few notable exceptions, yes. We've gone from the days of shotgun marriage (which I'm not sure in some cases was all that bad) to the days of shotgun paternity establishment. As communities facing out-of-wedlock pregnancy, we've gone from common concern to common indifference.
Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 26 , Apr 30, 2006

Pre-marital cohabitation makes 50% more chance of divorce

Take cohabitation, or living together outside of marriage, as an example. Today's conventional wisdom holds that it is better than harmless, that it is a healthy way for a couple to "test drive" marriage. Some even say that cohabitation is better than marriage, since people should be together only when they are in love with one another, and we can never know how and whom we will love in the future: a vow of lifelong love, they say, is unrealistic.

The problem is that the myth that living together leads to better marriages is wrong. The opposite is true. One study found that marriages preceded by cohabitation have nearly a 50 percent greater chance of ending in divorce than marriages that we not preceded by cohabitation. Furthermore, children born to parents who are just living together instead of married do not fare very well.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 29 , Apr 30, 2006

Covenant Marriage: do whatever it takes to keep together

The concept of Covenant Marriages--started in Louisiana and now also available in AZ and AR--gives couples an option when they go get a marriage license. They can choose the usual marriage with no-fault divorce escape hatch. Or they can choose a covenant marriage, which binds them by law to get premarital counseling, and to do whatever it takes, including counseling, to keep the marriage together. Here is what couples agree to:

"We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together for so long as they both may live. We have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to one another everything which could adversely affect the decision to enter into this marriage. We have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes & responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a Covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling."

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 79-80 , Apr 30, 2006

Automatically awarding custody to moms celebrates sexism

In disrupted families, only about 1 child in 6 sees his father as much as once a week. The divorce courts are often not kind to fathers. Ten years after a marriage breaks up, approximately 2/3 of children report that they haven't seen their father for over a year. Divorced wives can make it difficult for the fathers of their children to visit. Personally, I cannot imagine the pain of not being able to be a part of my children's formative years.

There are many fathers out there who do not take an active role in their children's lives, but who are sadly barred from doing so by courts and mothers. Many fatherhood groups rightly complain that the family courts automatically award custody of childre to mothers, irrespective of the circumstances. It is one of the few places in our culture where sexism is not only condoned but virtually celebrated. This can lead to devastating consequences for the whole family.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.313-314 , Jul 4, 2005

Church scandals caused by "right to privacy lifestyle"

Q: In an article you wrote, you blamed in part the Catholic Church scandal on liberalism. Can you explain that?

A: : You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home?

Q: The right to privacy lifestyle?

A: The right to privacy lifestyle.

Q: What's the alternative?

A: In this case, priests were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 5-year-olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the world view sense is a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it.

Source: Associated Press in USA Today: Santorum Interview , Apr 23, 2003

Voted YES on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record.

Santorum scores 100% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Families & Children: Rick Santorum on other issues:
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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2012