Santorum is wrong on insurance and prenatal testing

When a pol angers those already opposed to him or her, it’s not a big deal. But to alienate supporters or those who might be supportive is a big mistake. Rick Santorum made a big mistake by blasting ObamaCare for “requiring health-insurance companies to cover certain prenatal tests, because some procedures are used to identify abnormalities and “encourage abortions.” (Read) Santorum’s also wrong on the issue.

The Republican presidential candidate is correct that the results of prenatal tests, when they uncover abnormalties or health risks, can lead to decisions to abort. But that’s a consequence of a needed health option for parents and the unborn baby. Knowledge, and options for treatment are the reason prenatal testing needs to be covered. I have empathy for Santorum and his wife, who have dealt with one child, Gabriel, dying shortly after birth and are also raising a child, Isabella, with “Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder that often results in stillbirths or early childhood death.” (Read) My wife and I have a son who died 24 hours after his birth. He was diagnosed, through prenatal testing, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. At the time, a doctor recommended to us that the pregnancy be terminated.

We never considered abortion as an option, but I never felt any offense at the suggestion. As it was, our son, Ray, was delivered, loved, and died peacefully. Personally, it’s time I treasure, and I’m glad we provided him life.

Santorum’s opposition to insurance providers being mandated to cover prenatal testing, just because it might be used for a later abortion, is not enough of a reason, religious or otherwise to deny parents who are extremely worried about their unborn child the peace of mind of an amniocentesis, or other prenatal testing. To follow Santorum’s logic is to deny people access to advances that can improve human life. That’s an extreme position; as a result it can drive potential supporters away.

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20 Responses to Santorum is wrong on insurance and prenatal testing

  1. Does anyone know anything about Santorum except his personal religious beliefs? What’s his foreign policy? Economic policy? Is the guy running for president or the papacy?

    • Owain says:

      Try Google. It’s amazing what you can learn if you’ll only look.

      • Yeah it makes total sense that voters should have to google that stuff while he’s using all his press opportunities to muse on his religious beliefs…? I wish it was clear that he would at least stand up for all catholic teachings but in fact he doesn’t. Just the ones that suit his politics.

        • Owain says:

          Good greif, Catherine. Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean it’s some deep dark secret. Can you get any more narcissistic?

          • It’s narcissistic to think a presidential candidate should be forthcoming with all of his policies, not just his personal religious views? I think it’s narcissistic to think voters are doing a candidate a favor by voting for him, therefore if they want to know his policies, it’s incumbent on them to google it.

          • Owain says:

            No Catherine, it’s narcissistic to think that just because YOU don’t know about his policies, the information isn’t readily available. If you can’t keep up with current events, you probably shouldn’t be commenting on them. Have you watched a debate, for example? According to NPR, there have been 26 Republican primary debates so far.

            If you don’t know Santorum’s positions by now, it’s either because you haven’t been paying attention, or you’re lazy.

        • Myth Buster says:

          Well said Catherine; the reason he speaks with a fork tongue on matters Catholic is he is a Knight of Malta aka Hospitaller or Knight of St John of Jerusalem. Within the Catholic Church are these Jesuit controlled Knights who serve Adolfo Nicholas at the Vatican aka the Jesuit General or Black Pope; he wears a black robe.
          Santorum is an Agent Provocateur destroying the Catholic Church from inside its walls

      • Ben Pales says:

        I looked. Owain this guy should be right up your ally.

  2. I am so pleased that you gave your child life no matter how brief. That was very loving and courageous of you.
    Santorum never said he wants prenatal testing banned. It says so in the interview.Liberal pundits who deliberately take things out of context to create headlines like Santorum wants to take away women’s healthcare.

    He merely noted that the Obama Administration wants to include complete coverage for pre-natal testing as mandatory. Like contraception. Paid for by our tax dollars.
    Its an attempt at cost reduction with the following logic; the more babies you contracept or abort, the more money you save.Our children can be expensive to raise.
    But those of us who love disabled children and have faced pressure from doctors to abort these children know that freedom of conscience is not respected. I wrote a book with 34 parents of special needs children, and most said that they were treated in a hostile manner when they either refused testing or stated their intention to give birth to a child with a poor pre-natal diagnosis.
    Rick Santorum contributed a story about his daughter Bella to my book. “A Special Mother is Born”.

    • Margaret M. says:

      I was told that my AFP was extremely high, and that I should abort. I declined. I delivered a son without any disability (who is now 6’5″, and a mountain-biker). These tests are not fool-proof, but we are made to feel they are, and that we are irresponsible for not terminating our pregnancy. Bring up the topic, and a room full of women will start to share similar stories. Media stories to the contrary do not alter our personal opposition, with good reason.

  3. Richard says:

    … again… people who “have” to find fault with a candidate, will miss-read or not even try listening to what they say… Santorum has said ” that people have the right to have prenatal testing done, ‘“but to have the government force people to provide it free, to me, is a bit loaded.’” … Santorum also went on to say; “there are all sorts of prenatal testing which should be provided free, such as sonograms’ … but anti-anyone-but-Obama-supporters don’t want to hear his “real” stand on prenatal testing… just the bigoted ideas in your hearts…

  4. Richard says:

    ‎…BUT… I do think (opinion… not right-or-wrong) the insurance companies would like to be able to test the unborn and give the parents an offer or two… such as; 1- have an abortion or we won’t cover your child after birth… 2- have an abortion or when you child eventually grows into the disability we won’t cover it because it was “pre-existing”… I think these and other possible insurance and government options, are what Santorum is concerned about… but I am not speaking for Santorum… just saying that “after some thought”, I can kind of see “possible” problems with insurance companies and the government knowing the DNA of your unborn children….

  5. Barb says:

    Santorum knows exactly what he is talking about. He is not wrong. I live in a country that has socialized medicine and I can tell that you options for treatment for children who could (or some would say) should have been aborted subsequent to a prenatal diagnosis, do not exist.

    For that matter, America is going in that direction too. The American Academy for Pediatrics and the American Heart Association both recommend that children like Bella should not even be resuscitated at birth.

    There is a great deal of money to be saved through the elimination of certain lives and if you believe that “choice” is something that exists now and will continue to exist, you are sadly mistaken.

    • Myth Buster says:

      Barb, Rick Santorum is bought and paid for by the Knights of Malta; he cares diddly squat about the life of the unborn. the oath they swear includes tearing out babies from their mother’s wombs and swinging their heads against the rocks. Just google Oaths of Knights of Malta if you can;t believe this sort of double minded treachery exists.

  6. Neal Cassidy says:

    Using the statements made by some to those who disagree with Utah politcs or policy. If you do “live a country that has socialized medicine” you could leave and go to a country thaty has a health policy more to your liking

  7. Monica says:

    An honest question would be, does insurance have to cover everything? Particularly when it doesn’t improve the health of the baby?

    Your son was diagnosed with a condition similar to my daughter’s. I am so sorry for the pain of your loss. You know, no doubt, that kids with HLHS can sometimes survive if given palliative surgeries – and that is what we chose. Because we knew in utero via *ultrasound* and fetal echo (services which Mr. Santorum has no qualms being paid by insurance, by the way), we were able to arrange for good and timely surgical care – all arranged before she was even born.

    An amniocentesis, however, will never (never say never, right, so let’s say extremely rarely, will it) provide information that will help parents prepare for a child’s life-saving care upon birth. You see, the amnio detects genetic syndromes, not defects, like your Ray had and my daughter has. The only decision riding on an amnio is whether to carry on with the pregnancy, or not. And if you look at the stats, it’s typically not.

    So, we could ask again – does it make sense for us to pay for procedures which are not life-saving, nor enhancing? Should the parents want to pay out of pocket for an amnio or the newer non-invasive tests, no one is suggesting they cannot.

    When a procedure is free, drs will offer it more widely and we will be paying for procedures that are not really necessary at all, and certainly not life-saving. So, I ask again, must everything be covered? Or can we draw the line at procedures which – when they detect nothing were certainly not justifiable, and when they detect something, are not life-saving, but instead, typically lead to abortion? It’s not an unreasonable question. Thanks for reading.

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