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Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 02/19/2012

Rick Santorum: Prenatal testing encourages abortions (VIDEO)

GOP presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum sharply criticized President Obama’s health-care law again Sunday for requiring health-insurance companies to cover certain prenatal tests, because some procedures are used to identify abnormalities and “encourage abortions.”

“The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions,” Santorum said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He said he was talking specifically about some, but not all, prenatal testing, and not about prenatal care in general. He said “there are all sorts of prenatal testing which should be provided free,” such as sonograms.

Santorum, whose young daughter Bella has the genetic disorder Trisomy 18 and was recently hospitalized, singled out amniocentesis, a procedure in which amniotic fluid is extracted to examine chromosomes and check for birth defects, as a form of testing that insurance companies should not be required to cover.

“Amniocentesis does, in fact, result more often than not in this country in abortions,” Santorum said. “That is a fact.”

He 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.”

When asked by host Bob Schieffer whether he believes President Obama “looks down” on people with disabilities, Santorum cited Obama’s support for legal late-term abortions.

“Well, the president supported partial-birth abortion, and partial-birth abortion is a procedure used almost exclusively to kill children late in pregnancy when they’ve been found out to be disabled,” Santorum said.

He added: “The president has a very bad record on the issue of abortion and children who are disabled who are in the womb. I think this simply is a continuation of that idea.”

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By  |  01:03 PM ET, 02/19/2012

 
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