TIME’S Writer Thanks Rick Santorum for His Daughter’s Smile

Occasionally, in this world of liberal and biased media, a sane voice makes its way to the surface.  TIME Magazine’s Joe Klein has written a poignant salute to Rick Santorum, admitting that his daughter Bella’s smile has given him cause to stop and think.

Sometimes, it seems easy for some to stay in the same old rut, regardless of what we believe.  Pro-lifers sometimes fail to provide practical help for women who choose to keep and raise their children, though many pregnancy centers and ultrasound buses are a model of exactly what pro-lifers should be doing.  Pro-choicers seem to focus on convenience and to believe in the false weakness and helplessness of women—regardless of modern science, the amazing “window to the womb” that 3D and 4D ultrasounds provide, and the research on how abortion hurts women, too.

But I have to say that I admire any pro-choicer who allows themself to be moved by a compelling pro-life story, fact, or argument.  Or a pro-life face like Bella Santorum’s.

What, after all, does it hurt to stop and think about the consequences of your beliefs?  What do your beliefs really say about you and how you view the world?  What does your advocacy for “choice” do to the helpless and innocent who surround us in this world?
So, if you are pro-choice, I ask you to read the words of Joe Klein, look at the face of Bella Santorum, and stop and think for a minute. 

They [Rick and Karen Santorum] have spent the past three years caring for their daughter Isabella, whose genetic defect, trisomy 18, is an early-death sentence. “Almost 100% of trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted,” Santorum told Schieffer.

I am haunted by the smiling photos I’ve seen of Isabella with her father and mother, brothers and sisters. No doubt she struggles through many of her days — she nearly died a few weeks ago — but she has also been granted three years of unconditional love and the ability to smile and bring joy. Her tenuous survival has given her family a deeper sense of how precious even the frailest of lives are.

All right, I can hear you saying, the Santorum family’s course may be admirable, but shouldn’t we have the right to make our own choices?

Yes, I suppose. But I also worry that we’ve become too averse to personal inconvenience as a society—that we’re less rigorous parents than we should be, that we’ve farmed out our responsibilities, especially for the disabled, to the state—and I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile.