Santorum’s wife dated abortion doctor

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If there are three things that everyone knows about GOP hopeful Rick Santorum, they are as follows: a) he is the inspiration behind the third most disgusting Google image search term in history (closely following "mung" and "Ann Coulter camel toe"); b) he takes his sartorial cues from Zack Morris circa Saved by the Bell: The College Years; and c) he's not really a huge fan of gay sex, illegal immigration, or abortion. That's why everyone collectively emitted one giant, "QUEL SCANDALE!" when the Daily Beast reported that before she got married, Santorum's wife Karen had a six-year relationship with Tom Allen, a Pittsburgh abortion doctor.

The Daily Beast's Nancy Hass reports that Karen Santorum, then known as Karen Garver, lived with Allen through most of her twenties. The obstetrician, who actually delivered Garver in 1960, was widely known as an advocate for reproductive rights, and helped found a local "therapeutic abortion clinic" years before Roe v. Wade. In 1982, Garver began dating Allen as a twenty-two-year old nursing student at Duquesne University, and Allen says that though they "never really discussed" his pro-choice politics, at the time Garver "had no problems with what I did for a living."

Since then, the pro-life mother of seven has adopted her husband's stance on reproductive rights, publicly opposing contraception as well as abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. Still, as tempting as it to denounce Karen Santorum for her hypocrisy (and as repugnant as I personally find the Santorums' values to be), I'm kind of finding it hard to get worked up over this. Your twenties are for figuring out who you are and what you want out of life, and for some women, this process involves sleeping with middle-aged dudes who your parents hate, whose values may later turn out to be completely different from your own. 

For better or for worse, no one is the same person at fifty-one than they were at twenty-two, so Karen Santorum bonin' on some bearded obstetrician thirty years ago strikes me as kind of a non-issue. Despite the Santorums' vested political interest in telling us what we should be doing in our private lives, we should resist the temptation to pass judgment on theirs.