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Part Two: Potential American First Lady – Who is Karen Garver Santorum?

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This is the second in a series of articles about the wives of those who are running for the office of President of the United States for the Republican Party. The first article was written about Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Lois Davies Romney. Click here:

America has always been enamored by the women who occupy the White House. In modern times, who can forget Jackie Kennedy, Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, or Laura Bush?

Each of these women will forever have the recognition as having been married to an American president. Never-the less, each in their own way will have made a place for themselves in history.

Each First Lady brings to the White House her own unique experiences, abilities, and personalities; hoping to make a name for themselves according to their agendas.

Atlantans can more closely relate to Rosalynn Carter who was also the First Lady of the Governor’s mansion in Atlanta; and of the nation when her husband was President. She brought awareness to the plight of those with mental illness. She also volunteered at Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. And for four years, she was the honorary chairperson for Georgia Special Olympics. Those in Atlanta have always been proud that she represented them so well. She and her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, have remained active in many pursuits since he lost the election to President Reagan.

The nation has had a lot of insight into who Michelle Obama is and her background, what has not been censored. Much of it has been fodder for pundits who have opposed her husband’s administration. There has been a lot of coverage about her project of dealing with obese and inactive children.

Now the nation is looking at four other women, who could conceivably become the First Lady after the election in November, 2012. They are Ann Lois Davies Romney, Karen Garver Santorum, Calista Bisek Gingrich, and Carol Wells Paul.

In this second of the series, Karen Garver Santorum will be highlighted. Searching the web, there is just not a lot about Karen personally after her marriage to Rick Santorum. She was a neo-natal nurse and later earned her law degree. She is the stay-at-home mother of seven children; one of which needs special care. Before marrying Rick, she lived with an abortionist who was 40 years her senior; and who actually delivered her when she was born.

Rick Santorum once made the statement that voters should take a look at the wives of those running for office because it would give them insight into the candidate to know the person they were sleeping with.

“Santorum met his future wife, Karen Garver (born 1960), while she was a law student at the University of Pittsburgh and he was recruiting summer interns for the Kirkpatrick & Lockhart firm. She was a neo-natal nurse prior to attending law school. They married in 1990 and have seven living children. In 1996, the Santorums' son Gabriel was born prematurely after twenty weeks of pregnancy and died two hours after birth.” Read More:

This was no ordinary miscarriage. This is a heart wrenching story of their loss. Tests revealed that the baby had a defect; and they decided to try a risky surgery on the baby while still in the womb. Karen became very ill after the surgery; and with high fever. It was determined that she and the baby could die from infection. In order to save the life of Karen, the Santorums decided to allow the doctor to induce labor at only 20 weeks. You can follow the details in an article linked below.

There does not seem to be a Wikipedia biography of Ms. Santorum alone without the information about her husband. But the following news stories may help us to get a better look at the woman who aspires to be the First Lady. Several of the sites were reported as being “temporarily” unavailable which may have given us more insight into her life.

Before Karen met Rick

“But Mrs. Santorum, 51, apparently wasn’t always committed to the cause (pro-life). In fact, her live-in partner through most of her 20s was Tom Allen, a Pittsburgh obstetrician and abortion provider 40 years older than she, who remains an outspoken crusader for reproductive rights and liberal ideals. Dr. Allen has known Mrs. Santorum, born Karen Garver, her entire life: he delivered her in 1960.” For more:

There were two reports of her age – it was said that she was 22 years old in 1982 which would make her born in 1960. And in another place her age is given as being 51 in 2012; which would have made her birth year 1961. The only date for their marriage is 1990.

Their children are listed as: Elizabeth Anne Santorum: Born in 1991. Richard John "Johnny" Santorum, Jr. Born in 1993, Daniel James Santorum: Born in 1995,Gabriel Michael Santorum: Born prematurely, at 20 weeks, on October 11, 1996. (Gabriel lived only two hours).

Sarah Maria Santorum: Born in 1998, Peter Kenneth Santorum: Born in 1999, Patrick Francis Santorum: Born in 2001, Isabella "Bella" Maria Santorum: Born in 2008.

Bella was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder. Little Bella had a serious illness recently; and was hospitalized with pneumonia. Rick left his campaign and went to be by her side until she recovered. People all across the nation were praying for this precious little child. Rick has always maintained that his most important duty was first to his wife and children.

Rick Santorum’s wife once pro-choice, lived with abortion practitioner

“Newsweek magazine is reporting that the pro-life Santorum’s wife, Karen Garver Santorum, once lived with an abortion provider 40 years her senior. Tom Allen claims his one-time lover had no problem with his chosen profession while they lived together for six years in the 1980’s before she married Rick Santorum in 1990. For more:

Karen Garver Santorum is an attorney and the wife of former U. S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). She is also the author of the newly-released book, 'Letters to Gabriel', which she wrote about her stillborn son. For more:

"In a book, ’Letters to Gabriel,’ Mrs. Santorum described how they slept with the baby's body in their hospital room. She wrote: 'Daddy and I wanted to hold you for as long as we possibly could.'"

Mark Leibovic reports:"Upon their son's death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen's parents' home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass."

Source: Mark Leibovich. "Father First, Senator Second." WashingtonPost.com. 4/18/2005.

Presidential Candidate Rick Sntorum's Activist First Lady, Karen

"It was a very difficult time in our lives," Santorum explained, describing how he and Karen as prents did everything they could to save their baby's life. Gabriel lived for two hous and died in his parents' arms, and their decision to bring him home and introduce him to his siblings strikes some as loving and appropriate, and others as bizarre." Read more:

Karen Santorum, Rick Santorum's Wife, Says Campaign Is 'God's Will'

Karen Santorum has not been front and center in her husband's campaign as she cares for the couple's youngest child, Bella, who suffers from a genetic disorder. She said in the interview that her opposition to Obama's health care plan was largely due to her daughter's condition.

"This is why we're making the sacrifice we are as a family, to give all," she said. "Because I do believe that if President Obama is elected again, I do believe we're going to lose our nation as we know it. As a mother of 7, I'm really concerned about that." Read more:

Rick Santorum's Wife Karen Sued Doctor For $500,000, Despite Senator's Calls For Tort Reform

“The suit charged that in November 1996, Karen saw Dr. David Dolberg for a spinal alignment, according to an article by Roll Call on Dec. 13, 1999. The adjustment, however, was performed improperly and resulted in a herniated disk that caused her physical pain and emotional suffering, and required surgery and multiple doctors' visits, she alleged.” Read more:

Rick Santorum and Karen Garver Marriage Profile

Rick in 2004: "Marriage is about children. Marriage is about the glue that holds the basic foundational societal unit together, and that is the family. When we change the composition of that glue, we weaken the bonds of marriage and then we weaken the American family."

Source: Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum: A Senator Speaks Out on Life, Freedom, and Responsibility. 2005. pg. 178.” Read more:

Note:

While so much of this seems negative toward Ms. Santorum – this is all that I could find about her. I could not find her birth date, their marriage date, or anything about her schooling or career positions; other than the titles. This article is intended to let people know what is available on the women who aspire to become the First Lady of America. Those to follow will be on Calista Gingrich and Carol Paul.

If you would like to add links that would give more insight into Ms. Santorum, please post them in the comment window below. There just does not seem to be a lot out there other than what critics and pundits have come up with.

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