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Rick Santorum Endorses North Carolina ‘Motorcycle Safety’ Abortion Bill

Robin Marty

In a last-minute bid to spur the senate rules committee into action, 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has endorsed SB 353.

Heated debates in the North Carolina legislature over expanding gun rights and restricting voting rights have shifted  the spotlight this week off of SB 353, an omnibus abortion bill that’s tucked into a piece of legislation originally created to address motorcycle safety issues; the bill has been stalled in the senate rules committee since last week. In a last-minute bid to spur the committee into action, 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has endorsed the bill.

“I am pleased to stand up and support critical legislation that will protect unborn babies in North Carolina,” Santorum said in a press release. “If we don’t take a stand to support our most fundamental right to life, then no other rights matter. Every life should be protected and every life has value, and I am pleased to join pro-life allies in North Carolina to see that this bill becomes law. I have been proud to stand with pro-life leaders around the country to usher in a new era of pro-life legislation that will protect our unborn children. It is my hope that the two chambers can come to an agreement on strong pro-life legislation that the governor will sign into law.”

Santorum was an initial favorite in the 2012 GOP race, bringing droves of Christian conservatives to the polls in the early primary and caucus states. Since his exit from the race, Santorum has started his own PAC, staffed by a number of his presidential campaign team members. He also became actively involved in the Texas abortion debate and said during a Texas GOP press conference, “This is an important moment for everyone to recognize where the abortion debate really is in America. The face of the pro-life movement [is] people out there every day embracing women, whether they decide to have an abortion or not. They love them. … It is the movement of love. That’s what this movement is about.”

The Des Moines Register speculated that Santorum may be “laying the groundwork for another presidential run,” based on his numerous appearances in Iowa, an early straw poll and caucus state. One aspect of North Carolina’s contentious voter ID bill would be a change to the state’s presidential primary date, making it closer to the South Carolina date, the first primary held in the South.

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