The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Rick Santorum’s fierce, unequivocal opposition to a woman’s right to choose has been one of the defining characteristics of his political career. Santorum’s wife Karen is also staunchly pro-life, opposing abortions even in cases of rape. She wasn’t always so dogmatic, however.

As the Philadelphia City Paper first reported in 2005, when Karen Santorum — then known by her maiden name, Karen Garver — met Rick she was living with Tom Allen, an OBGYN who co-founded Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic. Allen is 41 years older than Santorum, and he was technically the first man she ever met: Allen was the doctor who delivered her when she was born in 1960.

According to a story published in the most recent Newsweek, Karen, fresh out of college, reconnected with Allen in 1982 when she rented a basement apartment in his house. Allen told Newsweek that “that first night, as soon as it got dark, she called to say she was scared and asked if she could come up. I figured it was a come-on, but that was OK.” The two then embarked on a nearly 5 year long relationship, during which Garver lived with Allen in an out of wedlock relationship.

“Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” Allen said in the same interview. “We never really discussed it.”

Garver was apparently comfortable enough with Allen’s profession to accompany a woman named Mary Greenberg to a clinic to have an abortion. “She told me it wasn’t that bad, that I shouldn’t be worried,” Greenberg said to Newsweek. “She was very supportive.”

After Garver met Santorum while interning at the Pittsburgh law firm Kirpatrick & Lockheart, she moved out of Allen’s house to move in with her future husband. Allen recalled to the City Paper that Garver told him that he’d like Santorum.

“When she moved out to go be with Rick, she told me I’d like him, that he was pro-choice and a humanist. But I don’t think there’s a humanist bone in that man’s body.”


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Al Franken guest hosts on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Image via YouTube

Since his much-lamented resignation from the United States Senate, Al Franken has started his own podcast, made some TV and radio appearances, and is currently on tour across the country -- but his profile rose sharply this week when he guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Instead of dwelling on the good news of President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act, Franken's monologue drilled into another existential threat facing our nation. No, not the “enormous gaps in wealth and income” nor the “threats to our democracy,” but rather a peril that has troubled him since his Senate days.

Keep reading... Show less

Rudy Giuliani arrives at Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia on August 17, 2022

(Reuters) - Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's onetime personal lawyer, arrived at an Atlanta courthouse on Wednesday to testify in a Georgia criminal probe examining attempts by the former U.S. president and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results.

Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's election challenges, was due to testify before a special grand jury in Fulton County after a judge ordered him to comply with a subpoena. His lawyers say he will refuse to answer questions that violate attorney-client privilege.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}