Sorry if this has been diaried already - I missed it if so.
In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine in 1995 (images are in the article), Santorum said,
I was basically pro-choice all my life until I ran for Congress, but it had never been something I thought about.People who knew him at the time thought of him as being pro-choice - and apparently this includes his wife.
Elsewhere in the piece, an anonymous "prominent Republican active in Planned Parenthood" said that Santorum was identified in 1990 as a pro-choice lawmaker. "No one here had identified him as anti-choice," the Republican said. More telling was the quote offered by Tom Allen, a Pittsburgh-based OBGYN who had co-founded the city's first abortion clinic, delivered Santorum's wife, Karen, and gone on to share an apartment with her.His issue statement as a candidate for office in 1990 stated that it was a difficult issue and that government should encourage people to "choose life," but
"When Karen told me she was moving out," Allen said, "she said, 'You'd really like Rick. He's a lot like you. He's politically active and he's pro-choice.'"
it is very difficult to criminalize any activity once a large portion of society comes to see it as a "right." ... For this reason, I have placed my emphasis not on advocating a Human Life Amendment, but on measures that would reshape the current social consensus and encourage women to choose life.
Needless to say, what he thought in 1990 is not what he thinks in 2012.
"Santorum is a product of the polarization of our politics," said Pat Ewing, the former campaign manager for Senator Harris Wofford, whom Santorum defeated in the 1994 election. "He has taken advantage of it. He understands it. And he will take a position to benefit himself to get a small group of people to love him adamantly. His personality hasn't evolved, his politics has."His apparently more reasonable past doesn't make him any less nutty today, but I thought it was interesting that his views have changed to such a strong degree. Possibly his change was at least initially insincere but he found that it was beneficial to him politically to exploit this issue; or perhaps as he became more of a fundamentalist on this issue, he also gained more of a following from people who thought similarly, and spending time with them reinforced his anti-choice, theocratic views.
Too bad he didn't evolve in the other direction.