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NEW YORK: The wife of fiercely pro-life US presidential hopeful Rick Santorum had a six-year love affair with an abortion doctor 40 years her senior – and incredibly the man who delivered her as a baby – it has emerged.
Karen Santorum, 51, who, like her husband, opposes abortion even in cases of rape, dated Pittsburgh abortion pioneer Tom Allen in the 1980s.
When they got together, Mrs Santorum, then Karen Garver, was a 22-year-old nursing student while Allen was a 63-year-old divorcé and father of six.
The pair landed up living together for nearly five years.
Allen, now 92, co-founded Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic in the 1970s, and was a close friend of Mrs Santorum’s parents.
Karen and Rick Santorum married in 1990. They have seven children.
Interviewed recently by the Daily Beast website Allen said: “Karen was a lovely girl, very intelligent and sweet.
“Karen had no problems with what I did for a living.”
Accounts of Allen paint the picture of a caddish playboy – a wine and opera aficionado whose first marriage is said to have failed due to his penchant for much younger women.
Now forced to use a walking frame, he retains his cheeky smile and remains a strong supporter of reproductive rights.
He began dating his current wife Judi – 30 years his junior – a few months after splitting from Karen. The couple have been married for 16 years.
Allen says his relationship with Mrs Santorum “was not that big a deal, at least to me”.
Although it was already known that Mrs Santorum had dated an abortion doctor, the fresh details of their relationship could damage Rick Santorum’s campaign to be picked as the next Republican presidential nominee. He is well-known for his hard-line pro-life views and Christian conservatives form a core part of his support base. – Daily Mail