By Dave Andrusko
Less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, four Republican presidential contenders affirmed their strong pro-life convictions last night before an audience gathered in Des Moines for the premier of the pro-life documentary “The Gift of Life,” a joint venture of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Citizens United. Former Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke for 7-10 minutes each to a crowd of 1,200.
Huckabee, who is not running for President this year but who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, hosted the event at the Hoyt Sherman Place.
Bachmann spoke first and sounded a common theme—in Barack Obama, “we have the most pro-abortion president that we have ever had in our nation.” Bachmann also declared that she would be “the most pro-life president that we would ever have in our nation,” according to the Register, adding she would also be “the first president of the United States who has willingly participated with the lord God almighty in bringing forth human life, not only once, but five times.”
Bachmann said, “The No. 1 way that we will advance the cause of life is through the full-scale, 100-percent repeal of ObamaCare.”
Gingrich, who, according to the most recent poll, is narrowly behind in Iowa, (see “Topsy Turvy GOP Presidential Polls, Obama’s Personal Popularity Hits New Low”) said, “The whole reasoning behind Roe v. Wade is a utilitarian phony science reasoning that has collapsed under the weight of modern technology.”
If elected, Gingrich said he would sign an executive order to say “no U.S. money (goes) to pay for abortions anywhere in the world,” a reference to the pro-life Mexico City policy. In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood and rerouting that money to adoption services, Gingrich said he would reinstate President George W. Bush’s conscience policy “that says no doctor, no nurse, no pharmacist, no hospital can be forced to perform a procedure against their religious beliefs,” the Register reported.
Gov. Perry “pointed to his actions as the governor of Texas as evidence of his opposition to abortion and the policies he would pursue as president,” according to the Register. One of those actions is new state rules that disqualify abortion business affiliates from participation in Texas’ Women’s Health Program. (See “Obama administration jeopardizes women’s health due to Pro-Life rules.”) On Monday, the Obama Administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services refused to renew funding for the Program because of that provision.
“I can assure you one thing: if Washington, D.C. is looking for a fight, they found one,” Perry told the crowd.
Santorum said he, too, would defund Planned Parenthood, and said of himself, “I’ve been in the foxhole, out on the front line, fighting the social conservative fights on the national scale.”
Santorum added, “Ladies and gentlemen, you understand that here in Iowa. You get that the social issues are not these unique set-aside issues, no, they are central to every issue that we deal with in America.”
Prior to the event Huckabee told the Register, “It does not mean that candidates who don’t show up tonight are somehow squishy on the issue.” He told the newspaper that he respects the fact that candidates’ schedules lock in early.
But Huckabee added, “[The candidates] all have a thousand things to do but I hope that the fact that there are more than a thousand people to see them will make this worth their time for having come.”
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