[Some GOP] Presidential Candidates Pledge to Advance Pro-life Issues In Office

From one of my favorite national pro-life organizations, The Susan B Anthony List.

What is extremely troubling is that Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Gary Johnson (no surprise) refused to sign this pledge!

CONTACT: Ciara Matthews

2012 Hopefuls Sign Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) today announced the Republican candidates for President who have signed its Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge, committing them to actively advance pro-life policies and legislation if they are elected to the White House.  Signers of the pledge include Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.  Marilyn Musgrave, former Congresswoman and Project Director for SBA List, made the announcement at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this afternoon. SBA List is also calling on pro-life activists to put pressure on those candidates who have refused to sign, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Gary Johnson, to sign the pledge.

“We applaud those candidates who did sign the pledge for vowing to support and advance the protection of life at all stages if elected to the White House,” said Musgrave.  “Their signatures demonstrate that mere lip-service to protecting women and the unborn is not enough—it must be backed up by concrete action.”

According to the pledge, available here, if elected President, candidates will:

  • Only nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;
  • Select pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health & Human Services, and the Department of Justice;
  • Advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions;
  • Advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

“The conviction and resolve of these candidate’s answers grassroots hunger for authentic leadership.  Any ‘truce’ on social issues is not viable, nor is it acceptable to the grassroots,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.  “As one of the most activist presidents on abortion in history protects political allies like Planned Parenthood and continually appoints activist federal judges, the situation demands a strong leader who will advance consensus and life affirming legislation and policy at all levels.”

The Susan B. Anthony List spent $11 million during the 2010 midterm election cycle. Overall, the SBA List was involved in 90 races including 62 wins and 28 losses. Successes included: defeating 15 of 20 so-called “pro-life” Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health care reform bill; increasing the number of pro-life women in the House by 70 percent; filling the void of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate and increasing the number of pro-life women governors from one to four.




  1. And unfortunately for you guys, everyone has taken Reagan’s 11th Commandment to the bizarre extreme and no one is apparently willing to take on Romney, which will lead him to winning the nomination.

    Which is pretty good for us Dems. An unbloodied Romney is an untested Romney, and if Obama and Romney agree on everything from Climate Change to Abortion to Health Care, what’s left? The economy? Yeah, let’s have the 200 million dollar “unemployed”/”Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney try to connect with the “Joe Sixpacks and Hockey Moms” (to quote Our Lady of Scottsdale),

    Lookin’ like a good time in 2012!

  2. Well, Cain’s come out with an explanation for his position:

    Herman Cain Reaffirms Commitment to Pro-Life Principles
    (Stockbridge, GA)- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain reaffirmed his commitment to his longstanding pro-life principles saying:

    “I support right-to-life issues unequivocally and I adamantly support the first three aspects of the Susan B. Anthony pledge involving appointing pro-life judges, choosing pro-life cabinet members, and ending taxpayer-funded abortions.

    However, the fourth requirement demands that I ‘advance’ the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation.

    I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues.

    In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.”


    Is there a Constitutional conflict here that could have been resolved with better language?

  3. Andy Goss says

    Shane, I think there are a couple of ways to view the signing or not signing of this pledge. I, for one, would have signed it immediately if I were running for president for a couple of reasons. The first reason would be because I agree with it and the second reason is because I don’t pander to the middle or to the left. I am who I am and I don’t give a rip about those who criticize my conservativism. Romney is not completely 100 percent pro-life (as he stated concerning the cases of incest, rape and saving the life of the mother). To me, pro-life doesn’t have caveats. An unborn life is an unborn life and has zero to do with the circumstances; it only knows it is living and breathing and receiving sustenance and to end that life due to a circumstance is still murder.

    By not signing this pledge, perhaps Romney and Cain and Johnson (who strikes me as kind of a quack) are trying to demonstrate they won’t be bullied or manipulated into signing anything. This may be Romney’s way of showing a little defiance and backbone. I am more concerned for the fallout on Herman Cain because he is who I support right now. I don’t really care who signs what pledge, I care about their platform and their solutions. I guess it’s nice to say you have been endorsed by a certain group or agreed to a certain pledge but you don’t want to back yourself into a corner and agree to something you aren’t sure you can live up to. Obviously, Romney, Cain and Johnson didn’t feel comfortable signing it. I really don’t see more than cosmetic damage being done by this as there is still such a long way to go. But I like Cain’s explanation better than Romney’s. Isn’t it interesting to see in some comments all over the web the venom some people reserve for candidates? Almost as if the candidate came into their house and pooped on their floor or something. I wish people wouldn’t revere candidates so highly; they are bound to disappoint us all one time or another. They’re still imperfect people with faults. I hope this time around the voters are more responsible with their vote.

  4. Andy, how can you consider someone who wants to save the life of the mother if the only way to do it is to kill the fetus she is carrying to not be pro-life? Doesn’t saving the life of the mother count as being pro-life? Does letting the mother die mean you are for allowing the life of the mother to be aborted by the fetus she is carrying?

    If pro-life people want to seriously advance the pro-life agenda, they should work on advancing with issues where there is a fairly borad consensus such as prohibiting abortion on demand just because a woman doesn’t feel like having a baby because it is inconvenient. That probably accounts for over 90% of abortions currently performed. Dealing with that would be a huge victory for the pro-life movement without trying to resolve moral situations where many people with pro-life views disagree.

    It is counter-productive to alienate pro-life people having different ways of looking at the pro-life issue when abortion on demand is the biggest problem at this point with the abortion issue.

  5. Also, the proper response for a conservative presdiential candidate is that the states should be allowed to legislate on abortion. Supporting the first 3 provisions is legitimate for a candidate for a Federal office (as long as the tax dollars restricted are only Federal tax dollars). The 4th provision should not be legislated by the Federal government to apply to the states.

    Overturning Roe Vs Wade means allowing the states to do the legislating. It does not mean allowing Congress to legislate for the states.

  6. Andy Goss says

    Well, Hunter I understand the argument but I would counter-argue that with today’s advances in medicine that scenario is extremely rare. While I am a firm believer in the 10th Amendment, the powers of the state don’t supercede the US Constitution. That’s neither here nor there. The point is, you either support the life and rights of the unborn or you don’t, in my opinion. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person to hold Romney’s view, I just take a harder line on it. If a politician will equivocate on that they will equivocate on other things as well. I don’t need a consensus to form an opinion or to voice it and I don’t personally speak for any politician or any “movement”. However, as a voter, I would like to know precisely where a candidate stands and if it lines up with my beliefs, great. If not, I don’t vote for them. Though I may be Latter-Day Saint like Romney is, he won’t be getting my vote but abortion isn’t the only reason for that. I have heard nothing but generalities from him and that just isn’t good enough for me. I need specifics and I need to know what items are not negotiable. To me, Romney seems like a walking, talking negotiation.

  7. Well, I personally would hesitate to put to any candidate to sign anything very specific in terms of campaign promises, because it usually hands the opposing party a tool with which to hammer the candidate earlier or later for “signing” or “not signing” or “failing to uphold the signature,” and can spark unnecessary disputes amongst people are are essentially all on the same side..

    The comments seem to bear this out.
    Further, iIt’s pretty obvious already without a pledge which candidates by their histories are solid and which are wobbly on Pro-Life commitments. If they were Pro-Life when it wasn’t “cool” then they’ll be Pro-Life whether they sign or not, and who needs candidates who have by their past actions, capitulated to abortion lobbying, but want to make a pandering show by signing something they won’t look at much again afterwards.

    Good intentions, but perhaps unintended consequences.

    The Original “Contract With America” was a very effective as a statement to sign, for it set out the broad vision and direction and SPIRIT through identifiable objectives without being chained to specifics or becoming too complicated.

  8. Oberserve says
  9. Phillip the Great says

    Pressure groups constantly attack candidates and compel them to sign their pledges. Political parties do the same thing. So do radio stations (if you pledge to buy $5,000 worth of ads per month and we’ll give you an hour a week).

    All the pledges, even the pro life ones, come with strings attached. We’ve got pro life groups here in AZ asking not about moral, life issues but process ones like judicial selection.

    If you want to really, really see and learn what politics is in AZ, run for office. File some paperwork and your phone will ring off the hook with people asking for stuff, pledges included.

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