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2012 GOP Candidates Sign Pro-Life Pledge; Romney, Cain Decline

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/17/11 5:07 PM

National, Politics

Five of the Republican presidential candidates seeking the GOP nomination to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama in 2012 have signed onto a pro-life pledge the Susan B. Anthony List has sponsored, but Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have declined.

The Susan B. Anthony List today announced its Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge and said it asked all of the candidates who have officially announced a presidential campaign or exploratory committee to sign the pledge certifying they will not just check off the pro-life box but show true pro-life leadership if elected president.

Signers of the pledge include Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum and the pro-life organization is calling on pro-life activists to put pressure on those candidates who have refused to sign, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Gary Johnson. Johnson’s not signing is no surprise given his pro-abortion views but Romney has been campaigning as a pro-life candidate since converting to the pro-life position before the 2008 presidential election. Cain has said he holds pro-life views and has repeatedly excoriated Planned Parenthood for targeting the black community with its abortion facilities.

The SBA List confirmed to LifeNews that the Romney and Cain campaigns were contacted about the candidates signing the pledge and the two candidates chose not to do so. LifeNews.com contacted both campaigns for explanations about why they did not join the other presidential candidates and the Cain camp has not yet issued a response.

Responding for Romney, spokeswoman Andrea Saul told LifeNews, “Governor Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today.”

“However, this well intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it. Gov. Romney has been a strong supporter of the SBA List in the past and he looks forward to continue working with them to promote a culture of life,” she said.

UPDATE: Asked to explain the “unforseen consequences” that would prevent Romney from signing the pledge, Saul told LifeNews, “The pledge calls for legislation to strip taxpayer funding from hospitals around the country, and strictly limits the choices a President would have to appoint cabinet members.”

Marilyn Musgrave, former Congresswoman and the director of the pledge project for SBA List, said, “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. Their signatures demonstrate that mere lip-service to protecting women and the unborn is not enough—it must be backed up by concrete action.”

The signers of the pledge, agreed to:

* 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; and

* 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 candidates 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, President Obama protects political allies like Planned Parenthood and continually appoints activist federal judges. The situation demands a strong leader who will advance consensus life-affirming legislation and policy at all levels.”