Businessman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain reaffirmed his pro-life views in a statement today, one day after he declined to sign the pro-life pledge sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List that other presidential candidates signed.
“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,” Cain said in a statement. “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,” Cain added. “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.”
The statement seems somewhat nuanced, in that while Cain, as president, couldn’t “advance” pro-life legislation through Congress, but he can undoubtedly use the power of the bully pulpit the presidency affords to persuade members of the House and Senate to advance the bill.
The Susan B. Anthony List yesterday 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.
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.
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.”
Romney’s failure to sign the pledge earned him criticism from pro-life candidate Rick Santorum.