Leading pro-abortion group NARAL released a report today on the Republican presidential hopefuls and the organization says essentially all of the Republican presidential candidates are pro-life on abortion.
With the exception of former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is not regarded as a likely presidential contender, none of the 15 Republicans who are running or have hinted at a bid for the GOP nomination are acceptable to NARAL. That confirms, for pro-life voters, that the field is made up of pro-life advocates who have track records supporting pro-life bills and laws and who would represent a marked changed from the extensive pro-abortion policies President Barack Obama has implemented during his tenure in the White House.
NARAL Communications Director Ted Miller, in a press briefing today, told reporters, “As the campaign evolves and one of these candidates emerges, we will be comparing his or her [record on abortion rights] to Baa’s.” This first look at the candidates comes just days before the Iowa straw poll that will take place in Ames.
Melissa Moskowitz, deputy policy director and general counsel for the group added that NARAL believes all of the Republican candidates are “anti-choice.”
That concerns NARAL policy director Donna Crane, who says the outcome of the 2012 presidential election will greatly affect the legality of abortion.
“The outcome of the 2012 presidential election very well could determine whether abortion remains legal and accessible for the next generation of American women,” she said. “The occupant of the White House wields more power over reproductive rights than any other person. … Depending on who occupies the office, that unique authority can be used either to protect or to take away our rights.”
Looking at some of the top presidential contenders on the Republican side, NARAL said Mitt Romney is pro-life and cited an interview he gave to National Review in 2007, where he said, “I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states and the elected representatives of the people and the people themselves have the ability to put in place pro-life legislation. And of course it’s our aspiration that at some point we’ll see a nation that doesn’t have abortion.”
NARAL blasted Michele Bachmann saying she has a 100% pro-life voting record in Congress and that she voted for the House-passed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; she voted to prohibit the District of Columbia from using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. NARAL cited her signing of a pro-life pledge the Susan B. Anthony List put forward and said that, as a Minnesota state legislator, she co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to block public funding of any organization associated with an organization that provides, counsels or refers for abortion.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who earns high marks from pro-life advocates, earned low marks from NARAL as he contemplates running. It cited him saying “Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation’s history books” and bashed him for signing a measure banning abortion after “viability,” without any exception and a law allowing women information about abortion risks.
Tim Pawlenty also received low marks from NARAL, with the pro-abortion group bashing him for co-sponsoring a bill that prohibited abortions and subjected abortion practitioners to penalties for not complying. NARAL also complained that he “signed into law a measure that prohibits organizations receiving state funds from referring women for abortion services,” signed the SBA List pledge, and said, “We don’t honor the Constitution when we elevate a vague idea that is the right to privacy over the right to life.”
NARAL says Herman Cain has no legislative voting record, but he has signed a “Protect the Unborn Pledge,” when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, pledging to introduce legislation that would “restore legal, moral protection of unborn human life.” It cited him saying, “Unbelievably, the decision of Roe v. Wade shows that our nation still chooses to place human convenience over the sanctity of human life.”
NARAL pointed to Newt Gingrich’s pro-life voting record and said Gingrich cast 74 votes on abortion and other issues and 72 were pro-life in its books. It blasted Jon Huntsman for signing into law measures that established a state fund to defend abortion restrictions in court, criminalized some abortion services and required minors seeking abortions to notify their parents even if they come from purportedly “violent, abusive, or neglectful homes.”
The organization said Ron Paul cast 106 votes on abortion and found 93 of them to be pro-life. And it said Rick Santorum cast 72 out of 74 votes in the pro-life direction. NARAL also blasted Sarah Palin and Buddy Roemer as taking pro-life positions it opposes.