by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Iowa is the home to the first battles of the 2008 presidential campaign and a leading pro-life senator considering a run for the Republican nomination has picked up the endorsement of the director of the state’s pro-life organization.
Sam Brownback has picked up the backing of Kim Lehman, president and executive director of Iowa Right to Life, a pro-life group with tens of thousands of members in Iowa.
Lehman has been the group’s leader since 2000 after serving as the Iowa director for Concerned Women for America. She said she supports Brownback because of his proven pro-life record.
"While other candidates are in the process of defining and refining their position at the start of this campaign, Senator Brownback has been principled, consistent and unwavering in his support for the right to life," she told the Associated Press.
The endorsement could be significant for Brownback, who will need the backing of pro-life advocates against more popular potential candidates like pro-abortion former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who opposes abortion but supports embryonic stem cell research.
Brownback filed papers last month to establish an exploratory campaign committee to gauge his support for a presidential bid.
"I don’t see it as a long shot," he said of a potential candidacy. "I think once the candidates’ positions are known on the various topics, I’m going to win this."
Brownback said candidates like Giuliani and McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who recently became pro-life, lack his longtime dedication to the pro-life cause.
"I’m the one that has been there, is there and will be there in the future," he said.
Brownback has been a strong pro-life advocate on both abortion and bioethics issues and has a consistent 100 percent pro-life voting record on various pro-life issues from the National Right to Life Committee.
He has won strong support from the pro-life community for not only voting pro-life but serving as a key sponsor of legislation.
He sponsored a measure to allow the federal government to prohibit the use of the drugs in assisted suicides and has been the leading lawmaker behind a bill that would ban all forms of human cloning.
Whether Brownback wins the nomination or not, his candidacy will challenge Republicans to make sure they select a pro-life nominee to take on the Democratic candidate, who will almost assuredly back abortion.
Lydia Saad a senior editor at the Gallup poll explains that the pro-life position has been a boon for Republican presidential candidates.
"National exit polling in every presidential election since 1984 has shown a net advantage to the pro-life side over the pro-choice side, based on the percentage of single-issue abortion voters in the electorate," Saad has said.