by Steven Ertelt
November 20, 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Iowa Right to Life officials told LifeNews.com on Tuesday that the pro-life organization will remain neutral in the Republican presidential primary race. Their decision comes despite the endorsement its parent group, National Right to Life, gave to former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson last week.
Kim Lehman, the president of the Iowa affiliate of NRLC, said the state organization’s officials met in a closed session on Monday to make an endorsement decision.
Lehman, who initially backed pro-life Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback prior to his departure from the contest, said the group is pleased with the pro-life work National Right to Life does but can’t join in the presidential endorsement.
She told LifeNews.com the Iowa Right to Life board of directors decided to stay neutral "in order to maintain a long tradition that supports all pro-life candidates in a primary, including Fred Thompson."
Lehman said the group joins National Right to Life in wanting to make sure pro-abortion former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani doesn’t get the Republican Party’s nod for the general election.
She’s hopeful that won’t happen because candidates like Thompson have focused on doing well in Iowa while Giuliani hasn’t made a concerted effort in the key caucus state until recently.
“Without a doubt, Giuliani’s support is soft at best since there are still so many conservatives who do not know that he is a strong supporter of abortion, including tax funded abortions," Lehman told LifeNews.com.
Ultimately, Lehman said a pro-life candidate will likely emerge with the party’s backing because the pro-life issue is too important to such a large majority of Republican voters.
"The right to life issue has become, in many circles, the barometer to indicate the candidate’s ethical and moral foundation. Failure to honor life is a failure to the family, which remains under attack," she said.
"Anti-life Republicans are misguided to think that they can win an election without the pro-life vote," Lehman concluded. "It is important for this country to choose a candidate that respects life, as Ronald Reagan respected life, because without the right to life, no other rights matter."
National Right to Life endorsed Thompson last Tuesday, saying that he has a 100% pro-life voting record and is strongly committed to overturning Roe v. Wade and appointing judges to the Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the Constitution.