Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann appeared at the Iowa Faith and Freedom dinner over the weekend along with other GOP candidates and they used the opportunity to talk about their pro-life views. They also went after Herman Cain, who recently made some controversial abortion remarks.
Perry said he has long been a pro-life advocate and, without naming his opponent, wrapped pro-life Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for his comments last week suggesting that government have no role in the abortion debate. Cain has later clarified his comments by saying he wants abortions to be illegal and supports a Human Life Amendment protecting unborn children.
“It is a liberal canard to say, ‘I am personally pro-life, but government should stay out of that decision,'” Perry said, according to the Washington Post. “That is not pro-life. That is pro-having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too.”
“Being pro-life is not a matter of campaign convenience. It is a core conviction,” Perry continued. “When it comes to faith, it is the core of who I am. It is an essential act as much as breathing is an essential act. I found the true source of hope and change, and that is a loving God who changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.”
Cain, in his own remarks at the dinner, reaffirmed his pro-life position and said abortion should be “illegal across this country,” adding he would not sign any legislation funding abortions.
“In terms of preventing abortion on demand, I would not sign any legislation for government-funded abortion,” he said. “I would not sign any legislation that in any way allowed the government to be involved in it. I believe that abortion should be clearly stated as illegal across this country and I would work to defund Planned Parenthood.”
At the event, Bachmann, the Republican candidate and Minnesota congresswoman, also touted her pro-life credentials. “I’ve raised 28 children, I am the old woman in the shoe,” Bachmann said. “I want you to know quite firmly, I stand for life – from conception to natural death.”
Bachmann, meanwhile, told CNN she is not convinced about Cain’s pro-life credentials.
“Well I think its very important that our candidate for the presidency is a pro-life candidate. We’re a pro-life party,” Bachmann told reporters. “And the president of the United States says that he is personally against abortion. But he doesn’t believe that the government shouldn’t be involved. And that is the statement that Mr. Cain made. And that’s very disturbing for a lot of people. And it’s very important that our candidate for president can clearly articulate that they are pro-life and that they believe that life deserves protection – from conception till natural death.”