Bachmann Bashes Gingrich Over Comments On Human Life

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2011   |   4:57PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann wasted little time responding to comments GOP campaign leader Newt Gingrich made about how he believes that implantation, rather than conception, marks the beginning of human life.

Gingrich, as LifeNews reported, told ABC News he believes human life begins at implantation and said he opposes abortion and the specific creation and destruction of human embryos for scientific research.

Bachmann said the comments offer a glimpse at Newt’s true stance on pro-life issues.

“Newt Gingrich stated today that life begins at implantation not at conception. But those who are truly involved in the life issue know that life begins at conception,” Bachmann said. “Additionally, the former Speaker’s description of the life issue as ‘practical’ is a rejection of the most sacred principle that each and every life has value, a principle recognized by our founders in the Declaration of Independence of the most basic right with which every human is endowed. This along with his inconsistent record on life is just one more indication that Newt is not dedicated to protecting the lives of the unborn and doesn’t share the most basic of conservative principles.”

Bachmann’s statement to LifeNews did not provide any instances where she believed his pro-life record had been inconsistent.

“While Newt has presumptively declared himself the nominee, I believe the people of Iowa and all Americans will reject any candidate who fails to understand when life begins and that protecting it is the top priority for conservatives,” Bachmann continues. “I’ll always side with life. I signed the Susan B. Anthony pledge and believe that my word means something. That’s why I have fought to protect life from conception until natural death. And as president, I’ll defund Planned Parenthood and make sure that not one dime of taxpayer money goes to pay for abortions here in the United States or internationally.”

Gingrich has also signed the SBA List pledge and has also indicated his support in cutting off taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“I want to say I strongly endorse his cutting out all funding for Planned Parenthood which has become a major source of abortion in America,” he said in March.

In a new interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News, Gingrich said human life begins at implantation rather than conception, which science has established as the starting point for human life.

Tapper asked him, “Abortion is a big issue here in Iowa among conservative Republican voters and Rick Santorum has said you are inconsistent. The big argument here is that you have supported in the past embryonic stem cell research and you made a comment about how these fertilized eggs, these embryos are not yet “pre-human” because they have not been implanted. This has upset conservatives in this state who worry you don’t see these fertilized eggs as human life. When do you think human life begins?”

“Well, I think the question of being implanted is a very big question,” Gingrich said. “My friends who have ideological positions that sound good don’t then follow through the logic of: ‘So how many additional potential lives are they talking about? What are they going to do as a practical matter to make this real?””

“I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life,” he added. “Because otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions.”

“So implantation is the moment for you,” Tapper said.

“Implantation and successful implantation. In addition I would say that I’ve never been for embryonic stem cell research per se. I have been for, there are a lot of different ways to get embryonic stem cells. I think if you can get embryonic stem cells for example from placental blood if you can get it in ways that do not involve the loss of a life that’s a perfectly legitimate avenue of approach,” Gingrich explained.

“What I reject is the idea that we’re going to take one life for the purpose of doing research for other purposes and I think that crosses a threshold of de-humanizing us that’s very very dangerous,” he said.