GOP Candidates Press Pro-Life Themes at Gift of Life Event

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2011   |   12:31PM   |   Washington, DC

At the Iowa premier of the new pro-life film Gift of Life, some of the Republican presidential candidates bashed pro-abortion President Barack Obama. The candidates joined more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum came together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” made it’s debut. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Human Events, a national conservative newspaper, reported on the event and what each of the candidates told the audience in their talks:

Michele Bachmann said that “life is a seminal issue of our time” and that ObamaCare needed to be repealed to advance the pro-life agenda.

“[Repealing ObamaCare] is so important because in ObamaCare, for the first time in the history of United States, we have taxpayer-funded abortion,” Bachmann said.

She said that, for too long, pro-lifers have been told to stand against the wall in Washington while other issues were taken up. Bachmann continued, saying that if she were elected president, she would put pro-life issues front and center.

Newt Gingrich said that if elected president he would sign an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan​’s Mexico City policy, which would prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions abroad, and George W. Bush’s “conscience policy” that would forbid anyone from being forced to perform a medical procedure against their religious beliefs. Gingrich also said he would ask Congress to strip Planned Parenthood of all funding and shift the funding to adoption services to “give women the choice of life and not the choice of death.”

“We are engaged in a cultural struggle with a secular elite that believes that life is random and has no moral meaning,” Gingrich said. “As the country became more and more aware of the meaning of Roe v. Wade, they have turned more and more against abortion.”

Gingrich said that fighting for life “goes to the heart of what it means to be an American” because the key to American exceptionalism is that all Americans are endowed with unalienable rights from God.

Rick Perry, trying to establish himself as a combative outsider, said that he had signed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas.

“I can assure you one thing,” Perry said. “If Washington, D.C. is looking for a fight, they found one; I’m not going to back down from this fight as governor and if I have the great honor to be the president of the United States, you can bet I won’t back down as your president either,” Perry said.

Perry praised the movie, The Gift of Life, because he felt it “replaces the acrimony of politics with the testimony of real people…who were faced with the most difficult choices but chose life.” [related]

Rick Santorum stressed that strong families allowed for limited government because “if family and moral values break down, government gets bigger and bigger.”

“Social issues are central to every issue we deal with in America,” Santorum said. “Unless we get the moral issues right, we will never get the economic and foreign policy issues right.”

Santorum also said that people, even those on his side of the aisle, have called for a truce on social issues, which was a reference to Mitch Daniels​’ suggestion that Republicans should focus more on economic rather than social issues, which he felt was allowing the left to “change the will of the American public” on cultural issues.

“It is a surrender, not a truce,” Santorum said. “Under a Santorum presidency, there will be no surrender.”

Romney, for his part, sent a statement of support to Gov. Huckabee, along with his regrets that he was unable to attend the forum and articulating his pro-life views.

Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson also participated in the event, whcih took place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Huckabee recently wrote a column for LifeNews in which he talked about the new film, Gift of Life.

“Time and again the pro-abortion movement has successfully teamed up with the mainstream media to get their message out to the masses.  It’s a glaring example of how liberal media bias pushes an agenda.  It is incumbent upon those who believe life starts at conception to fight back for the pro-life cause on the main stage by using the stories all around us that will touch the hearts and minds of Americans,” he wrote.

“We have teamed up to produce The Gift of Life, an hour long documentary that explores the sanctity of life as a moral issue and looks at the lives of individuals who have been personally affected by the scourge of abortion.  We hear the voice of Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape and almost aborted twice.  James Robison tells of his mother’s decision to abort him being changed by prayer and a doctor’s conviction.  By the grace of God, those featured in the film were saved from the abortionist, but an estimated 1.2 million children are murdered every year because of the unjust decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton,” Huckabee added.