Fliers Claiming Newt Not Pro-Life Falsely Use Group’s Name

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2011   |   1:26PM   |   Washington, DC

As more than 1,000 pro-life Iowans watched the premier of the new pro-life movie Gift of Life this week and heard from the GOP presidential candidates about their plans to oppose abortion if elected, someone misused the name of a prominent Iowa pro-life group to disseminate fliers attacking Newt Gingrich.

The fliers falsely accused Gingrich of campaigning for “pro-partial birth abortion candidates,” urging “fellow Republicans to drop the pro-life issue because it was too divisive,” and leaving any mention of abortion out of his book,” Winning the Future.”

“Newt Gingrich used his position as Speaker to keep taxpayer dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood, and has publicly stated he supports taxpayer funding for abortions under certain instances,” the pastel-colored fliers left on cars at the event claimed.

The fliers were made to appear to have come from the organization Iowans for Life, a prominent statewide pro-life group. But Maggie DeWitte, the executive director of the organization, says it has nothing to do with them and she tells LifeNews someone falsely used the group’s name on them without its permission.

“Last evening at the Des Moines, Iowa premiere of the new pro-life documentary Gift of Life with Governor Mike Huckabee, flyers were placed on cars outside the event,” she said. “The flyers had disparaging remarks about presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  The flyers also claimed to be “Authorized and Paid for by the Iowans for Life.”

“Iowans for LIFE had no involvement in producing or having these flyers distributed.  If the party or parties responsible for putting this information together intended association with Iowans for LIFE in conveying their message, they have done so fraudulently in an apparent reckless effort to cut down a presidential candidate,” DeWitte said. “Iowans for LIFE is not responsible for producing this material or placing it on vehicles at the event at Hoyt Sherman Theater in Des Moines.”

“Iowans for LIFE is the oldest pro-life organization in the state, beginning in 1972.  IFL has a long history of providing education on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Our education is fact-based and we do not attack the character of anyone.  While we feel that all the candidates that attended this event are solidly pro-life, Iowans for LIFE is not endorsing any presidential candidate,” the Iowa pro-life leader added. “Iowans for LIFE condemns any actions taken in our name without permission and for the purpose of disparagement of any individual as reprehensible and intolerable.”

DeWitte told LifeNews her group has been in touch with the Gingrich campaign and she offered her assurances that her organization had nothing to do with the disparaging fliers.

The fliers come after robocalls from a little-known Iowa “pro-life” organization sup[porting a personhood amendment went to Republican voters across the state with false claims that Gingrich is not pro-life.

An organization calling itself Iowa Pro-Life Action, which supports a personhood amendment in the state, is behind the calls — which attempt to make it appear Gingrich promoted abortion during his time as a Georgia congressman even though he maintained a 98% pro-life voting record on more than 70 votes.

“Dear friend of the unborn as we approach the Iowa Caucuses, it’s important for is to know who supports the rights of the unborn and who just talks the talk,” the calls claim. “You see while multiple GOP nominees may be trying to hide their views on life Newt Gingrich’s record is clear. Gingrich used his power as Speaker of the House to fight for abortion rights for women in nearly all cases. Gingrich threatened pro-life legislators who were fighting for unborn babies, calling those pro-life legislators “extreme”. Newt said they were going to “get hurt”. Gingrich even taught pro-abortion legislators how to use parliamentary tools to help pass pro-abortion bills. Please take a moment to call Newt’s Iowa office today.”

Iowa Right to Life, which has worked for decades to advance the cause of protecting unborn children in Iowa, sent an email to its members that LifeNews obtained with the subject, “Setting the record straight.”

“A number of supporters have received robo-phone calls from a small newly minted organization calling itself “Iowa Pro-Life Action” that seems intent on disparaging or distorting the record of one or more of the candidates for the Republican nomination for President,” the email said. “The particular calls this week disparaged the record of candidate Newt Gingrich. We have provided several links below to reliable news reports and organizations regarding the matter.”

“Accurate information regarding Gingrich is that he has pledged to make pro-life nominations and appointments regarding judges and key cabinet officials,” the email continued. “Gingrich has stated his belief that life begins at conception.”

“Barring more such misinformation, we believe the discernment of pro-life Iowans will result in the nomination of an effective pro-life candidate,” IRTL said.

Although Iowa Right to Life is clearing the record on Newt’s pro-life credentials, the group said it has not endorsed him — or any GOP candidate.

“We regret that this corrective is necessary,” IRTL said. “Nevertheless it should not imply that Iowa Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life organization, is endorsing any one candidate.  We will not, unless developments bring us to that point.”

The calls are inaccurate, as Gingrich compiled a 98.6 percent pro-life voting record on pro-life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic research during his time in Congress. For the 20 years that Gingrich served in Congress (1979-1999), Gingrich supported the pro-life position in 70 out of 71 votes.

Gingrich voted in favor of a ban on partial-birth abortion and also voted to cut federal funding to organizations that perform or promote abortions abroad, including the United Nations Population Fund, which is complicit in carrying out China’s One Child Policy. In addition, Gingrich supported restrictions on funding for assisted suicide.

Gingrich recently restated his pro-life views, saying he believes life begins at conception, or fertilization.

“As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception,” Gingrich said in the statement. “I believe that every unborn life is precious, no matter how conceived. I also believe that we should work for the day when there will be no abortions for any reason, and that every unborn child will be welcomed into life and protected by law.”

“That is why I have supported, and will continue to support, pro-life legislation that not only limits, but also reduces, the total number of abortions, with a view to the eventual legal protection of all unborn human life,” Gingrich continued.

Talking about what he would do initially as president, Gingrich said:  “As I have also stated in the past, on day one of my administration, I will sign an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas. I will also work with Congress to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood so that no taxpayer dollars are being used to fund abortions but rather transfer the money so it is used to promote adoption and other pro-family policies, and to enact legislation that provides greater protections for the unborn.”

Gingrich again noted he believes human life begins at conception, saying, “In terms of new pro-life legislation, I stated as recently as November 19 at a public form of candidates in Iowa that I support Congress enacting pro-life legislation under the 14th Amendment, including legislation that would define personhood as beginning at conception.”

In the 2012 presidential race, Gingrich has pledged to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court, end taxpayer funding of abortion, de-fund Planned Parenthood and sign into law a federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  Gingrich is also committed to repealing the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law, which contains massive abortion funding and threats of rationing.

On Gingrich’s campaign website he lists the executive orders he would sign on his first day in office if elected president. Two of these include reinstating the pro-life Mexico City Policy and restoring conscience clause protections for pro-life healthcare workers.

On the issue of conscience protections, Gingrich’s website states; “No American working in a medical environment should be forced to perform any procedure that he or she finds morally or ethically objectionable based on religious teaching. This protection should include, but not be limited to abortion. Existing conscience clause protections need to be strengthened.”