Gingrich Would Scrap Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2012   |   12:28PM   |   Washington, DC

Campaigning in Florida over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he would scrap taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research that pro-abortion President Barack Obama put in place the first year in office.

“I believe life begins at conception,” Gingrich said Sunday at a news conference, according to an AP report, which said Gingrich would also favor banning the destructive research in and of itself.

“The question I was raising was what happens to embryos in fertility clinics,” Gingrich said, when referring to remarks he gave during a speech at a  Baptist church in Winter Park about what he would do on embryonic stem cell research, which he called “the use of science to desensitize society over the killing of babies.”

Gingrich also said he would “look seriously” at fertility clinics, which regularly destroy human embryos — unique human beings days after their creation in a laboratory — which are routinely killed in scientific research.

“I believe life begins at conception, and the question I was raising was what happens to embryos in fertility clinics, and I would favor a commission to look seriously at the ethics of how we manage fertility clinics,” Gingrich said.

“If you have in vitro fertilization, you are creating life; therefore, we should look seriously at what the rules should be for clinics that are doing that, because they are creating life,” AP has the former House Speaker saying. Gingrich, who vocally supported federally funded research about a decade ago, said he was also against the use of leftover embryos for stem cell research, AP added.

Late last year, Gingrich made headlines nationwide with curious comments in an interview in which many observers say he indicated he believes human life begins at implantation. Days later he clarified those remarks restating his pro-life views and saying he believes life begins at conception.

In a statement the Gingrich campaign sent to, Gingrich repeatedly that he believes life begins at conception, that he is pro-life and that he would implement a pro-life agenda immediately after being sown in as president if he becomes the GOP nominee and defeats pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

“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.

Joe DeSantis, the Communications Director for Newt 2012, responded to a request for clarification on whether Newt’s statement from this weekend defines conception as implantation or fertilization.

“Newt believes that human life begins at conception, that is, at the moment of fertilization,” DeSantis said.

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.”

During the controversial interview that got some pro-life advocates riled up, Gingrich said he opposes embryonic stem cell research that purposefully creates human life only to destroy it for dubious research. He repeated that opposition in the new statement.

“As I have also made clear in several of my public pronouncements throughout this campaign, I oppose federal funding of any research that destroys a human embryo because we are also dealing here with human life,” he said.

“My convictions on human life are longstanding, deeply felt, and irrevocable matters of conscience. I will do all in my power – always – to foster reverence for life,” he concluded.