Candidates make appeal to anti-abortionists
December 15th, 2011
12:11 AM ET
10 years ago

Candidates make appeal to anti-abortionists

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Television show host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee praised the four presidential candidates who made it a "priority" to attend the premiere of his anti-abortion film in Iowa.

Before "The Gift of Life" documentary, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum delivered seven-minute speeches on their anti-abortion agendas.

"It speaks volumes that they are here," said Huckabee, who won the 2008 Republican caucus in Iowa.

"In fairness, even the ones who did not come indicated their support for what we're doing tonight. Some had events," he said, referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. "If there's anybody who understands you have scheduling conflicts you cannot overcome, I understand that."

Romney spent the day fund-raising in New York, and Paul was in New Hampshire hosting an evening town hall.

"But I do want you to take note that there were four candidates who cleared their schedules and made this a priority event," Huckabee said. "This event is not here to endorse a candidate, but I think it is significant that all four of the candidates who are here tonight have endorsed life."

Bachmann, the first candidate to speak, promised to be the "most pro-life president," if elected.

The audience erupted with applause when Gingrich said he would, among other things, bring back the so-called "right to conscience" policy issued under President George W. Bush. The policy shields employees at healthcare facilities from participating in medical procedures, such as abortion, if it's against their moral or religious beliefs.

Gingrich also mentioned his support for a controversial anti-abortion movement known as "personhood." Gingrich, Bachmann and Santorum have all signed the advocacy group Personhood USA's 2012 pledge.

Perry talked of his support for a human life amendment to the constitution.

Santorum singled himself out as the social conservative in the race. "I've been in the foxhole, out on the front line, fighting the social conservative fights on the national scale," he said.

Huckabee teamed up with the conservative non-profit group Citizens United to create the pro-life film.

"[The candidates] all have a thousand things to do but I hope that the fact that there are more than a thousand people to see them will make this worth their time for having come," he said.

Also see:

Romney video ties Gingrich to left

Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee

Sen. Rubio for vice president?

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Mike Huckabee • Newt Gingrich • Rick Perry • Rick Santorum
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. John N Florida

    JFK promised to never insert his Catholic teachings into legislation or decisions. The Evangelical Right can not resist the temptation to discriminate against women, saying, in essence, that the Founding Fathers truly meant that ONLY men are created equal. Only MEN have the rights granted by their creator.

    December 15, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  2. AlaskaPalin

    Unborn babies are killed in abortion. Roe vs wade was based on a lie. The woman who was used to perpetrate the lie is now pro life. Does the constitution gave women the right to abort their unborn child in private so that men would not be able to control their bodies? Abortion is used to discriminate against women in that if the gender of the child is female it is most likely to be aborted (voluntarily allowed to be killed at a womans whim)- over 5000000 a year in india alone.

    December 15, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  3. Larry L

    Conservatives want smaller government yet they want to control this issue. Late term abortions are deplorable and they are illegal. Reasonable laws control abortion. Fertilized eggs are not babies – to state otherwise is just stupid. People who build their entire political philosophy around this issue are radicals who lack the common sense required to cast an intelligent vote. This is a tool for evangelical Christians to gain control – nothing more. For me, I'm sick to death of their wailing about injustices while they appear to be the most racist, homophobic, xenophobic and narrow-minded population on the planet. Let it go!

    December 15, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  4. Thomas

    What about family planing and birth control ?

    Nobody wants an abortion.

    The pro life movement should be more helpful in supporting safe sex and promoting birth control.

    December 15, 2011 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Stop using the term "pro-life", you lying, despicable right-wing hypocrites. You're pro-death, and when it comes to the question of what a woman can or can't do with her own body, you're anti-choice.

    December 15, 2011 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  6. Debbie

    I don't support abortion but I also don't support religion in politics. I want government out of my religion and I want religon out of my government. This is using Christ for political motive. God is our judge, not religion, not government, and to use religion for political gain is anti-Christ.

    December 15, 2011 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Huckabee lost the tiny speck of respect I had for him when he made that lie filled ad saying the Affordable Care Act was passed behind locked doors in the middle of the night against the wishes of the majority of Americans. This man calls himself a Christian and a "pastor." He is little more than the standard issue Republican slime.

    December 15, 2011 05:59 am at 5:59 am |

    There they go talking about doing damage to the Constitution they claim to love.These people are totally unhinged.

    December 15, 2011 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    This is the one issue that I really have a problem with. While I am personally opposed to abortion except in the following cases: rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother; I do not believe I have the RIGHT to enforce my moral stance on anyone else. I do believe I have the OBLIGATION to explain how I feel, but in the end, the decision belongs to the woman and her Higher Power (God, Jehovah, Allah, the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.).

    That being said, there is no way I could ever support a "Right to Life" amendment,or a "Life Begins at Conception" amendment. As far as I am concerned, this has been settled law since Roe v. Wade. Every Supreme Court nominee has stated specifically that they believe in the concept of Stare Decisis during their confirmation hearings (even though many of them have gone out of their ways to find cases that have allowed them to overturn previous rulings).

    Given today's environment, I do not know if a challenge against any of these "Life begins at Conception" laws being proposed in a number of states would be approved by the current Supreme Court. At the same time, a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right of Choice would probably be struck down by today's Court as an affront to State Sovereignty.

    December 15, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  10. secutor

    If America wins the battle for the life of the nascituri it will save Europe from a future near extinction. You don`t need a religious motive to protect our babies it is also a demographic one. Our populations tend toward 75% of over 65 years old. One thing is clear, we first have to win over the hearts of our women. Without the women there is no way to solve the problem.

    December 15, 2011 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This so called idea of "personhood" is a falicy. I bet most of these people couldn't tell an embryo of an animal from that of a human or even a another primate. Not all embryos make to be a baby. Would they have women who have miscarriages charged with murder? I can see where this is going - that would be it.

    December 15, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  12. wesieu

    i love the the idea that all these bozo canddates promise smaller government which gets off our backs..then propse schemes that involve the govt in denying the human rights of women..the rights to control ther own up? birth control and faily planning..

    December 15, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  13. bassman

    CNN:Candidates make appeal to anti-abortionists.Or as we like to call them pro life.

    December 15, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  14. diridi

    Don't worry about religion nonsense. If a girl wants Abortion, let her have it. OK. We are in Democracy.

    December 15, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  15. Keith in Austin

    So if you're for killing the unborn, vote Obama 2012!

    December 15, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  16. Canuck

    If only these guys would pay as much attention to those who have actually been born and are now struggling. Seems once you leave the womb you're on your own.

    December 15, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. Clwyd

    Right! Save lives, which I do not agree being at fertilization, only to have perry take them in large numbers in backwards Texas!

    December 15, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |