Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

6/21/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Defending our first neighbors is where the 'rubber hits the road'

The Susan B. Anthony List 2012 Pro-life Pledge reflects the sort of conviction and authenticity we must demand from any candidate who says they are pro-life, especially one seeking the Presidency.  No longer can the lives of our unborn children be considered merely a "social issue."  We need candidates who will not hesitate to sign on the dotted line that nothing and no one will persuade them to postpone or abandon the fight to protect children in the womb.

The Republican candidates

The Republican candidates

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/21/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: SBA List, 2012 Pledge, abortion, pro-life, GOP candidates, Jennifer Hartline


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - In perhaps the first public test of the GOP candidates' pro-life mettle, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Gary Johnson have declined to sign the Pro-Life Pledge sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List.

SBA List put forth the following pledge and asked the presidential hopefuls to sign it:

-    Only nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;
-    Select pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health & Human Services, and the Department of Justice;
-    Advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions, and;
-    Advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann have all signed the pledge.

The pledge reflects the level of commitment the pro-life community requires from anyone claiming to be pro-life and seeking the nation's highest office.  It's simply not enough for a candidate to say he or she is pro-life; it's not enough to make statements to the press using some pro-life lingo; it's not enough to be pro-life-lite.  No longer can the lives of our unborn children be categorized as a mere "social issue."

The pro-life community in America cannot be played anymore by candidates who say all the right things with just the right amount of zeal in order to win votes.  We need candidates who will not hesitate to sign on the dotted line that nothing and no one will persuade them to postpone or abandon the fight to protect children in the womb.  We need candidates who are not ashamed or reluctant to be known as unequivocally pro-life and are willing to take the heat that comes from the opposition. 

Only those candidates who truly understand our obligation to revere and protect human life from conception to natural death will be willing to endure the hostility and slander they'll get in this pivotal 2012 election.

Is Mitt Romney such a candidate?  Is Herman Cain?  They both expressed concerns about the pledge and gave their reasons for not signing it.  Cain said his reservation was with the 4th part of the pledge:  "The fourth requirement demands that I "advance" the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation.  I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro-life issues.  In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency."

The trouble with Herman Cain is that his fidelity to Life is really an unknown.  He has no voting record to back up or disprove his claim.  He seems genuine and sincere, and I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt.  His qualms with the pledge are, I think, hair-splitting semantics.  The President can certainly lead and in that way help "advance" important legislation.  Of course Congress must write and pass the bill, but the President must lead and provide vision, clarity and commitment.  I'd like to think Cain understands that, so in that case, why not sign the pledge?

The trouble with Mitt Romney is Mitt Romney.  His fidelity to Life can quite legitimately be questioned.  He claims with conviction to be pro-life today, but he very passionately insisted that he was wholeheartedly pro-choice only a few years ago in his previous elections.  So which is it?  Is he playing the pro-life community in order to win some valuable votes?  Or has he genuinely seen the error of his past ways and been truly converted?

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul gave his reason for not signing the pledge:  "Governor Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today.  However, this well intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it."

What unforeseen consequences?  Romney released his own pro-life pledge at National Review Online where he explained, "It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America."  He went on to say he believes the pledge "unduly burdens a president's ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government."

Whether an abortion is done at Planned Parenthood or a local community hospital makes no moral difference.  It should not be funded with taxpayer money, period.  It is not a "medical procedure."  It's the killing of an innocent child.  Why are we paying for it?

Romney's second objection is even more troubling.  Is he implying he wants the freedom to appoint pro-choice cabinet members, say perhaps a pro-choice Secretary of Health & Human Services if that person is the "most qualified" in his mind?  If Romney is truly committed to Life, why would he want to surround himself with people who think killing the child in the womb is a "choice"?  Why is he squeamish about making a commitment to pro-life voters that he will appoint pro-life cabinet members?  The Obama administration has surely demonstrated that such appointees are vital in accomplishing a President's agenda.

Romney said in his statement that he would be committed to building a culture of Life in America, but that is impossible to do if the appointed people in positions of influence and power believe abortion is a "right."  He must know that, so this sounds to me like someone who's hedging his bets. 

This is one of those moments where the rubber meets the road.  When it's crunch time, will Romney put his money where his mouth is and keep his promises to protect our youngest neighbors?  Is it really Life that matters to him, or is it winning the Presidency?  We cannot afford a President who is not unreservedly, unhesitatingly committed to the sanctity of all human life.

It is heartening to know that five of the GOP candidates have signed the SBA List Pledge.  It takes courage to say, in writing, that you will protect unborn children with every means at your disposal, knowing full well there will be a political price to pay.  Yet that is exactly the sort of conviction and authenticity we must demand from any candidate who says they are pro-life, especially one seeking the Presidency.

Thank you Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.

Rick Santorum has responded to Mitt Romney's objections to the pledge over at National Review Online

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three.  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

The Assassination of Two Police Officers in New York Reveals a City at a Crossroads Watch

Image of One of the officers, Rafael Ramos, was 40 years old, happily married and leaves behind his wife and two sons. The other officer, Wenjin Liu, was 32 years old and married only two months.

By Keith A. Fournier

The flames that fueled this lunacy were fanned by a Mayor who repeatedly and irresponsibly touted a racial narrative which attributed racial bias to the Police as he led this City through recent altercations between some police officers and some citizens. It was ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


Pope Francis, the real architect behind the U.S.-Cuban thaw Watch

Image of With personal appeals, letters, and hosted meetings, the Vatican and Pope Francis can accurately be called the masterminds behind the recent thaw between the U.S. and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba took the world by surprise, but perhaps one man was not as shocked as the rest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A senior official with the White House reported that Pope Francis made personal appeals to both President ... continue reading


Looking forward to your tax refund this year? Don't hold your breath. The IRS suffers after extreme budget cuts. Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heavily stricken with budget cuts and new tax-related laws, the IRS considers implementing its own temporary shutdown. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress has recently cut the IRS budget by $346 million. The IRS' budget has been cut a total of $1 billion since ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
1 Once the king had settled into his palace and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 16:25-27
25 And now to him who can make you strong in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 21st, 2014 Image

St. Peter Canisius
December 21: In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter