Romney Refusal to Sign Pro-life Pledge Leaves More Questions than Answers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2011

Contact: Ciara Matthews
(702) 339-3104, cmatthews@sba-list.org

Pledge Calls for Active Pro-Life Leadership, Not Checking The Box

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) today questioned Governor Mitt Romney on his explanation for refusing to sign its Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge. Signers of the pledge include Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, committing them to actively advance pro-life policies and legislation if they are elected to the White House. In addition to Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Gary Johnson have refused to sign.

“Our next president must recognize the urgency of addressing over a million abortions per year,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “That’s why our pledge calls for active leadership, not just checking the box. Five candidates took the pledge, and the pro-life grassroots know where they stand.

“Governor Romney refused to take the pledge and his explanation raises more questions than answers. In good conscience, we cannot let this rest.

“He seems to indicate that he wants the freedom to nominate pro-abortion candidates for key cabinet positions such as Attorney General or Secretary of Health and Human Services. This is precisely what we want to rule out and it is unacceptable.

 “He chooses to identify non-existent legislation that would defund hospitals as a reason not to sign. Defunding hospitals has never been considered by Congress, is not part of public debate, and is not part of the pledge. 95 percent of abortions are performed outside of hospitals. Instead, we outlined existing pieces of pro-life legislation that address taxpayer funding of abortion. We would like to know where he stands on each measure.

“States across the country are passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which provides protection for unborn babies capable of feeling pain. The grassroots need to know if Governor Romney would advance and sign a federal version into law.”

According to the pledge, available here, if elected President, candidates will:

  • 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 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;
  • Advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

The Susan B. Anthony List spent $11 million during the 2010 midterm election cycle. Overall, the SBA List was involved in 90 races including 62 wins and 28 losses. Successes included: defeating 15 of 20 so-called "pro-life" Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health care reform bill; increasing the number of pro-life women in the House by 70 percent; filling the void of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate and increasing the number of pro-life women governors from one to four. 

  

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