This article originally appeared online at Human Events on April 4, 2011.
SBA List: Most GOP 12 Hopefuls Want To Defund Planned Parenthood
By Tony Lee
The Susan B. Anthony List, an influential pro-life organization whose clout has increased under the stewardship of President Marjorie Dannenfelser, received statements from four potential 2012 presidential candidates, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in strong support for defunding the abortionist group Planned Parenthood.
At issue is the Pence Amendment that calls for an end to federal funding for Planned Parenthood — many Republicans, such as Pence and Michele Bachmann, have indicated they would not vote for a budget that gives taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. The Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, rejected the budget passed in the House with rider in it, and it remains a contentious issue, with many Democrats refusing to vote for a budget with such riders. Congress must reach an agreement on the budget by Friday.
Here are the statements that Barbour, Huckabee, Pawlenty, and Palin gave to SBA List:
Barbour: “I support a halt to any federal funds going to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. One of my first acts as governor was to propose an ambitious pro-life, pro-family agenda aimed at advancing the culture of life in Mississippi by increasing adoptions and decreasing abortions. Mississippi has been called the safest place in America for an unborn child by Americans United for Life.”
Barbour provided this statement to the SBA List on April 1st, and his line about Mississippi being called the safest place in America for an unborn will probably heard a lot in places such as Iowa, and it will resonate.
Huckabee: “Life begins as conception, period. What makes this nation unique is that we have a belief that every life has intrinsic value and worth. It’s a horrific thought that our government provides funding to an organization that provides abortions to so many women. We need to demand this Congress vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Our tax dollars should never be used to provide abortions and our government should put an end to it immediately.”
Huckabee provided this statement to SBA List on April 2nd and it is consistent with his staunch support of life issues that has always been a trademark of his.
Pawlenty: “Washington has a massive spending problem, and we need to set priorities. Recent undercover videos show that employees of America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, aided alleged human traffickers wishing to exploit young girls. Yet, they continue to receive significant taxpayer funding. That should come to an end.”
Pawlenty provided this statement to SBA Lis on April 1, and his bringing up human trafficking and exploiting young girls was very effective and smart and added another layer of depth to this debate.
Palin: “The greatest fiscal challenge facing our country today is our government’s dangerously unsustainable debt and its practice of deficit spending. Whatever side you’re on in the abortion debate, surely you can see that our taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortion at any time, let alone these hard economic times. And yet that is what has been happening with the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider, which is awash in scandal after revelations of its dishonesty with the American public. They receive an average of $1 million taxpayer dollars per day; and regardless of what they had promised the public in their campaign ads, new investigative reporting shows that they are not really using our tax dollars to provide women with mammograms and other real health care services. It’s simply freeing up funds that they can then invest in their primary money-making endeavor: abortion. Planned Parenthood doesn’t really offer women who find themselves in less-than-ideal circumstances any real choice. They don’t show women that they have the power, capability, strength, and love within themselves to choose the blessing that is life. They don’t explain the resources that are available to parents who want to give their child life. They don’t show them that adoption is a beautiful choice too. What they offer is not true empowerment or “choice” or women’s health care. I join Rep. Mike Pence and others of conscience and common sense who are leading the charge to end the taxpayer funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider. We recognize that not only is our country buried under Mt. McKinley-sized debt, but that the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. Surely the individual resources of a generous country can come to the aid of women in need without the taxpayer funding of abortion.”
Palin provided this statement on April 1, and it shows considerable political savvy. She cites Pence’s strong work on the subject, links social conservatism to fiscal issues, something Huckabee has effectively spoken about in the past in Iowa and Bachmann has touched upon in recent speeches. She touches upon adoption options, and her visceral passion and concern for this issue leaps off the statement. Palin has spoken in front of many pro-life groups, including a very well received appearance before a group in Indiana. Her personal testimony, having herself walked the walked on this issue regarding her son Trig, makes her views on life issues more powerful, and will make her a formidable contender for the hearts of the pro-life electorate in the GOP primary should she choose to run in 2012.
SBA List cited statements by Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum in support of de-funding Planned Parenthood. Cain’s testimony was powerful in that as a Black American he can speak more powerfully than other potential GOP contenders on the number of black babies Planned Parenthood is responsible for aborting.
SBA List also ran ads last week featuring Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who now supports the de-defunding of the organization.
These statements by potential GOP 2012 candidates not only emphasis how important pro-life issues will be in the primaries, it also helps organizations like SBA List help cut through a media filter, which sometimes can be considerable given members of the mainstream media have family members who are or were gainfully employed by the abortionist Planned Parenthood.