Saturday, June 18, 2011

SBA List announces pro-life priorities in Presidential Leadership Pledge

The Susan B. Anthony List has announced that five presidential candidates-- Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum-- have signed on to its Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge. The Pledge lists four priorities:
FIRST, to nominate to the U.S. federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;

SECOND, to select only pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services;

THIRD, to 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;

FOURTH, advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion
Three candidates have refused to sign: Gary Johnson (who is campaigning on a pro-choice platform), Mitt Romney (whose refusal caught the notice of Politico), and Herman Cain. Cain is surprising, since he's been vocally pro-life from the beginning of his campaign. Perhaps he feels that the pro-life movement would be better served with different priorities.

The first and second promises strike me as pretty standard fare for a pro-life president. The promise to defund Planned Parenthood is interesting, but we already know from experience that no president will be able to deliver on it without major changes to the Senate. As to the fourth promise, this is the first indication I've seen that the pro-life movement wants to pass a federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Quite a few have passed on the state level, and pro-abortion groups have decided not to challenge them in court; passing one on the federal level could force their hand.

I can also think of plenty of things that can be done on the federal level but are not listed in the Pledge.

Do you share the SBA List's priorities? If not, what would you strike or add?


Matthew Newman said...

To me, I can see #4 as the sticking point. Certain sections of the conservative movement oppose federal involvement where state involvement is more appropriate. Cain, for example, is opposed to same-sex marriage - but opposes a federal approach (i.e. a federal marriage amendment) and supports individual states to define it as they see fit. As someone who's been so vocally pro-life, I assume that's the logic behind this decision.

Mostly because that would be the reason I would not sign such a promise myself.

AngelaG said...

Are you opposed to the 13th Amendment, which unequivocally told the States they have no right to determine whether or not to allow slavery? If the unborn are people (which they are), then the individual states do not have a right to determine whether or not to protect them. I'm a libertarian/constitutionalist, but I don't think the decision to allow/forbid lynching people in the streets (or in medical clinics) falls under the 10th Amendment.

Matthew Newman said...

Here's the specific reasons that Cain and Romney said they would not sign the pledge.

Marysia said...

Waiting & working my butt off for the day when "prolife" means thorough commitment at all levels of society to ensure that women have every possible high-quality choice in contraception, prenatal and child birth care, parenting, adoption, guardianship, and all possible lifelong supports for whatever choices they make about their children.

When it does not mean posturing and saying words and in effect condemning women through your inaction & undermining of vital social programs to unintended pregnancies & abortions and pretending there's no blood on your own the same time you're all for warmongering, the death penalty, etc.