Since the November 2010 mid-term elections, the political atmosphere on the state and federal levels has been recharged. Legislatures in both arenas have shifted from Democratic majorities to some of the largest Republican super-majorities in a century. With the midterm elections past and the 2012 presidential election looming, many Americans are scoping out potential candidates. Every issue counts, from increasing fiscal responsibility to foreign policy to health care and jobs. Mixed in with those is the sanctity of innocent human life, which indeed is a fiscal matter, when calculating the 1.4 million workers and tax-payers who would have otherwise been born. $363 million in tax-payer funds going to America’s largest abortion provider constitutes quite another large fiscal matter that cannot be overlooked.
Even if they have not yet declared candidacy, every potential candidate, Pro-Life or pro-choice, is under the watchful eye of advocates on either side of the life issue. Pro-abortion President Barack Obama has already announced his re-election campaign. He is by far the most pro-abortion and anti-Life president in the history of the United States. His expansion of the abortion industry and its funding is bewildering since 48% of all blacks are aborted.
A myriad of conservative, Pro-Life candidates will contend for the Republican nomination: former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Georgia businessman and talk-radio host Herman Cain have already established exploratory committees. U.S. Congressman and Pro-Life Ob/Gyn Ron Paul of Texas, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Arkansas Governor and Fox television show host Mike Huckabee, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin have not officially declared but are expected to form exploratory committees this summer. Recently, Donald Trump also made clear that a run for president could be in his future.
Many of these candidates are staunch Pro-Life advocates. Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, who switched to the Republican party in 1991, has been thinking about running for quite a while. Though he has always been Pro-Life, many Pro-Life activists were upset when he vetoed an abortion ban in Louisiana, stating that the ban did not meet his minimum standards.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich established a Pro-Life record while in Congress. He supported the ban on partial-birth abortion and all other Pro-Life legislation. Gingrich recently vocalized support for the Pence Amendment, which would have cut federal funds from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced April 14th that he, too, will form an exploratory committee. During his time in office, he earned a 0% approval rating by NARAL-Pro-Choice America, indicating his strong Life convictions. He is an outspoken apologist for the Pro-Life cause; he took every opportunity to speak on the matter while in Congress, and he consistently champions the cause in his frequent television and radio appearances. “I’m convinced that conservatives need a candidate who will not only stand up for our views, but who can articulate a conservative vision for our country's future,” he said recently to a crowd.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s record has been questioned because of his states’ rights stances on issues. Congressman Paul firmly believes that the federal government should not be involved in the Pro-Life issue and often abstains from voting on these measures, signaling that he wants the states to decide these issues. A medical doctor specializing in Ob/Gyn from the Galveston area, Ron Paul was an original co-sponsor of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act and Taxpayers’ Freedom of Conscience Act. His ideologies are in line with the Pro-Life movement: “Life comes from our creator, not our government…Liberty comes from our creator, not from government. Therefore, the purpose, if there is to be a purpose, for government is to protect life and liberty.”
Former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain is African-American and speaks repeatedly of the injustices the abortion industry forces on black women. He has been attacked for his Pro-Life stance, being called out of touch with the mainstream. Perhaps Cain is counter-cultural; he feels the sense of urgency to eradicate the disproportionate abortion rate of the black citizenry: “I believe that life begins at conception, period… and there is no way I would compromise my religious beliefs about the sanctity of life.”
Tea Party favorite, attorney, and avid Pro-Lifer, U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, served in the Minnesota State Senate for six years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006; one of her first votes in Congress was in favor of the partial-birth abortion ban. She and her husband became active in the Pro-Life movement shortly after the passage of Roe v. Wade. The Bachmann family owns a small Christian counseling practice in her home state of Minnesota. They have five children and have fostered 23 others. Bachmann also called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood under the Pence Amendment. An exploratory committee for her presidential bid is expected to be formed before June.
Former governor of Arkansas and current Fox News host, Mike Huckabee’s unsuccessful run for president in 2008 propelled him into the national spotlight, giving him a platform to speak for the unborn. Huckabee supported the Pence amendment plus a complete overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Huckabee explains, “The Founding Fathers said we’re all equal. At the heart of understanding that, if we are indeed equal, all of us have intrinsic worth, and no one has more than another. I believe the sanctity of a human life is rooted in who we are as a culture and as a civilization. And should we turn our back on this fundamental truth, we have turned our back on the very essence and foundation of who we are as a people.”
Another possible candidate who has won the most press coverage is former Vice-Presidential nominee and Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. Her entire family, including her son who has Down syndrome, has endured insults from the pro-abortion left and unfair media scrutiny. Palin has spoken at numerous Pro-Life events, fundraisers, and meetings. As governor, she prioritized the passage of parental notification. Palin is a Tea Party favorite; she has not yet indicated interest or commitment in presidential candidacy.
Tim Pawlenty is the potential contender some say could be the strongest Pro-Life candidate in 2012. Although not well-known, the former Minnesota governor announced his exploratory committee in late March. As governor, Pawlenty signed the Women’s Right to Know Act in 2003, giving women information about fetal development, the risks of abortion, and access to abortion alternatives. He also signed the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act and Positive Alternatives to Abortion Act in 2005. He has supported a ban on cloning in Minnesota and as well as a ban on embryonic stem cell research. Under his governance, Minnesota saw a 14% drop in abortion, marking an all-time low. In January, he told a group of College Republicans, “If I decide to run it would be for president, not vice- president.”
Any of these aforementioned politicians could oust the most radical, pro-abortion president in history. Those on the pro-abortion left, who claim abortion is not an important issue, remain invincibly ignorant to the values of real voters. As defenders of Life, our duty is to elect a Pro-Life president who will protect the innocent—born and unborn. None of these politicians can win without the Pro-Life base, and the base must hold the winner accountable.