The Pro-Life Pledge

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s organization, has put forward a pledge for presidential candidates to sign by which they promise that if elected they will only appoint pro-life judges and cabinet members and will promote legislation to restrict abortion.  All of the current Republican candidates have signed it except for Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney.  (That includes the Ron Paul, who may be libertarian but is still pro-life.)  Johnson is pro-abortion.  Cain and Romney still claim to be pro-life, but Cain says the president shouldn’t be promoting legislation and Romney says he doesn’t want his hands tied in appointing a cabinet.  See  Report: Romney Refuses to Sign Pro-Life Pledge – Pro-Life – Fox Nation.

Do you think the pledge is reasonable and a good tactic for pro-lifers?  Does this help you narrow your presidential choice?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jeremy

    Pro-lifer voters are about the easiest satisfied voters ever to exist. “Restricting” abortion can mean making a law that requires a woman to sign an extra form among 15 others when having abortion (i.e. the Texas sonogram law), and that will count as being pro-life.

  • Jeremy

    Pro-lifer voters are about the easiest satisfied voters ever to exist. “Restricting” abortion can mean making a law that requires a woman to sign an extra form among 15 others when having abortion (i.e. the Texas sonogram law), and that will count as being pro-life.

  • Kirk

    While I support this in theory, I think it’s practically over dogmatic, particularly as it applies to cabinet members. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if someone like the Sec. of Energy is pro-life. His office has noting (that I can think of) to do with abortion, and it makes no sense in my book to pass over a qualified candidate for a position like that because they are pro-choice.

  • Kirk

    While I support this in theory, I think it’s practically over dogmatic, particularly as it applies to cabinet members. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if someone like the Sec. of Energy is pro-life. His office has noting (that I can think of) to do with abortion, and it makes no sense in my book to pass over a qualified candidate for a position like that because they are pro-choice.

  • Joe

    To be fair, the pledge only applies to relevant cabinet posts. But, I’m not a huge fan of these pledges in general. I’d rather hear a politician explain his thinking on an issue. Any moron can affix his name to a piece of paper. What I want to know the why. That gives you a much better understanding of the politicians governing philosophy.

  • Joe

    To be fair, the pledge only applies to relevant cabinet posts. But, I’m not a huge fan of these pledges in general. I’d rather hear a politician explain his thinking on an issue. Any moron can affix his name to a piece of paper. What I want to know the why. That gives you a much better understanding of the politicians governing philosophy.

  • Grace

    If a candidate cannot promise to protect the life of an infant, .. Appointments, which would include any cabinet member or judge, he/she is not standing their ground on one on of the most hideous crimes against the unborn infants. There have been millions murdered at the hands of the abortionist knife.

    One can ‘plead “it doesn’t have anything to do with energy, or a number of other issues, but it DOES, the life of an infant is the essence of God’s creation, the infant is a person with a soul.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Romney would AVOID signing such a promise.

    Abortions have no right to tax monies, in any way shape or form.

    I am disappointed that only three posts have been made on this blog. Maybe this group isn’t as pro-life as it sometimes appears.

  • Grace

    If a candidate cannot promise to protect the life of an infant, .. Appointments, which would include any cabinet member or judge, he/she is not standing their ground on one on of the most hideous crimes against the unborn infants. There have been millions murdered at the hands of the abortionist knife.

    One can ‘plead “it doesn’t have anything to do with energy, or a number of other issues, but it DOES, the life of an infant is the essence of God’s creation, the infant is a person with a soul.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Romney would AVOID signing such a promise.

    Abortions have no right to tax monies, in any way shape or form.

    I am disappointed that only three posts have been made on this blog. Maybe this group isn’t as pro-life as it sometimes appears.

  • Jonathan

    Johnson is pro-abortion?
    He encourages abortion? Performs them? Advocates that women get them? Forbid women from carrying their baby to term?

    Oh, just another smear for Jesus.

  • Jonathan

    Johnson is pro-abortion?
    He encourages abortion? Performs them? Advocates that women get them? Forbid women from carrying their baby to term?

    Oh, just another smear for Jesus.

  • Kirk

    @Grace:

    “One can ‘plead ‘it doesn’t have anything to do with energy, or a number of other issues, but it DOES.”

    How?

  • Kirk

    @Grace:

    “One can ‘plead ‘it doesn’t have anything to do with energy, or a number of other issues, but it DOES.”

    How?

  • Grace

    Kirk,

    I explained “how” – if an individual cannot step up to the plate for the life of infants, then all the other ‘issues, don’t count.

    Romney is a ‘flip flopper.

  • Grace

    Kirk,

    I explained “how” – if an individual cannot step up to the plate for the life of infants, then all the other ‘issues, don’t count.

    Romney is a ‘flip flopper.

  • DonS

    Here’s the text of the pledge, itself:

    I PLEDGE that I will only support candidates for President who are committed to protecting Life. I demand that any candidate I support commit to these positions:

    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.

    Romney’s excuse for not signing it is pretty flimsy. As Joe says @ 3, it only applies to “relevant” cabinet and executive branch positions, and singles out NIH, Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. That is completely reasonable — I want pro-life leaders of those departments.

    This is Romney’s argument, from the linked article:

    Team Romney maintains the pledge calls for legislation that would “strip taxpayer funding from thousands of health care facilities, including VA hospitals around the country, and strictly limits the choices a president would have to appoint federal officials.”

    To that end Romney supporters point out a list of former Republican cabinet members who may have been disqualified by the pledge.

    Among them: Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well, as the first Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge.

    Well, none of Kissinger, Powell, Rice, and Ridge served as heads of the noted departments, so that is a completely spurious argument. I don’t know about the hospital issue, but he could definitely have included a “signing statement” with the pledge, or rewritten it to address his specific concerns, rather than just spurning it entirely. Especially since he was historically pro-choice, so that pro-life voters are on their guard respective to his candidacy anyway.

  • DonS

    Here’s the text of the pledge, itself:

    I PLEDGE that I will only support candidates for President who are committed to protecting Life. I demand that any candidate I support commit to these positions:

    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.

    Romney’s excuse for not signing it is pretty flimsy. As Joe says @ 3, it only applies to “relevant” cabinet and executive branch positions, and singles out NIH, Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. That is completely reasonable — I want pro-life leaders of those departments.

    This is Romney’s argument, from the linked article:

    Team Romney maintains the pledge calls for legislation that would “strip taxpayer funding from thousands of health care facilities, including VA hospitals around the country, and strictly limits the choices a president would have to appoint federal officials.”

    To that end Romney supporters point out a list of former Republican cabinet members who may have been disqualified by the pledge.

    Among them: Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well, as the first Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge.

    Well, none of Kissinger, Powell, Rice, and Ridge served as heads of the noted departments, so that is a completely spurious argument. I don’t know about the hospital issue, but he could definitely have included a “signing statement” with the pledge, or rewritten it to address his specific concerns, rather than just spurning it entirely. Especially since he was historically pro-choice, so that pro-life voters are on their guard respective to his candidacy anyway.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    not solidly PRO-LIFE-
    no vote-no support from me!

    C-CS
    Pres-Founder-
    LA LFL

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    not solidly PRO-LIFE-
    no vote-no support from me!

    C-CS
    Pres-Founder-
    LA LFL


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