Deace began the forum by alleging that President Obama has shown "absolutely no regard for the inalienable right to life," and that anti-abortion voters seek a champion for the abortion issue. The first candidate to speak was Gov. Rick Perry, who quoted Psalm 139:13 and attributed his anti-abortion stance to the Founders at the 4:35 mark.
"My commitment to the unborn, it's actually rooted in the Founding Fathers documents, and that came from the wisdom of the Old Testament and the natural law written on our hearts. The Declaration of Independence declared life liberty and pursuit of happiness are rights that are endowed by out creator, and that's not open to some arbitrary bureaucrat or a judge in a black robe -- legislator's robes as I refer to them -- or for that matter any human power. They declared it as a right. It comes from God."Rep. Michele Bachmann stressed that the anti-abortion struggle was "what I would literally die for," outlining her abortion platform at the 21:40 mark.
"We know that President Obama has a war on the family, and just days after he took office, he advanced his cause by reversing Mexico City. Nothing has helped save more human life than the Hyde Amendment, but it doesn't go far enough. What we need to do to upend Roe v. Wade and end that horrible holocaust in the United States of life is to pass the personhood amendment. I am the first person to sign the Personhood USA pledge, and I'm proud to say that, to define life from the moment of conception. We don't have to wait just for the Supreme Court. We can be involved in this ourselves ... As president of the United States ... I will veto any congressional attempt to provide federal funding of abortion."Moderators read a question submitted by Lou Engle of TheCall, who asked how candidates would combat "chemical abortions" in the wake of Secretary Sebelius' refusal to allow the over-the-counter sale of Plan B. Bachmann replied that repealing Obamacare was the best way to do so, expressing anger that President Obama supposedly has the authority to put "abortion pills" alongside bubblegum in stores. (Bachmann seemed to be conflating emergency contraception with "abortion pills" as she did at the December 14th Des Moines forum.)
Finally, long-time abortion opponent Rick Santorum argued that the life-at-conception position is not a belief, but rather at fact at the 30:28 mark.
"When politicians say 'I believe life begins at conception,' that is conceding ground, and the ground that we concede is by using the term 'believe.' Life beginning at conception is not a belief, it's not an article of faith, it's an article of fact, the biological fact that life in fact begins at conception, and we need to begin to understand that we have to use language that is consistent with what the truth is."On a final note, although Texas Rep. Ron Paul signed Personhood's USA presidential pledge, he did not speak at the December 27th forum. Indeed, Personhood USA requested clarification from Paul on his anti-abortion stance, according to a December 26th press release at www[dot]personhoodusa[dot]com/press-release/ron-paul-signs-personhood-pledge-personhood-usa-questions-commitment
The fact that several prominent GOP presidential candidates signed Personhood USA's pledge and spoke at a forum it sponsored should give us pause. The anti-abortion stance of several candidates is absolute, condemning the procedure under any circumstances. As the far right becomes more prominent in politics, its beliefs manifests through even more stridently anti-abortion candidates.
To listen to the forum, visit stevedeace[dot]com/news/national-politics/deace-show-podcast-12-27-11/. To read additional commentary, visit the following links.
Des Moines Register: Some GOP presidential candidates sign anti-abortion pledge, but Paul’s stance is questioned
Huffington Post: GOP Candidates Reveal How They Would Enact Pro-Life "Personhood" Laws
Right Wing Watch: Bachmann to Personhood USA: Ending Abortion 'Is What I Would Literally Die For'