Washington Times: Perry signs Susan B. Anthony pro-life pledge

This article first appeared online at The Washington Times on August 24, 2011.

Perry signs Susan B. Anthony pro-life pledge
Seth McLaughlin

Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the list of GOP presidential contenders who’ve taken the Susan B. Anthony List’s pro-life pledge — putting him at odds with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, one of the four candidates in the field who have refused to sign.

The “pro-life presidential leadership pledge” requires candidates to promise to appoint justices who will “not legislate from the bench” and tap pro-lifers to Cabinet positions. 

It also calls on them to end taxpayer funding for abortions here and overseas, and to sign what’s known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — legislation that supporters say would protect the life of an unborn child as soon as they’re capable of feeling pain, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

In signing the pledge, Mr. Perry touted his pro-life record in the Lone Star State.

“I have signed legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, and have long advocated adoption as an alternative to abortion in order to protect unborn children,” Mr. Perry said in the news release.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser described the three-term governor as a “long-time friend of, and leader for, the pro-life community.”

“His signature on our pledge is more than welcome and we applaud him for his commitment to continue to fight for women and unborn children,” she said.

Mr.  Perry joins former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as well as Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Ron Paul of Texas and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan.

Meanwhile, Mr. Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain have refused to sign the pledge.

After coming under fire from the pro-life group earlier this year, the Romney camp released a statement expressing support for the list — but stopping short of signing the pledge.

“Governor Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today,” said Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign spokesperson. “However, this well-intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it. Gov. Romney has been a strong supporter of the SBA List in the past and he looks forward to continue working with them to promote a culture of life.”

“The pledge,” Ms. Saul said at the time, “calls for legislation to strip taxpayer funding from hospitals around the country, and strictly limits the choices a president would have to appoint Cabinet members.”

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