This post originally appeared online at The Des Moines Register on June 18, 2011.
Abortion pledge stirs reaction from Republican candidates
by Jennifer Jacobs
Five Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge to ban certain abortions, appoint federal judges who won’t “legislate from the bench” and cut off federal funding to organizations that perform abortions, according to a political action committee.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum agreed to the Susan B. Anthony List’s “pro-life leadership pledge,” its organizers say.
The abortion foes say Republican candidates Herman Cain, Gary Johnson and Mitt Romney declined to sign it.
Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania whose history of work to restrict abortions is a central campaign theme, quickly lashed out at Romney, the candidate who is leading in the public opinion polls.
“This past Monday night at the Republican presidential debate, I was asked about Governor Romney’s pro-life conversion, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt,” Santorum said in a written statement. “I apparently spoke too soon. It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Romney chose not to defend those who cannot defend themselves.”