Santorum Received With Enthusiasm at Huckabee Prolife Forum in Des Moines



SantorumJan Mickelson of WHO Radio echoed the sentiments of the capacity crowd at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, IA who gathered for the premiere of Mike Huckabee’s documentary, The Gift of Life is produced by Citizens United Productions. Mickelson was the first speaker preceding the Presidential forum to take place before the screening. He stated that he is not interested in hearing about the candidates positions. He instead wanted to hear about their prolife solutions.

Former Arkansas Governor prior to the screening encouraged voters to take note of which candidates were present and those who were not. He said he understood scheduling conflicts having run for President, but he said the four who were present: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum cleared their schedules to present. He said the night wasn’t about making endorsements, but that the four candidates endorse life.

Jenifer Bowen, the Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life wants action as well, and she highlighted the growing problem of webcam abortions in the state of Iowa where doctors guide women seeking abortions via webcam at various locations throughout the state in the administration of RU 486, a chemical abortion. They go home to deliver their dead babies at home by themselves with no doctor present. Bowen said that she learned of a woman who not knowing what to do after her delivering her child, putting its corpse in the freezer. She accused Planned Parenthood of the Heartland of not following FDA regulations, and said “they don’t even care enough about our women to have a doctor present.”

Bob Vander Plaats of The FAMiLY Leader also spoke and he said that the sanctity of life must be embraced by the candidates and all government officials. All of the candidates present are on The FAMiLY Leader’s short list who still has not endorsed. Vander Plaats noted that if society got the sanctity of life wrong, it’ll get other things wrong as well such as economic and foreign policy.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann opened by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas pointing out that the season is all about life and birth, and that it was appropriate that this premiere took place now since we are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ celebrating the great gift that God has given us. She said that President Obama is the most pro-abortion President that we have ever had, evidenced of his refusal to support the Illinois Born Alive Act when he was a State Senator. She said she would be the most pro-life President we’ve had. She said she would start by repealing ObamaCare which funds abortions through taxpayer money. She also said she’d work to defund Planned Parenthood and said, with audience approval, is in need of an audit.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich said that we are “engaged in a cultural battle with a secular elite who believe life is random.” He claimed that abortion goes against the base of what it means to be an American. Gingrich asserted that the defining of when you become a person is the central moral question we face. He laid out several specific items he would do if he were the President saying he would first reinstate the Mexico City Policy which disallows taxpayer funding of abortion overseas. He would also reinstate the conscience policy which would allow caregivers to refuse performing an abortion along with other items. He said he would defund Planned Parenthood and that he would budget for that money to go to adoption services. He also said following Princeton Law Professor Robert P. George’s idea to work to pass a personhood bill. Since the Section One of the 14th Amendment explicitly states that a life can not be taken without due process, all that is needed is a personhood bill not an amendment.

Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared looser during his speech than usual and said it is hard to discuss issues like life when the economy is so bad. He also claimed that while our soldiers are sacrificing to protect our values abroad they are being attacked at home. He reminded the audience discussing the defunding of Planned Parenthood that he signed a budget in Texas that did just that. The Obama administration said that it violated federal law, and threatened to withhold healthcare funds. Perry stated that “if they were looking for a fight they found one.” He promised to defund Planed Parenthood, ban taxpayer funding of abortion, and end the lifetime appointment of judges. He said he would stand with those who want a human life amendment. Perry added, “some children are born into less ideal circumstances, but there is no such thing as an unwanted child.”

Rick Santorum said that our moral values are the bedrock of our society and that we can not have limited government unless we are a moral people. “Social issues,” Santorum noted, “are central to every issue because America is a moral enterprise.” He said that some in the Republican Party have wanted to declare a truce on social issues. That would be a surrender, not a truce. Santorum promised that he would not surrender if he were to be elected President. He said that while he is called the social conservative in the race, he is pretty good on economic issues and foreign policy as well. He said the reason he is called that is due to time “in the foxhole on the national scale” on the issue of abortion. Santorum said he too would work to defund Planned Parenthood and end taxpayer funding of abortion. He said he would also reimplement the rule that organizations receiving family planning money can’t refer for abortion. He encouraged the audience to fight the fight and be faithful.

The audience seemed ready for that challenge and he was given a standing ovation. Four candidates came looking to gain the votes of the prolife community, but Santorum seemed to resonate with those present as he received by far the most enthusiastic response.  This looks to be further evidence of momentum for his campaign.  Santorum himself reminded those gathered that not one vote has been cast.

Update: I learned that Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum were the only two candidates who actually stayed for the screening.  Interesting that both Congresswoman Bachmann and Governor Perry took advantage of Governor Huckabee’s offer to speak to the 1300 prolife activists present, but couldn’t stay to offer support for the new documentary.

Coming soon: Video of the speeches and a review of the documentary.

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