Michele Bachmann’s campaign sent out a press release yesterday attacking Newt Gingrich’s record on abortion over the years.
“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to uphold a consistently pro-life stance throughout his career in public life,” the Bachmann campaign said in a statement. “Gingrich has positioned himself as open to watering down the Republican Party’s commitment to the inalienable right to life and failed as the leader of the U.S. House of Representatives to stem the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, the largest U.S. provider of abortions.”
From the campaign’s press release:
Two decades ago, Gingrich portrayed himself as a moderating force on the Republican Party’s staunch pro-life position: A March 1990 column describes Gingrich as “clearly backing away” from the pro- life plank in the Republican Party platform, with Gingrich stating, “there is a continuing evolution of this issue.” “The GOP platform states that the ‘unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed’ and supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw all abortion. … Senate Minority Whip Alan Simpson, who is pro-choice, is the first major GOP figure to predict that the 1992 platform will abandon the current inflexible pro-life rhetoric. … His House counterpart, Newt Gingrich of Georgia, is pro-life but is clearly backing away. ‘We will draw the line to permit fewer abortions than the Democrats,’ he says, shifting the emphasis from banning abortions to merely limiting them. ‘There is a continuing evolution of this issue,’ Gingrich admits.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/16/1990)
Gingrich said Republicans “will in fact be responsive to changing circumstances” regarding public opinion on abortion. “‘The Republican Party, I will venture to predict … will draw the line in such a way that we are clearly the party which will have fewer abortions in America than the Democrats,’ [Gingrich] said. … The National Organization for Women and the National Abortion Rights Action League oppose government blocking a woman’s right to choose abortion. They also oppose efforts in some states to require one or both parents’ consent or notification before a minor woman can receive an abortion. ‘We will in fact be responsive to changing circumstances,’ Gingrich said, citing polls that gauge which abortion restrictions are favored by the public.” (Associated Press, 3/9/1990)
Under Newt Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives 1995-1999, the federal government channeled $587,073,070 to Planned Parenthood components – more than half a billion dollars – and his Republican-dominated House never voted to bar taxpayer funding to this largest U.S. abortion provider. Total federal funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and affiliates, International Planned Parenthood Federation and associations, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute during FY1995 compared with the following four fiscal years budgeted under Gingrich’s speakership: PPFA’s annual federal funding went from $120 million in FY1995, the fiscal year budgeted before Gingrich came to power, to $125.8 million in FY1999, the last fiscal year budget Gingrich negotiated with President Clinton. IPPF and Guttmacher taxpayer funding decreased, but funding for PPFA, the largest domestic abortion provider, remained fairly constant.