Politics & Policy

Gingrich Defends Abortion Record

A day after Michele Bachmann’s campaign attacks Newt Gingrich’s record on abortion, the Gingrich campaign e-mails this account of Gingrich’s record:

Newt Gingrich has consistently upheld a pro-life standard.  He had a consistent pro-life voting record throughout his twenty years in Congress, including his four years as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Gingrich pledges to uphold this consistent pro-life standard as president. Gingrich’s consistent pro-life standard is reflected by the following:

1.    98.6% Lifetime Pro-Life Rating from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).  For the 20 years that Gingrich served in Congress (1979-1999), Gingrich supported the pro-life position in 70 out of 71 votes. (In the one instance that he did not take the NRLC position, it was because the NRLC opposed an early 1995 version of welfare reform because it changed certain welfare payments for mothers with children; NRLC did not oppose the final version of Gingrich’s welfare reform passed in 1996)

2.    Supported the Hyde Amendment. Gingrich consistently voted for the Hyde amendment and other bans on government funding of abortions.

3.    Partial Birth Abortion Ban. During Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker, the House of Representatives twice passed legislation banning partial birth abortions. President Clinton vetoed this legislation both times. Finally, a partial birth abortion ban was signed into law in 2003.  The legislative effort to ban partial birth abortions had a very positive impact increasing pro-life support in the United States.

4.    Signed the Susan B. Anthony List Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge.  In June 2011, Gingrich signed the SBA List Pro-Life Leadership Presidential pledge in which Gingrich pledges to the American people that if elected President he will (i) only nominate judges to the Supreme Court and federal judiciary who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, and not legislating from the bench (ii) select pro-life appointees for relevant executive branch positions, (iii) advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, (iv) defund Planned Parenthood; and (v) advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

5.    Pledges to Sign Two Pro-life Executive Orders on the first day of a Gingrich Administration.  

i.    “Mexico City Policy” of Respect for Life.   Reauthorize President Ronald Reagan’s policy – also known as the “Mexico City Policy”— to stop the federal funding of any non-governmental agencies or charities that perform or promote abortions in foreign countries.

ii.    Respect the Beliefs and Integrity of Healthcare Workers.  No American working in a medical environment should be forced to perform any action or procedure that he or she finds morally or ethically objectionable. This protection should include, but not be limited to, abortion and sterilization procedures.  Existing conscience clause protections need to be strengthened. 

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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