Though presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has insisted he is opposed to abortion, Michele Bachmann is again criticizing him for failing to sign a pledge drawn up by the Susan B. Anthony List. Both Romney and fellow Republican candidate Herman Cain declined to commit to the pledge, which also went out to Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
The pledge states that the candidates will only support abortion opponents as judicial nominees and Cabinet members, work to defund Planned Parenthood and also support a “fetal pain” bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Bachmann, who officially launched her campaign yesterday and lags closely behind Romney in recent polls, initially said she found Romney’s failure to sign the pledge “distressing.” This week, on CBN’s “Brody File,” Bachmann reiterated her intention to be a “pro-life president” and again brought up Romney’s failure to sign the pledge.
“This last weekend there was a National Right to Life Committee Convention and I had signed, happily, the Susan B. Anthony List pledge regarding being pro-life as president of the united states,” she told Brody. “I had issued a statement saying that I believed that all Republican candidates should sign that statement. Our party platform is pro-life, and I believe that our president also needs to be pro-life.”
Ask[ed] about her response to Romney, Bachmann said, “Well, I think particularly now, Governor Romney has stated that he is pro-life, I take him at his word but, he’s had some issues with that in his past, where he has taken various positions. This was a wonderful opportunity to sign the pledge and demonstrate that he’s pro-life. He chose not to. I think that’s troubling and I think that he should have signed the pledge.”
“I think that the voters will have to take a look at this,” Bachmann added in the interview. “I know for me, it’s very troubling. And I called on the Governor to sign the pledge because after all you can get a lot of things wrong; one thing that you cannot get wrong is the issue of life. That is a foundational issue in our nation and I think it’s important that our candidate for the presidency stand for life.”
A Romney spokesperson said that the decision not to sign the pledge stemmed from a worry that the defunding legislation would also revoke funding for other health care facilities, including VA hospitals. He released a position paper via National Review, in which he commited to many of the same initiatives outlined in the pledge.
Bachmann spoke via Skype at last week’s National Right to Life Convention in Jacksonville, at which she criticized President Obama’s health care reform plan, which she alleged would “open the door” to federal funding of abortions.