Presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann made an appearance Saturday at a dinner hosted by an influential anti-gay rights and anti-abortion group in Orlando. During a religious speech about her faith and childhood, Bachmann spoke about her past “counseling” women against having abortions.
The Florida Family Policy Council, a group that recently celebrated the passage of numerous bills aimed at curbing access to legal abortions in the state, hosted the congresswoman during its annual policy dinner. During Bachmann’s speech, she told attendees about her past working with her husband to “counsel” pregnant women against having abortions.
“We reached out … to women,” she said. “We would invite them to our home. We would counsel them. We would take them in. We would drive them over to pro-life centers. I went through the childbirth classes with women — I held their hand as they gave birth. It was a privilege to be a part of bringing new life into the world.”
“It was a privilege to be a part of pouring ourselves out to these women,” Bachmann said.
“Pro-life centers,” often referred to as “crisis pregnancy centers,” are funded by taxpayers in the state of Florida. These centers have been found to mislead women about their choices and to give medically inaccurate information about abortions. Florida’s GOP-led Legislature did not remove a dime of the centers’ funding this year — even as other medical services for needy women and children were cut.
Bachmann told the crowd they should follow her lead.
Her sermon’s theme: she urged people to do as she said she was doing: pouring herself into a religious life, even to the point that some might think she was wasting herself.
“That’s our challenge, as believers in Jesus Christ… and for whatever your profession, maybe it’s as someone who is running to be president of the United States, to say, almighty God, yes, my Lord, I will pour myself out for you,” she said.
Only occasionally during her speech at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel did the frequently polarizing politician even suggest politics, except to praise the council and its work, and the Florida lawmakers who support it.
Many of the most fervent abortion opponents in the state Legislature were present at the dinner. This year the legislature passed five bills aimed at curbing abortion, and Gov. Rick Scott signed each anti-abortion bill that came to his desk.
Bachmann is set to make a few more campaign stops in Florida.