Atlanta businessman and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has signed a pledge to preserve life that was drafted by the Susan B. Anthony List, a leading conservative group.
“I am an associate Baptist Minister and am 100 percent pro-life,” Cain said in a written statement. “I believe that all human beings have intrinsic dignity. [I] will work at all times to oppose government funding of abortion. I will veto any legislation that contains funds for abortions.”
Cain’s written commitment on Tuesday may have come too late to give groups such as The Ffamily Leader, a pro-family Iowa group, confidence that Cain is completely committed to the pro-life cause.
Cain becomes the eighth candidate to sign the group’s pledge. The lone GOP holdout is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whose inconsistent positions on abortion have kept many social conservatives from supporting his candidacy.
Romney has refused to sign the “well-meaning” Anthony pro-life pledge, saying it is too broad and would have unintended consequences such as limiting the president’s right to appoint qualified individuals to certain top-level cabinet positions.
Karen McNeil, a pro-life activist and executive committee member of Life Choices in Memphis, Tenn., said Romney’s reluctance to completely commit to the pro-life issue is one reason why pro-life supporters are leery of his intentions.
“Gov. Romney’s hesitancy to sign pro-life pledges such as those proposed by Susan B. Anthony makes a lot of us nervous,” McNeil told The Christian Post. “We already have a president who supports abortion-on-demand and we need to make sure if we elect someone else, that they are 100 percent committed to the pro-life cause. It should be a really simple and easy decision for Gov. Romney to make.”
Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of the Iowa organization The Family Leader, also said on Tuesday that the group’s board of directors eliminated Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul for their list of candidates they would consider endorsing. One of the reasons cited for Cain being marked off the list was his inconsistent statements on abortion and other conservative issues.
Last month, Cain told CNN’s Piers Morgan, "It comes down to it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision,” when asked about abortion in the case of rape.
“The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make."
Cain later clarified to conservatives that abortion “should be clearly stated as illegal across this country and I would work to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Marjorie Dannefelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, was nevertheless enthusiastic about Cain’s latest support for the pro-life pledge.
“This decision is consistent with the Herman Cain we have come to know,” Dannefelser said in a written statement. “He understands the wound abortion is to America and especially to the most vulnerable among us – people that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger labeled ‘human weeds.’”
Specifically, the pledge ask candidates to nominate to the federal bench those who are committed to restraint and applying meaning to the Constitution; appoint only pro-life candidates to certain top cabinet level positions; and permanently end all U.S. taxpayer funding of abortion domestically and internationally.