Bachmann Blasts Gingrich on Abortion

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Digging up quotes from as far back as 1984, ’12er dumps the oppo doc on the Georgian, argues he “has failed to meet a consistently pro-life standard.”

Read the extensive press release below.

Newt Gingrich Has Failed to Meet a Consistently Pro-Life Standard

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to uphold a consistently pro-life stance throughout his career in public life. 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.

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)

Gingrich said the abortion issue “has diverted Republican energies and it has led the [party] into a very dangerous period of focusing on what divides us rather than what unites us.” “With a strategic push from Chairman Lee Atwater, the Republican Party has begun lurching toward a new consensus on abortion, but it is not clear whether the party can get there without triggering a civil war. Atwater’s immediate goal is to get through the 1990 elections without allowing the abortion issue to trip up Republican candidates the way it did in Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections last November. … ‘The real impact [of the new political climate on the issue] has been psychological,’ said House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). ‘It has diverted Republican energies and it has led the Republican Party into a very dangerous period of focusing on what divides us rather than what unites us.’” (The Washington Post, 1/22/1990)

Gingrich, forecasting the 1990 elections: “The Republican Party will be the party that on balance prefers the fewest abortions possible.” “Republican leaders realize they cannot prevent a clash over the party’s position on the issue forever, nor are they prepared to abandon their antiabortion position. But Gingrich argues that when the debate shakes out later this year, there will be a clear choice facing voters, with Republicans on the right side of public opinion. ‘The Republican Party will be the party that on balance prefers the fewest abortions possible,’ he said. ‘The Democrats will be, on balance, the party favoring the maximum number of abortions.’” (The Washington Post, 1/22/1990)

“It was encouraging to hear rep. Newt Gingrich, the firebrand GOP Whip in the House, say that neither party could take an extreme position on abortion rights.” (St. Petersburg Times, 11/9/1989)

Gingrich: “Abortion is the most divisive issue in American life since the Civil War.” “Now, more than a dozen years after Roe v Wade was decided, the abortion issue is more controversial than ever in the United States — more hotly disputed, more passionately challenged. … ‘Abortion is the most divisive issue in American life since the Civil War,’ says conservative Congressman Newt Gingrich of Georgia.” (The Globe and Mail, 9/3/1985)

In 1984, four years after Ronald Reagan’s nomination brought the pro-life plank in the Republican Platform, Gingrich said the GOP had been “klutzy on the women’s issues.” “The Georgia congressman is the darling of many on the right, some of whom gaze with adoration as he holds forth at a party. Yet Gingrich also says, ‘We have been klutzy on the women’s issues’…and says the party has to embrace [women] to survive.” (The Washington Post, 8/24/1984)

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.

Related Topics: abortion, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, 2012 Elections, News, Republican Party, The Page

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