Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have declined to sign a pledge that calls for White House hopefuls to push for anti-abortion goals if elected president, Politico
reports. Five other candidates -- Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim
Pawlenty and Rick Santorum -- have signed the pledge, written by the Susan B. Anthony List.
The pledge requires that candidates promise to nominate or appoint pro-life judges, Cabinet members and administration officials. It also calls for zero taxpayer funding for abortion and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
“Governor Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “However, this well-intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it. Gov. Romney has been a strong supporter of the SBA List in the past and he looks forward to continue working with them to promote a culture of life.”
Saul said that Romney was concerned that abiding by the pledge would “strip taxpayer funding from thousands of healthcare facilities” and would hamstring him in selecting officials for the executive branch.
The other Republican presidential candidates who also declined to sign the pledge were Cain and Gary Johnson. It was unclear if the group asked former Ambassador Jon Huntsman to sign to pledge.
In a statement, Cain said: "I support right-to-life issues unequivocally and I adamantly support the first three aspects of the Susan B. Anthony pledge involving appointing pro-life judges, choosing pro-life Cabinet members, and ending taxpayer-funded abortions.
"However, the fourth requirement demands that I 'advance' the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation.
"I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues.
"In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency."
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