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GOP Candidates Debate: Who Is too Pro-Life?

Several of the Republican candidates for president battled the question of abortion on the debate stage in New Hampshire, and, in particular, the issue of the “exceptions,” i.e. rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

These exceptions have become important in New Hampshire, where it appears some candidates may wish to appear less “pro-life” and more flexible on the issue of abortion.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have suggested that Sen. Marco Rubio may be too pro-life.

Bush claimed to be “the most pro-life person” on the debate stage, citing Florida’s ban on partial-birth abortion, parental notification, and Choose Life license plates to raise money for adoptions. Bush added, however, “I think we have to be cognizant of the fact there’s a lot of people that are concerned about having a pro-life position without any exceptions.”

Christie eliminated Planned Parenthood’s state funding in New Jersey for six years. The governor makes an exception for rape and incest, and continues to say his view is consistent with that of Ronald Reagan – even though Reagan clearly said in his State of the Union address in 1988 that the only exception for abortion he would take is for the life of the mother. Many experts, both pro-life and pro-choice, however, have observed for years that abortion to preserve the life of the mother is an extreme rarity.

Reagan said:

Let us unite as a nation and protect the unborn with legislation that would stop all Federal funding for abortion and with a human life amendment making, of course, an exception where the unborn child threatens the life of the mother. Our Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the right of taking a life in self-defense. But with that one exception, let us look to those others in our land who cry out for children to adopt.

Marco Rubio – who is pro-life and takes only the exception of the life of the mother — took to task the moderators of the Democrat debates for avoiding the issue of abortion. Candidate Hillary Clinton was endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL and continually speaks of her support for abortion-on-demand. Yet, even with Planned Parenthood’s exposure in recent undercover videos for its apparent sales of aborted baby body parts, Clinton has not been asked to respond on the debate stage.

“Here’s what I find outrageous,” Rubio said. “There have been five Democratic debates. The media has not asked them a single question on abortion and on abortion, the Democrats are extremists.

Rubio continued:

Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortion should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child?

Why don’t they ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that partial-birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that’s a fundamental right. They are the extremists and when it comes to the issue of abortion and I can’t wait to expose them in a general election.

Rubio said, if president, he would sign a law that bans abortions with exceptions, since it will still save lives.

“But I do believe deeply that all human life is worthy of the protection of laws. I’ve already said, for me, the issue of life is not a political issue and I want to be frank,” he said. “I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life.”

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