Marjorie Dannenfelser
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Some Republicans in recent months have suggested that social issues, including the issue of protecting innocent, unborn children, will take a back seat during the 2012 election cycle. The nation’s unemployment rates, foreclosure rate, and credit rating, are all worse than they were when Obama took office in 2009. He has failed to turn the nation’s economy around and continues to blame his failures on his predecessor. For these, and other fiscal and economic reasons, some have speculated that social conservatives are going to play second fiddle in the coming Presidential election.

The Republican presidential primary season launched into full swing in Ames, Iowa last week, and one thing was made perfectly clear: the issue of Life will be front and center in the Republican nominating process.

Each of the candidates in Iowa showed they are not just going to pay lip service to the pro-life community and its efforts. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum made specific references while in Ames to the importance of protecting life and testified to their determination to take the fight to the federal level if elected to the White House.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, winner of the Iowa Straw Poll, made clear her pro-life convictions during the Presidential Debate, stating, “I believe you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong."

The most telling moment, however, came when Representative Ron Paul, in his speech on Saturday, devoted the first five minutes to discussing his position on life. He pulled on our heart-strings with a personal story from his practice as an obstetrician, defining for everyone that his conception of libertarianism is adamantly and whole-heartedly pro-life.

“We must preserve all life if we expect to protect the individual liberty of each and every one of us, and that means the unborn as well…let me assure you, as an OB doctor…life begins at conception.” Congressman Paul went on to explain, “There is no reason in the world this government can't protect life, rather than the destruction of life, like they do when they finance abortion; that has to stop. The most important way that can be stopped is the reversal and the elimination of that horrible ruling – Roe vs. Wade must be reversed.”

Senator Rick Santorum provided an impassioned and succinct explanation for the necessary protection of human life, regardless of how it comes into this world. “The Supreme Court of the United States on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception… it is a human life.”

The Values Voter Bus Tour, which the Susan B. Anthony List, in conjunction with the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council, traveled the state leading into the straw poll, found that people more committed to these issues than ever.

All of the top vote getters in the Ames Straw Poll are signers of the Susan B. Anthony List Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge. Mr. Romney remains the only major candidate not to sign and we wait for Gov. Perry's decision within a few days.

For those in the Republican Party who still think there should be “a truce” on social issues during the 2012 election cycle, think again.

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Marjorie Dannenfelser

Marjorie Dannenfelser is President of the Susan B. Anthony List.

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