September 28, 2023

ROUND TWO: GOP Holds Raucous Debate with Rare, but GREAT PRO-LIFE MOMENT


Last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, seven Republican candidates for President gathered on stage for their second formal debate, to make their case to the country. Throughout the night barbs were exchanged and the debate turned hostile at times, as you’d expect. This wasn’t your grandparents’ GOP debate, as verbal elbows were thrown, and the candidates got personal.

Yet, the candidates only covered the human rights issue of our time for five minutes of a two-hour debate. Conservative Twitter was upset that much of the moderators’ focus was “Democrat talking points” about illegal immigration, student loan forgiveness, and gun control.

But during the questioning about abortion near the end, one candidate had a standout moment. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, when asked about his plan to appeal to moderates and independents in swing states like Arizona, said:

“We won the biggest victory and Republican victory in a Governor’s race in the history of the state. Over a million votes. We were winning places like Miami Beach where no one thought was possible because we were leading with purpose and conviction. I reject this idea that prolifers are to blame for midterm defeats – I think there are other reasons than that.

The former President – he’s missing in action tonight. He’s had a lot to say about that and he should be here explaining his comments to try and say that ‘pro life protections are a terrible thing.’ I want him to look into the eyes of the people who have been fighting this fight for a long time. My wife and I were at the gravesite of Mr. and Mrs. Reagan, and I noticed that there was a quote where it says, “every single person has purpose and worth.” We’re better off when everybody counts, and I think we should stand for what we believe in.

We should hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism for supporting abortion all the way until birth. That is infanticide and that is wrong!”

This was a strong answer that touched on some critical points in the abortion issue. Democrats are absolutely in favor of abortion without limitsin six states and Washington DC, this is already the case. And former President Trump’s comments absolutely deserved an explanation, for which we issued an open letter calling for clarification as well.

Surprisingly, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christe, for all his MANY faults, including his faulty view that abortion should be a state’s rights issue only, had a great moment too on the issue of abortion when he said:

“If you’re prolife, you have to be prolife for the entire life.”

And he made a case for defunding Planned Parenthood – appropriate for an organization that wasted more than half-a-BILLION tax dollars just last year alone.

Sen. Tim Scott as well as former Vice President Mike Pence stood strong for support for family, but we would have like to see more from all the candidates on the issue of Life.

As the debate drew to a close, Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins again challenged the GOP Presidential contenders to sign the Protecting Heartbeat Pledge. As she says, “Every expectant mother and father knows what that first sound of a heartbeat means – confirmation of a human being in the womb. Usually, on a battlefield or in an emergency room, medical professionals run to save those with a heartbeat.”

SFLAction Pledge reads as follows: “If elected President of the United States, I (Name here) pledge to sign pro-life protections for babies showing the universal sign of Life – a heartbeat – into law, if sent legislation from Congress.”

Hawkins recent op-ed in The Hill describes the need for such protections. In a piece titled, Hey, Donald: You can’t ignore the human rights issue of our time and still get our vote, she wrote:

“If a human person’s worth is negotiable, then we are all at risk. For every one of us, there will come a day when it’s just not worth it to someone else to keep any of us alive. Human rights for human beings need to begin at conception and end at natural death. In between, our policies have to empower those unique lives, rather than evaluate them for their money-making potential or convenience …

It’s time for a new deal. At SFLAction — and among the more than 1,400 groups in all 50 states and our army of door-knocking activists — the pro-life generation rejects prejudice against people based on age, sex, race, stage of development, parental income, perception of abilities or events of conception. We reject shaming people for things that are out of their control. And we will fight laws and leaders when others are disenfranchised as a matter of political calculation or personal convenience.”

At the next debate in Miami in November, we hope the issue of life comes back to front and center where it belongs, and that the candidates discuss their specific plans for their desired administrations – in personnel, policy, and vision.


To see SFLA President Kristan Hawkins reaction to the line of questioning about abortion during the Presidential Debate click HERE.