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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Presidential candidates slated to speak at National Right to Life convention in Florida



The political action committee called "The Hermanator" sent out a schedule recently listing presidential candidate Herman Cain as a "keynote speaker" on Friday at the National Right to Life Convention in Jacksonville. Actually, Cain is a participant along with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum in the Right to Life's 2012 Presidential candidates forum.

Florida is certainly a friendly place for the Right to Life convention, where one of the presentations is titled, "Planned Parenthood: The Hyper-Political, Under-Regulated, Out-of-Control Mega-Marketer of Abortion." State lawmakers last session passed five different measures intended to restrict access to abortion.

Maybe Cain's people are trying to boost his stature at the convention to counter criticism for refusing to sign the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life pledge. Paul, Santorum, Newt Gingrinch,  Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty have all signed it.

Santorum, a former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, is using the abortion issue and the SBA pledge to blast Mitt Romney. In a statement released Monday, Santorum said he was "stunned" Romney declined to the sign the pledge and added: "This past Monday night at the Republican Presidential Debate, I was asked about Governor Romney's pro-life conversion, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I apparently spoke too soon. It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Romney chose not to defend those who cannot defend themselves." Santorum's statement made only a passing reference to pledge-rejectors Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Here's the text of the pledge:

FIRST, to nominate to the U.S. federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;

SECOND, to select only pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services;

THIRD, to advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions;

FOURTH, advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

[Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2011 1:46pm]


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