Michele Bachmann photo

Press Release - Newt Gingrich on Partial-Birth Abortion and Taxpayer Funding of Abortions

December 15, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich failed to uphold the unalienable right to life in 1998 when he lobbied the Republican National Committee (RNC) against pulling support from candidates who supported partial-birth abortions. Gingrich has also demonstrated a willingness to allow taxpayer funding of some abortions.

Gingrich addressed the RNC at its winter meeting, called for tolerance of candidates who support partial-birth abortion, and said he would campaign for them.

"The Republican National Committee is expected to consider a resolution at its winter meeting in Palm Springs that would deny party campaign funds to Republican candidates who oppose banning most late-term, or so-called partial-birth, abortions." (Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 1/12/1998)

Gingrich: "It's the voters of America who have a right – in some places they're going to pick people who are to my right, some places they're going to pick people who are to my left and in both cases, if they're the Republican nominee, I am going to actively campaign for them, because when they get to Congress, whether they are a moderate Republican from the northeast, whether they are a very conservative Republican from the south or west, whatever their background." (Newt Gingrich, Speech at RNC Winter Meeting, 1/16/1998)

Gingrich's speech helped defeat the RNC measure that he called "arrogance":

"The Republican Party avoided the stigma of 'arrogance' in refusing last week to punish GOP candidates who do not oppose certain late-term abortions, House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday. Gingrich defended his role in helping quash an effort at last Friday's meeting of the Republican National Committee to deny party funds to candidates opposed to legislation outlawing the so-called partial birth abortions." (Associated Press, 1/21/1998)

While calling partial-birth abortion "barbaric," Gingrich said it would be "arrogance" to not support candidates who backed the horrifying practice.

"Gingrich said he opposes the 'barbaric' abortion procedure, and would continue to vote to ban it. But he argued that the resolution was the wrong way to eliminate partial-birth abortions. 'We don't want to say to that the Republican National Committee is going to say to the primary voters of Charlotte, the primary voters of Greensboro, the primary voters of Columbia, S.C., if you pick the wrong person, we're not going to support you,' Gingrich said. 'I think there's a certain arrogance in saying [RNC members] nationally are now going to dictate in the primaries in every part of the country,' he said." (Associated Press, 1/21/1998) Gingrich "called the proposed rule 'a straitjacket' that would have hurt the party's chances to win elections." (Charlotte Observer, 1/21/1998)

Referring to Gingrich, conservative commentator George Will asked, "Why is it a virtue to be tolerant of infanticide?"

Mr. Will: "They don't want everyone in. Now the question is, do we want people in favor of infanticide? Some of us say no."

Mr. Donaldson: "Gingrich says, let them in. I'm simply using him as a witness on my side, George."

Mr. Will: "Why is it a virtue to be tolerant of infanticide?" ("This Week," ABC, 1/18/1998)

As Speaker of the House, Gingrich was willing to allow taxpayer funding of abortion procedures – the taking of an innocent human life – in certain circumstances.

"House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday supported the availability of federally-financed abortions for poor women who are victims of rape or incest and expressed opposition to organized school prayer, positions that are at odds with many conservatives in his party…. Gingrich said, 'I think you should have funding in the case of rape or incest or life of the mother.'" (Chicago Tribune, 4/10/1995)

"Speaker Newt Gingrich yesterday urged his House colleagues to accept less-restrictive Senate language on abortion funding for federal employees, warning against a stance that could not attract a 'majoritarian' coalition. The Senate on Saturday voted 50-44 to ban coverage of abortions under federal employee health plans except in cases of rape or incest or when pregnancy endangers the mother's life." (Washington Times, 8/7/1995)

Gingrich was long known as a GOP leader willing to compromise with pro-abortion Republicans.

"A Connecticut moderate like Nancy Johnson sings his praises, recalling how [Gingrich] helped her devise parliamentary tactics to push abortion rights even though he disagreed with her aim." (New York Times, 8/23/1992)

"At a conference in Atlanta in April, 1995, Gingrich was asked about abortion. 'I believe most Americans are pro-choice and anti-abortion.' A murmur ran through the mostly conservative audience….the answer sounded to many like President Clinton's 1992 convention speech at which he said abortions should be 'safe, legal, and rare.'" (Dick Williams, Newt: Leader of the Second American Revolution, quoted at LifeNews.com, 1995)

A March 1990 column describes Gingrich as "clearly backing away" from the pro-life plank in the Republican Party platform, with Gingrich stating, "there is a continuing evolution of this issue." "The GOP platform states that the 'unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed' and supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw all abortion. … Senate Minority Whip Alan Simpson, who is pro-choice, is the first major GOP figure to predict that the 1992 platform will abandon the current inflexible pro-life rhetoric…. His House counterpart, Newt Gingrich of Georgia, is pro-life but is clearly backing away. 'We will draw the line to permit fewer abortions than the Democrats,' he says, shifting the emphasis from banning abortions to merely limiting them. 'There is a continuing evolution of this issue,' Gingrich admits." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/16/1990)

Gingrich, forecasting the 1990 elections, sounded less than committed to the GOP's strong pro-life stance, seeming to settle for a perception of the Republican Party simply as "the party that on balance prefers the fewest abortions possible." "Republican leaders realize they cannot prevent a clash over the party's position on the issue forever, nor are they prepared to abandon their antiabortion position. But Gingrich argues that when the debate shakes out later this year, there will be a clear choice facing voters, with Republicans on the right side of public opinion. 'The Republican Party will be the party that on balance prefers the fewest abortions possible,' he said. 'The Democrats will be, on balance, the party favoring the maximum number of abortions.'" (The Washington Post, 1/22/1990)

Michele Bachmann, Press Release - Newt Gingrich on Partial-Birth Abortion and Taxpayer Funding of Abortions Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/298976

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives