NRL News

Barbour Lays Out Pro-Life Credentials in Iowa Speech

by | Mar 26, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

I have a couple of friends in Iowa who keep track of all things political for me in The Hawkeye State. As you know, Iowa plays a disproportionate role in presidential politics because its caucuses are the first in the nation.

Pro-life Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has spent a lot of time there recently, including an appearance this morning hosted by a group of ministers. One of my friends forwarded me a  piece that ran in POLITICO in which Haley contrasted his strong pro-life record as governor with President Obama’s equally strong pro-abortion record, both as an Illinois state Senator and now as President.

The story’s lead paragraph ran as follows:

“Fighting back tears as he talked up his home state’s abortion laws, Haley Barbour vowed Friday that he will not adhere to any social-issues ‘truce’ if he runs for president.” Based on a You Tube clip    (, Gov. Barbour was clearly moved as he laid out his, and his state’s, pro-life credentials.

Working with a legislature where both houses were controlled by Democrats, Barbour said about six pro-life laws were passed in 2004, his first year as governor HB 1612, for example, “said if in an attempted abortion the child lives, the law required every effort to be made to save the child’s life—must be given the medical attention to keep it alive.”

Barbour also talked about a suggestion he made to the legislature in 2004 about the state’s lone abortion clinic—that “we make the abortion clinic abide by all the same regulations that any other ambulatory surgical facility,” adding tongue-in-cheek, “What a radical idea.”

The law was passed, but overturned by the federal courts, as was Mississippi’s second effort intended to address the issues raised by the court.

“But I think it makes the point that needs to be made,” Barbour told his audience: “These people don’t want to have to abide the same laws that real doctors abide by.”

“We’re doing everything that we can to stop abortion in our state,” Barbour said. “And if I run for president and get elected president, I will come to the office with that attitude which is about 180 degrees different from the attitude of the person in there now.”

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