Matt Blunt- I am pro-life governor

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I support the right to life of unborn children. I always have, and always will. Recent suggestions that I support abortion rights are offensive.

I am a Southern Baptist. Like most Missourians I believe that life begins at conception.

In my public and private life, I have consistently supported the right to life of unborn children.

I oppose abortion, strongly support efforts to reduce the number of abortions and in the legislature voted to ban the barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion.

The current leadership of Missouri Right to Life does not have a mandate from the people to make public policy decisions. I have this mandate and have used it to encourage and strengthen a culture of life in Missouri. My pro-life position is a clear and dramatic break from the 100 percent pro-abortion rights policies of my recent predecessors.

No change in thinking

The idea that I have changed my thinking on somatic cell nuclear transfer research is ridiculous.

I said on many occasions during the campaign that I have reflected closely on the issue, and that I do not believe that SCNT research involves the creation of new human life. I even reiterated this position during a televised debate.

That there is not public consensus on SCNT is evident. Legislation to criminalize this research was not passed.

No self-named leader of pro-life opinion has demonstrated that this research is cloning.

The sad result of the tactics used in the past session by lobbyists who call themselves pro-life is the failure to pass pro-life legislation.

These lobbyists opposed passage of pro-life bills that most Missourians support.

The proposals would provide new barriers to taking minor children out of Missouri for abortions to evade our parental notification law and would set meaningful safety standards at abortion clinics.

Let's reduce abortions

Passing these laws would honor and strengthen our state's values, but this is not the most important reason to pass new pro-life legislation.

The most important reason is to reduce the number of abortions which occur in our state.

I was astonished when some lobbyists who claim to be pro-life worked against pro-life bills.

Why were they doing this?

Incredibly, unborn children were being taken as hostages and deprived of new legal protections, so that lobbyists could seek leverage in a coming session for outlawing SCNT research.

More than any other issue, the sanctity of life must be above hostage taking and political games. Unborn children are not bargaining chips. In my view, when we have the ability to enact new pro-life laws, it is morally imperative that we do so.

The bills blocked by anti-research lobbying would prohibit the transport of minors across state lines to obtain abortions without parental consent, and would mandate that abortion providers have clinical privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of an abortion site.

Supposed pro-life advocates should be asked to justify their decision to become partners with Planned Parenthood and the legislature's most extreme abortion rights advocates.

Why is MRL working to protect the abortion traffic between Missouri and Illinois?

Why is the group in favor of leaving abortion "clinics" as they were under Gov. Holden?

MRL will have to explain itself, because I cannot.

I am the first pro-life governor since John Ashcroft.

I will continue to do all in my power to honor and strengthen Missouri's culture of life.

Matt Blunt is the governor of Missouri.

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