This is the fourth time I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, as it’s known. It is the first time I’ve covered the conference for Live Action News, though! Here is a wrap-up of pro-life speakers from Day 1 of CPAC.
The first speaker at CPAC was Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for governor of Virginia for 2013. Cuccinelli is strongly pro-life and was involved in cracking down on and setting abortion clinic regulations in his state. He’s actively pro-life in such a way that Planned Parenthood has created a website devoted to exposing Cuccinelli’s position, titled “Keep Ken Out,” which includes unflattering pictures of the candidate and “Alternate Cuccinelli Book Titles.”
Planned Parenthood may fear that “Virginia Can’t Risk Ken Cuccinelli,” but for the pro-life movement, he is a worthy candidate to have in office. Throughout Ken’s speech, he spoke of our given fundamental rights, which included the right to life. Though he doesn’t mention the website or Planned Parenthood by name, Cuccinelli does address the attacks on him:
I’ve also fought to protect the most innocent among us and defend the Constitution, in its entirety. For taking a stand on these most basic rights, the Democrats and their liberal allies … have labeled me as someone who must be defeated at all costs – at all costs. They will stop at nothing to make sure that I am not elected Virginia’s next governor because I have dared to defend our most sacred principles rather than bow to their vision of a new American future.
Ken closed his speech with further pro-life sentiments in relation to his plan for governor, which involves only abortion, but a range of issues pro-lifers should stand behind:
The governor of Virginia must be willing to speak for those citizens who do not have a voice. As governor I want to continue my efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens, as I’ve done as attorney general. And that’s at every stage of life. And to crack down on – to crack down on predators who prey on our children online. I want to continue my efforts to stop human trafficking that forces too many women and children into sexual servitude. For most of my adult life, I’ve been an advocate for the mentally ill, people who through no fault of their own cannot help themselves. And as governor I want to make it a priority for our state to become a leader in addressing this pressing need. I also want to continue to be a mighty voice for those who have been convicted of a crime but remain in prison because no one is willing to argue their innocence.
Marco Rubio did not only make pro-life remarks during his afternoon speech, but he framed them in a telling way, as he mentions how he respects those who disagree with him but how, at the same time, they should respect him:
Just because we believe that life, all life, all human life is worthy of protection at every stage of its development does not make you a chauvinist. In fact, the people who are actually close-minded in American politics are the people who love to preach about the certainty of, of science in regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception.
Although Rubio moved on to discussing what true conservatism meant for Americans, with such a beginning to his speech, it is not difficult to insert a pro-life position into other points that he mentions:
And so our challenge is to create an agenda applying our principles. Our principles, they still work. Applying our time-tested principles to the challenges of today.
Rubio also closed in part by mentioning that “America’s always been our people.”
While Governor Rick Perry of Texas did not specifically mention abortion, he did declare to the CPAC audience that in order to appeal to minority groups, such as Hispanics, conservatives need not to shift their values, but rather to focus on more social conservative matters.
But now we’re told our party must shift appeal to the growing Hispanic demographic. Let me say something about what appeals to Hispanics in states like Texas… it’s the policies that value the family unit as the best and closest form of government. It is the belief in life, in the faith in God.
While some may consider it a bold move for Governor Perry to have called out Republicans as he did for not running as conservative enough, it is encouraging to have a leader still stand by principles such as the right to life. Governor Perry also spoke on being a strong advocate for equal opportunity for all.
These ideals are as old as America and they will live on as the prevailing sentiment long after we’re gone because they’re what keep America unique.
Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America also participated in “A Roundtable Discussion on The Future of the Movement: Winning the Generation X/Y,” which at times became heated when discussing social conservative issues. Kristan certainly held her own, though. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of that discussion.
In addition to a piece discussing Kristan Hawkins and others on “A Roundtable Discussion…,” there will also be pro-life wrap-ups on days 2 and 3 of CPAC, and an article highlighting the panel “The Pro-Life Fight: 40 Years After Roe v. Wade.”