Could Michele Bachmann have possibly overstepped with the anti-abortion crowd during last night’s debate? It seems that her attack on fellow candidate Tim Pawlenty over abortion may not have gone over as well as she had hoped.
Bachmann sought to make it appear Pawlenty deviated from his fiscally conservative record by raising fees on cigarettes and she also made it appear Pawlenty agreed to a bill that revoked pro-life protections for unborn children.
“I was very vocal against that tax, and I fought against that tax. The problem is, when the deal was put together, Governor Pawlenty cut a deal with the special interest groups and he put in the same bill, a vote to increase the cigarette tax, as well as the vote that would take away protections from the unborn,” Bachmann said. “I made a decision, I believe in the sanctity of human life. And I believe you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong. That’s why I came down on that decision that I made.”
However, Bachmann’s comments on the bill are at variance with the facts, as the bill contained a pro-life provision supported by Minnesota’s biggest pro-life group.
During the debate over the legislation, Republicans in the state legislature added a pro-life provision to the bill containing the fees in order to attract more conservative support for the legislation. Specifically, they added a new law, the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act, that made Minnesota the second in the nation to have a law requiring abortion practitioner to tell women about the pain their unborn child will experience during a later-term abortion. Under the law, abortion practitioners are also required to allow women more than 20 weeks along and considering an abortion to request that anesthesia be given to the unborn child before performing it.
The law drew the praise of the “special interest groups” Bachmann condemned — notably Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. MCCL spokeswoman Jackie Moen said at the time that the bill helps people to “know that these are unborn children, and they can feel pain.”
Looks like Pawlenty might finally have found a weakness he can exploit. Too bad for his campaign that it is likely far too late to do him any good.