First is Mitt Romney. He doesn't really have much of a record on life as governor, not having had much of an opportunity to pass restricting legislation and not being proactive to introduce such legislation. He did hold the line on abortion legislation while governor, just as he promised he would. He did not allow expanded abortion rights, and vetoed stem cell research funding. He is not to be blamed for the $50 abortions as they were already law before he became governor. If Bosman or one of our other in the know Romney supporters can add more, or correct me, I am open to that.
Mike Huckabee signed many bills while governor that promoted life. He signed bills: banning partial birth abortion; establishing a woman's right to know, ensuring that her consent to an abortion is an informed one; mandate parental notification and consent for abortions performed on minors; requiring doctors to inform pregnant women considering abortions that the fetus does feel pain; providing immunity from criminal prosecution for women who give birth then abandon the baby at a medical facility; criminalizing assault on a pregnant woman; and funding for "Choose Life" license plates.
An article from National Review claims that Tim Pawlenty May Be the Strongest Pro-Life Candidate in 2012 . His record is pretty good, but he passed fewer laws than Huckabee did.
Pawlenty signed into law the Woman’s Right to Know Act, giving women information about abortion risks and alternatives as well as information on fetal development. Minnesota was also the first to give women information on fetal pain — coming well in advance of the new trend of banning abortions based on that scientific concept, which Nebraska started last year. The former governor followed up that bill by signing the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act in 2005 to give women even more information on the pain their babies feel during an abortion.
In 2005 he signed the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Act to make Minnesota one of just a handful of states that send public funds to pregnancy centers providing tangible support for pregnant women and abortion alternatives.
...Governor Pawlenty issued a proclamation in 2010 designating the month of April as “Abortion Recovery Month” and urging agencies in the state to help women who are suffering problems following their abortions.
Pawlenty also vetoed a bill that would have legalized human cloning and signed a bill banning funding of human cloning.
The article provides statistics that during Pawlenty's administration abortions have dropped 14%. That's great. But as I researched statistics I found that nationwide abortion rates have been dropping over the last 20 years. So whether the drop in MN is a direct result of laws passed by Pawlenty or a more indirect result in a cultural change in the US, it is not possible to say with certainty.
It has been more difficult to find a list of the laws that Daniels has signed. I did find that he signed laws that "requires health care professionals to provide a pregnant woman with the options of obtaining an ultrasound and of listening to the fetus’ heartbeat before performing an abortion." And another bill "requiring abortion clinics to abide by the same safety and health standards as other outpatient surgical clinics." And his administration "authorized a “Choose Life” license plate."
But the most significant development is HEA bill 1210 which Daniels will sign within the next week or so. It will cut off $2 million in federal funding to Planned Parenthood that would have been used to provide abortion services. "In addition to Planned Parenthood losing 2/3 of its funding, bill 1210 will lower the window for women to have abortions to 20 weeks, as well as, require doctors to inform their patients that abortions can lead to infertility issues, and that fetuses can feel pain around 20 weeks." Indianna will be the first state to defund Planned Parenthood.
In 2008 there was really one candidate for SoCons to rally around, Mike Huckabee. As much as I admire Romney and believe that his conversion to life is legitimate, he is never going to be a standard bearer for the life movement. The great thing in 2012 is that there are now three candidates with very strong records of achievement in promoting life and restricting abortions.
However, there is one candidate that stands on a pinnacle far above all the others for achievement in restricting abortions and that is Mitch Daniels. The laws signed by Pawlenty and Huckabee are very important and they should be praised highly for signing them. It is lamentable that Romney didn't work to protect life with the dedication that those two governors did. But, while they were attempting to chop down the forest of abortions in their states with axes, Mitch Daniels plowed into his forest with a bulldozer.