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A Terrible Pledge

Will abortion affect voters’ decisions in 2012? Probably not. As The New York Times reports, less than 1 percent told its nationwide poll this year and last that abortion was the top problem facing the country.

But that hasn’t stopped the Susan B. Anthony List from demanding fealty to their extreme anti-abortion views from all in the crowded GOP field to become president. By extreme, we mean taking a pledge to appoint only pro-life judges, cabinet members and top federal executives; cut off federal funding to hospitals and clinics that happen to perform or fund abortions, and support legislation to further restrict what is, let’s remember, a legal option for American women.

Mitt Romney, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Herbert Cain and Gary Johnson are the only Republican presidential candidates so far who have declined to sign this pledge, and they have been fiercely criticized by the rest of the pack for being insufficiently ideologically pure.

The Susan B. Anthony folks promise to use this litmus test as a character evaluation in the coming election. We all should. No one who signs such a pledge — one that defies existing federal law, censors speech and damages health care in this country — deserves to be president. We’ll remember, too.

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