Myrtle Beach, S.C. (CNSNews.com) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that if elected president, he would defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and steer those federal funds toward adoptive services.
“I would like to defund Planned Parenthood,” Gingrich said at a presidential forum on Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “I want to take all of that money and put it directly into adoption services to give young women the choice of life, not the culture of death.”
Gingrich faulted both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney for their records on abortion.
Planned Parenthood receives federal grants and contract, which are supposed to be used for family planning services and not for abortions. However, because money is fungible, pro-life critics say Planned Parenthood should not receive taxpayer money.
According to the latest data, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions in the United States in fiscal year 2009. That year, the organization also received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts, the latest figures show.
Gingrich criticized Romney, who as a former governor of Massachusetts signed a health care reform bill for Massachusetts that allowed for state funding of Planned Parenthood.
“And Romneycare wrote by name Plannned Parenthood in the decision process and not a single right-to-life organization is in Romneycare,” Gingrich said.
The former Speaker of the House saved his most severe criticism for Obama, and his vote in the Illinois state Senate against a born alive infant protection act.
“And, of course, Obama is even worse,” said Gingrich. “Obama voted in Illinois that a doctor could kill a baby if it was born alive during the abortion, and it was okay,” Gingrich said. “I was always amazed that no one made a big point of this in the 2008 campaign. Obama is far and away the most radical pro-abortion president in American history. We ought to take him head on.”
Gingrich is second place in most polls behind Romney in the South Carolina primary that will be held Saturday, Jan. 21.