Yesterday Georgia Right to Life released its endorsements of candidates for Governor, endorsing all of the Republican candidates – including Ray McBerry – but Karen Handel.
In statements yesterday, GRTL also chose to attack Karen Handel for two reasons. First, her pro-life position includes the exceptions for rape and incest. Second, Karen disagrees with the positions stated by their leadership that invitro fertilization and fertility treatments are immoral and she does not agree to support their goal of prohibiting them.
Karen said, "My husband Steve and I tried for nearly ten years to have children. It is the single greatest disappointment in my life, and I can say with certainty that no one in this race cherishes human life more than I do."
In response, GRTL President Dan Becker said, "Someone's desperate right to parenthood – because they're infertile, they're barren, whatever term you want to use – is an emotionally fraught subject that has our highest sympathy. But it should never be attempted to be addressed where a life is taken in the process."
Karen said, "I am saddened that this group would resort to fabricating quotes and distorting my beliefs. I shared with the group's leadership very personal information and experiences that helped form my pro-life beliefs. They are well aware of my true beliefs. I am dismayed and very disappointed by their actions."
"I believe that life does indeed begin at conception, that an embryo is a life, and that an unborn child is a human life. While I oppose all abortions, I believe that, in addition to GRTL's exception for life of the mother, there should also be exceptions for rape and incest."
"Further, I am absolutely opposed to severely limiting fertility treatments, including invitro fertilization, and am saddened that my opponents appear to support it.
"Tens of thousands of couples have been able to have children through fertility assistance. Their lives have been blessed by miracle of birth and enriched by the blessings that children uniquely have added to their lives."
Pro-life leaders offer their support of Karen:
"I am pleased to reinforce my endorsement of Karen Handel for Governor. Being very pro life and having been endorsed at every election by Georgia Right to Life, my credentials as a very strong advocate for life are solid.
"Like Karen and Steve, my wife Susan and I share a common bond in that we could not conceive a child. Susan and I were very fortunate to be in position in 1991 to adopt an infant from Romania who has rounded out our lives and is now an ordinary 19 year old American teen.
"No one can possibly understand the heartbreak and sadness that accompanies realizing there will be no laughing children in a family unless they are actually faced with that prospect. Karen and Steve have been and are there now. I believe that she is the last person who would accept aborting a baby after what she has been through.
"I consider Karen and Steve very close personal friends. I remain committed to working for her election as our Governor and am very comfortable with her anti abortion, pro life beliefs."
"My husband and I got involved in politics through the pro-life movement in the 1980's and I have been a pro-life office holder since 1992. I was shocked to see Georgia Right to Life's endorsements yesterday and I found their comments about Karen Handel to be insulting. I have been and continue to be a proud supporter of my friend, and pro-life candidate, Karen Handel to be Georgia's next Governor."
DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer
"Karen Handel is absolutely committed to promoting a culture of life here in
Georgia. And while I happen to share GRTL's views on the issues in
question, I am disappointed that it has chosen to make the perfect the enemy
of the good. I have spoken with Karen at length about these issues, and I am
convinced that she has a heart for protecting unborn children. Her
willingness to permit abortions in certain rare circumstances is grounded in
the reality of the current political landscape, and should in no way be
interpreted as a belief on her part that children conceived by rape or
incest are somehow less than fully human. Karen firmly believes that each
and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a
tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in
encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of
circumstances. I am proud to support Karen Handel's candidacy to be the next
governor of our state, and I strongly encourage my fellow pro-lifers to do
so as well."
Georgia 8th Congressional District Chairman for Governor Mike Huckabee
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