Pro-life group’s bus touts Santorum in Columbus stop

benw@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 4, 2012 

A steady drizzle Saturday couldn’t stop a group of Rick Santorum for president supporters as the Susan B. Anthony List bus stopped in front of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus.

Susan B. Anthony List, a nationwide network of Americans supporting and representing pro-life women in politics, is not affiliated with the candidate’s campaign but went on the bus tour after the former U.S. senator signed the group’s presidential pro-life pledge. The visit was aimed at spreading Santorum’s message on life, marriage and religious liberty as he challenges Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the Tuesday primaries.

Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs at Susan B. Anthony List and a former member of Congress from Colorado, was among supporters on the bus tour. She was in Congress when Santorum led the fight to ban the practice of partial birth abortion.

“Rick Santorum has shown he has courage and commitment to stand up for life,” Musgrave told about 25 supporters gathered with umbrellas on Front Avenue. “That’s why we are on the Rick bus. That’s why we are going to various states.”

So far the bus has stopped in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia. Last week, the tour started in Michigan, where Santorum came within three points of Romney. “We were very encouraged with that in Romney’s home state,” Musgrave said.

Kelly Tolman, a member of the Chattahoochee Valley United for Life in Columbus, told how she went to three abortion clinics as a scared, pregnant teen. There were options she felt were necessary, but abortion clinics are empowered by laws and the president to withhold the truth, she said.

“By the grace of God, I went to three abortion clinics and never had an abortion,” she said. “My son will be 10 this year.”

She urged women and men to go to the polls and vote for life first. “It is the foundation upon which all other rights are built,” Tolman said. “If you don’t have the right to life, we have nothing else.”

Brittnay Ryals told a similar story. She said her first adult decision was to have her daughter, Raylan Ryals.

“She changed my life,” Ryals said of her daughter. “I went back to college, I have a job, I’m doing good. I finally grew up, made my first adult decision of having her. My life is perfect. Abortion is not an option. I don’t believe you have the right to take someone’s life.”

Musgrave said the over-arching goal of the bus tour is to save the lives of precious unborn children. “We are hoping we can make a difference for Rick Santorum.”

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