Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) launched into an aggressive condemnation of President Barack Obama's stance on abortion this week, calling him the "enemy of life."
Speaking at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of Christian conservative group the Family Research Council on Monday, Smith warned the audience about the importance of defeating Obama in 2012.
"We've got to warn everybody that disunity within our party -- those who are Republicans or those men and women of good faith and good will on the Democrat side and independents -- we may have some candidate disappointment from time to time and then say, 'Oh, that's not the best candidate we can put forward,'" Smith said. "We have to unite. Obama is the enemy of life, as is his people."
Smith then went on to accuse Obama of creating a pro-abortion "movement for death" by appointing "death peddlers" to key positions in his administration.
(Video above, via Sofia Resnick of the Colorado Independent)
Smith, a 16-term congressman, is one of the most vehement abortion opponents in Congress. He memorably set off an emotionally charged exchange on the House floor last year when he argued for anti-choice legislation by graphically describing the medical procedure of a late-term abortion. His depiction prompted a passionate response from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who stood up and told her colleagues that she had been forced to terminate a pregnancy at 17 weeks due to complications, and that she was offended by Smith's suggestion that such acts were "either welcomed or done cavalierly."
The overarching purpose of the FRC conference Monday was to discuss anti-abortion strategies in 2012, including within the GOP primary.
The FRC has endorsed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, an anti-abortion hardliner who opposes the procedure in all instances, including life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. In a recent interview, he responded to a hypothetical question about what he would do if his daughter was raped and impregnated by saying that he would tell her to "make the best out of a bad situation" and keep the baby.
Over the weekend, Obama reiterated his commitment to protecting a woman's right to choose as part of a statement released on the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.
While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue -- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.