MESA, ARIZONA, February 23, 2012, (—At the last Republican presidential debate before voters in Michigan and Arizona cast their votes, Newt Gingrich labeled Barack Obama the real abortion “extremist” because of his opposition to a bill that would have required doctors to care for babies who were born alive after failed abortions – a vote Gingrich said condoned “infanticide.”

The audience booed CNN moderator John King at Wednesday night’s debate in Mesa, Arizona, when he asked if each candidate “believes in birth control.” 

The former House speaker, who has a habit of reformulating questions during debates, told King, “I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign—not once did anybody in the elite media—ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.”

He referred to Obama’s votes as a state senator to oppose the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, exposed abortionists’ practice of abandoning babies born alive after failed abortions, leaving them to die in a hospital utility room. Ultimately, Obama gave 10 different reasons for voting against the bill — from protests that it would undercut Roe v. Wade to allegations that Stanek and others lied under oath.

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President George W. Bush signed the federal version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. The federal bill had passed the U.S. House in an overwhelming 380-15 vote, with a majority of outspokenly pro-abortion representatives still supporting the legislation. Even after NARAL withdrew its opposition to the federal version of the bill, Obama had continued to oppose the state version.

“If we’re going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama who, as a state senator, voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion,” Gingrich said. “It is not the Republicans.”

King’s question targeted Rick Santorum, who has been outspoken in his opposition to abortion and about his belief in his church’s teachings on contraception. In October, Santorum told an interviewer, “One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea.”

At Wednesday’s debate, he affirmed his opposition to sex outside marriage and the rising illegitimacy rate, which is now 40 percent.

“Here’s the difference between me and the Left – and they don’t get this,” Santorum said. “Just because I’m talking about it doesn’t mean I want a government program to fix it. That’s what they do. That’s not what we do.”