Mike Huckabee on Abortion
Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate
HUCKABEE: We don't know fully what the facts are. But regardless of why he did it, what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement, because none of us would condone something like this.˙There is no legitimizing. There is no rationalizing. It was mass murder. So, I think that's a little bit disingenuous on the part of Planned Parenthood to blame people who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the dismembering of human babies to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some madman into a clinic to kill people.
HUCKABEE: At the end of my presidency I would like to believe that the world would be a safe place; people wouldn't bully us because they would know that that would be an invitation to their destruction. Domestically, we would be operating under a tax system that eliminated the IRS. People wouldn't be punished for their work, and for what they produced. And we would focus on cures. And we would make this country not only safe from our enemies without, but safe from the enemies within. And it would be a good place to raise our kids and our grandkids.
A: Does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child? And that's really the issue. So when I think about one horror, I also think about the possibilities that exist. And I just don't want to think that somehow we discount human life. I realize there are some people that will be very different in their view of this than me, and I respect that.
"A lot of Republicans, particularly in the establishment and those who live on the either 'left coast' or those who live up in the bubbles of New York and Washington, are convinced that if we don't capitulate and just accept the inevitable, then we're going to be losers. It is the absolute opposite of that," Huckabee said.
Huckabee described same-sex marriage and "the sanctity of life" as "non-negotiable issues of principle" for Republicans. "If the GOP 'leaders' capitulate on these issues, they will lose voters like me," he said. "When the GOP puts up a candidate that's moderate on those issues we lose; when we put up a candidate with clarity on those issues, we win."
Q: Dobson said McCain was “not a conservative” because of his stance on abortion, among other things. Do you agree with Dr. Dobson?
A: I would say that if you compare Sen. McCain to Hillary or Obama, he’s much a conservative. I do think that there are issues where he takes sharp contrast with the mainstream of conservative thought. And those are real sensitive issues for many of us. The life issue is a defining issue for me personally. Because we think that if you are wrong on the life question, it reflects a misunderstanding of the nature of our nation and the equality of human beings, that there is intrinsic worth and value in each of us, that individual power and freedom that our founding fathers so believed in that they put their lives on the line for it, begins to deteriorate at the point when you start saying some lives are worth more than others.
I said I would be happy to. Clinton set up a meeting. After talking, I recognized she was absolutely sincere in her beliefs. I realized that the reason her positions on these issues so conflicted with mine was that our worldviews were fundamentally at odds. Reaching a consensus was impossible. She had her own idea of what a ”dash“ of salt was--in this case, a ”dash“ of human life--and recognized no standard that could show her she was wrong.
GIULIANI: There is no circumstances under which I could possibly imagine anyone choosing slavery or supporting slavery. There are millions of Americans, who are as of good conscience as we are, who make a different choice about abortion. And I think in a country where you want to keep government out of people’s lives from the point of view of coercion, you have to respect that.
Q: Governor, has the mayor persuaded you?
HUCKABEE: He has not. I have great respect for the mayor because he’s been honest about his position
A: I always am going to err on the side of life. I believe life is precious. I hav been in the pro-life camp since I was a teenager. It’s because of my view that God is the creator and instigator of life. But those of us in the pro-life movement have to do also some expanding. Life begins at conception but it doesn’t end at birth. And if we’re really pro-life we have to be concerned about more than just the gestation period. [My administration] passed pro-life legislation, but we also did things that improved the environmental quality that would affect a child’s air and water; that he had a better education, & better access to affordable health care. So I think that real pro-life people need to be concerned about affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, access to a college education. That, for me, is what pro-life has to mean.
A: I always am going to err on the side of life. I believe life is precious. It’s because of my view that God is the creator and instigator of life.
Q: But if you outlawed abortion, what would happen to the doctor who performed an abortion? What would happen to the woman who had an abortion?
A: Well, I think the question is, Do I think the South Dakota bill is the best bill that ever could be signed? This is a debate that’s been so divisive. What we really need to be doing is having the discussion center around how can we create a culture where people value and celebrate life.
Q: As president, you would seek to ban abortion?
A: I would seek always to promote the view that life is precious and should be protected. But I think it has to be won on a battlefield of one heart at a time rather than pieces of legislation at a time.
The record I am proudest of is having signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation., including a ban on partial-birth abortion. Another bill established a woman’s right to know, ensuring her consent to an abortion is an informed one, based on the same information she would be given if she were removing her tonsils instead of her baby. Equally important was legislation mandating parents be informed and provide consent before the serious surgical procedure of an abortion could be performed on a minor. We also pushed through legislation requiring doctors to inform the mother that the unborn child will feel pain, and provide the option to anesthetize the baby prior to abortion.
There is no such thing as a "safe and legal" abortion. Legal, yes. Safe, no way.
Recently the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study of maternal deaths and discovered that abortion is now the 6th most common cause. Abortion-related deaths may be under-reported by as much as 50%. Other medical complications of abortion include sterility; hemorrhaging; viral hepatitis; cervical laceration, cardiorespiratory arrest, and amniotic fluid embolus. As a result of these complications, women in America have seen a massive increase in the cost of medical care. The great vision the coercive social engineers conceived has utterly failed.
Let me be clear: It's not that the debate about abortion is unimportant. With the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, we, as a society, exchanged our sense of responsibility toward human life for a greater heralding of the right to terminate it. Even more disturbing was that the decision to end the innocent life of an unborn child was vested solely in the hands of the biological mother in whose body this unique life existed and would grow into a fully developed and functional human being.
Abortion became OK because we decided it is OK. Where did we get the right to make that decision? Because we're our own god. If the inconvenience of this little child would interrupt our college education or a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend, then that child became nothing more than a choice. "It's my choice. I decide for myself. What about me?" That is the essence of our culture.
HUCKABEE: Well, there wouldn't be a criminal penalty against a woman. I have often said that there are two victims with every abortion. One is the unborn child who loses its life, and the other is often that woman who is talked into the abortion, pressured into it, maybe feels she has no other option.˙ There's no reason to criminalize her. I personally think that that would be a useless and, frankly, a harsh and unnecessary kind of attack on a woman who needs love and support and assistance, not criminalization.˙
HUCKABEE: You better believe I will, because I'm tired of liberals always having a litmus test and conservatives are supposed to pretend we don't. Well let me tell you what mine would be. Number one, I'd ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I'd want to know the answer to that. I'd want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they're deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you're going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood.
HUCKABEE: I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That's a long and difficult process. I've actually taken the position that's bolder than that. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother's womb is a person at the moment of conception. The reason we know that it is, is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child's Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law. It's time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they're parts to a Buick.
What I accomplished a governor proves that there is a lot more that a pro-life president can do than twiddle his thumbs waiting for a Supreme Court vacancy. I would argue that the very foundation of our country rests on our respect for life.
In the 1860s, states in the South believed that each state should set its own terms for how to deal with the issue of slavery. Wise and principled leaders insisted that this could not be treated as a political issue but would have to be dealt with as a moral issue.
It's my hope & prayer that we will also come to an inescapable conclusion that it is equally irrational to believe that human life can mean something different in each of the 50 states.
A: History will have to determine that. We need to talk about why the issue of right-to-life is important. For many of us, this is an issue of principle and conviction. It goes to the heart of who we are as a country. If we value each other as human beings & believe that everybody has equal worth, and that that intrinsic value is not affected by net worth, or ancestry, or last name, or job description, or ability, or disability, then the issue of the sanctity of human life is far bigger than just being anti-abortion. It’s about being pro-life and exercising that deep conviction held by our founding fathers that all of us are equal & no one is more equal than another, recognizing that once we ever decide that some people are more equal or less equal than others, then we start moving that line, & it may include us some day. I’m pro-life. I value every human being. I would always make every decision always on the side of life every time I could, without equivocation
A: Well, it’s the logic of the Civil War. If morality is the point here, and if it’s right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can’t have 50 different versions of what’s right and what’s wrong. Again, that’s what the whole Civil War was about. Can you have states saying slavery is OK, other states saying it’s not? If abortion is a moral issue--and for many of us it is, and I know for others it’s not. So if you decide that it’s just a political issue, then that’s a perfectly acceptable, logical conclusion. But for those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can’t simply have 50 different versions of what’s right.
BROWNBACK: It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.
GILMORE: Yes, it was wrongly decided.
HUCKABEE: Most certainly.
McCAIN: A repeal.
GIULIANI: It would be OK to repeal.
TANCREDO: After 40 million dead because we have aborted them in this country, that would be the greatest day in this country’s history when that, in fact, is overturned.
No 2016 rival endorsed Huckabee's theory of the law. All of them had at least one idea for breaking up Washington's norms. Before the conference began, the moderator had promised to ask candidates to commit to ending all funding for Planned Parenthood. Almost everyone was for it; Huckabee wanted to tie the funding quest to a debt limit vote instead.
HUCKABEE: Are we being asked to apply a Mexican law to the US?
Q: It’s the principle of not giving our tax dollars to organizations within our country that actively promote or provide abortions. It’s an American law.
BROWNBACK: This is Ronald Reagan’ policy that we wouldn’t use federal funds to support organizations that promote abortions overseas.
HUNTER: It’s actually a UN policy.
KEYES: Actually, it was a policy of the Mexico City Population Conference. I was the deputy chairman. I actually negotiated the language into the final resolution at that conference.
Q: I want to know, will you defund Planned Parenthood?
Abortion is big business. But what is the cost? We can only tally the lives lost (35 million)--the other effects are almost immeasurable. The medical risks and complications are vastly underreported, so it's hard to be sure of the death/injury toll on mothers who abort. Also, abortion's legal, political, and cultural entrenchment is evident, if immeasurable, at every level and in every segment of our society. Finally, abortion brutally desensitizes everyone involved to the fundamental reality of the sanctity of life.
Fortunately for all of us, medical science rendered the argument moot: stem cells derived from umbilical cords and other sources have proven to be as viable and advantageous as human embryonic stem cells.
GILMORE: We can’t create people in order to experiment with people.
HUCKABEE: I would concur. I don’t think it’s right to create a life to end a life. That’s not a good health decision.
HUNTER: No. I’d like to show Mrs. Reagan the alternatives, which are adult stem cells.
|Other candidates on Abortion:||Mike Huckabee on other issues:|
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)