Is Herman Cain really pro-life? — critics raise questions
GOP presidential candidate caused some disquiet among his core followers when, on October 19, he said: "It's not the government's role or anybody's role to make that decision[on abortion]...it ultimately gets down to a choice the family...has to make."
Herman Cain's response has led many to wonder if he was not contradicting his pro-life position.
Herman Cain, according to The Washington Post
, has clarified the controversial statement he made on "Piers Morgan Tonight." He said in a Tweet, "I am 100% pro-life. End of story." Herman Cain explained:
"I understood the thrust of the question to ask whether that I, as president, would simply 'order' people to not seek an abortion. My answer was focused on the role of the President. The President has no constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone. That was the point I was trying to convey. As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100% pro-life. End of story. I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. Judges who are committed to the rule of law know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children. I will oppose government funding of abortion. I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood. I will do everything that a President can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life."
Herman Cain on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight"
was asked about his position on abortion, and he confirmed what his followers already know when he said he believes "life begins at conception" and was therefore opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Cain was then asked if he would allow his daughter have the baby if she was raped. Cain answered, saying two different issues were being confused, and said:
"It's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidence, you're not talking about that big a number. So what I'm saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family, and whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue."
This response, according to the Baptist Press
, seemed double-talk to many of his supporters because he had just said moments before that he opposed abortion, even in cases of incest and rape. Cain's subsequent clarification might satisfy his supporters, but some critics have said his statement and "clarification" amount to double-talk.
reports Rick Santorum, on Thursday, in New Hampshire, criticized Cain, saying,
“...you cannot be both personally against abortion while condoning it — you can’t have it both ways. Herman Cain said that he believes life begins at conception, but that it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not to terminate that life...And I find it gravely troubling that Herman believes it’s a life, but that he doesn’t consider it a life worth fighting for.”
reports Herman Cain's personal friend Alveda King, has come to his defense. She says,
"In our many conversations Mr. Cain has remained solid for life, marriage and family."
But some pro-life commentators see in his "no-government-intrusion" stance evidence that Herman Cain is libertarian. Christian Post
refers to Herman Cain's NBC interview on "Meet the Press," in which he said he was opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest while stressing that such instances were "minuscule." But in cases in which the life of the mother is at risk, Cain said the decision would have to be left to the family.
Other pro-life activists have pointed darkly to the fact that Cain did not sign pro-life lobbyist Susan B. Anthony List's pro-life pledge. Christian Post
"Romney was the only other candidate who refused to sign the pledge. In addition to refusing to sign the pledge, Cain said that he would not support federal fetal pain legislation...Cain was also one of three candidates who refused to sign the National Organization for Marriage's pro-marriage pledge."