Mike Huckabee on Abortion
Republican AR Governor
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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