Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Is Herman Cain pro-life? What are Cain’s views on abortion and Planned Parenthood?

(Video: Herman Cain’s speech at the 2011 National Right to Life Convention)

Let’s do analysis this in two parts: 1) what Cain says, and 2) what Cain does.

Life News explains what Cain said about abortion to Piers Morgan that confused people about his pro-life position.

As LifeNews.com reported, Cain gave an interview to CNN in which he used typical “pro-choice” language about government not making abortion decisions for women that applied, depending on the listener, to either abortions in the case of rape and incest or abortion policy in general. Either way, pro-life advocates have been disappointed today following the comments and they have called on Cain to clarify the comments — which he did in a short message on twitter later in the day saying he is “100% pro-life.”
The statement reads:

So, basically, Cain was saying that the lay of the land should be that abortion is illegal, and then women will have to get together with their families and decide whether they want to break the law or not, and that it was not Herman Cain’s job to be in that discussion. His job would come after in prosecuting the doctors who perform abortions, because he thinks that life begins at conception and the laws should reflect that commitment to protect the unborn.

Yesterday in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, I was asked questions about abortion policy and the role of the President.

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.

Here are Cain’s exact comments:

“Whats your view of abortion?” Morgan asks Cain in the interview.

“I believe that life begins at conception and abortion under no circumstances. And here’s why,” Cain said before Morgan interrupted him and asked, “No circumstances?” to which the presidential candidate replied, “No circumstances.”

Morgan told Cain that that sets him apart from many other Republican candidates who are pro-life but also believe in exceptions such as rape or incest or the life of the mother. He continued by asking Cain if he would want his daughter or granddaughter, if raped, to keep the baby — which Cain said “was mixing two things.”

“It’s not the government’s role, or anybody else’s role to make that decision,” Cain responded. “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 have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”

Morgan told Cain that his views on the question of abortion are important because he may very well become president someday and turn into public policy.

“Not they don’t,” Cain said of his views becoming law. “I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make.”

Cain finished by saying he agreed with Morgan that his view is a departure from the political norm.

Cain’s view is that the government should prohibit abortion, and then you should be left free to decide whether to comply with the law.

Cain’s position reminds me of a famous story about the British in India, who were opposed to the Hindu practice of suttee/sati which involves burning widows on the funeral pyre of their husbands. Sir Charles Napier responded to the Hindu custom as follows:

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

( Napier, William. (1851) History Of General Sir Charles Napier’s Administration Of Scinde, p.35)

That’s exactly what Cain’s position was, although I think that he would enforce the prohibition on abortion by fining or jailing the doctor who performed the abortion, and eventually the practice would stop, because there would be no money in it. Abortion is all about the money. When you take away the money, people stop providing abortions.

Cain’s pro-life record

What has Cain done for the pro-life cause with his own money? Life News explains.

Excerpt:

With the balance of power in Congress hanging in the air, a leading African American businessman says black voters in the United States should put their historical pro-life values above political party. That means voting for pro-life candidates rather than supporting Democratic candidates across the board.

Herman Cain is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is a political commentator and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

“More and more African Americans are pro-life,” Cain said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. “Our message to African Americans is simple — it’s time you vote for candidates who support our values.”

Cain will underscore that message with a $1 million advertising campaign in key states and congressional districts targeting black radio programs and urban radio stations young African Americans enjoy. Some of the ads focus on abortion.

But there’s more to his pro-life record than just giving up a million dollars of his own money. He is a pro-life activist.

What has Cain done with pro-life groups? Life News explains.

Excerpt:

The National Right to Life Committee is today vouching for Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s bona fides, saying the businessman who is considered by many to be the current GOP frontrunner is pro-life.

NRLC’s comments come after a 48-hour period during which Cain has confused pro-life voters where he stands — by first using seemingly pro-abortion language saying government should have no involvement before finally clarifying he is pro-life and saying he wants abortions illegal.

“Herman Cain’s pro-life,” David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, told National Review. “He addressed our convention last June. We are quite confident in his pro-life position. When he ran in the primary for senate some years back … he ran as a pro-life candidate then in Georgia. We’ve known of him for a number of years, and he’s always taken a pro-life position.”

At that event, Cain, the former businessman and candidate, said the “Founding fathers got it right” including the right to life from conception.

“Don’t infringe on the rights of somebody else and that includes the unborn,” Cain said of what the Constitution requires.

Cain spent most of his time talking about the moral crisis and lack of God in the cultural conversations in America, saying, “We’ve got a moral crisis in this nation. One of the reasons we have this moral crisis today is because too many people are trying to take God out of our culture, little by little.”

“Those that believe taking the life of the unborn is a choice has gotten away from the Godly principles,” he said. “The way we’re going to protect the unborn in this nation is to work on the right problem, get God back in our culture.”

Cain said pro-life advocates must change hearts and then minds will follow and he urged pro-life advocates to do more to promote the work of pregnancy centers.

“Let young women know about alternatives to these so-called Planned Parenthood facilities. We have to inform and educate people and let them know about resources like the one in Dallas Texas where I visited called the Source for Women. When young women show up there, the first option isn’t getting an abortion, the first option is counseling to show these young ladies the alternatives to abortion,” he said.

Herman Cain’s opposition to Planned Parenthood is quite strong. Life News explains.

Excerpt:

During a presentation before a set of conservative bloggers in the nation’s capital today, likely Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, a pro-life businessman, bashed the Planned Parenthood abortion business — which went after him in return.

Cain said he supports revoking the federal taxpayer funding for the abortion business: “I support de-funding Planned Parenthood. “Tactically how [Congress] does it…I can’t tell you.”

The African-American then went further and talked about the racial overtones behind the founding of the abortion business by Margaret Sanger.

“You probably don’t hear a lot of people talking about this,” Cain said.  “When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world.”

“It’s planned genocide. It’s carrying out its original mission,” he said. “I’ve talked to young girls who go in there, and they don’t talk about how you plan parenthood.  They don’t talk about adoption as an option.  They don’t say, ‘Well, bring your parents in so we can sit down and talk with you, and counsel with you before you make this decision.’”

[…]In January, Cain also went after Planned Parenthood.

He told American Family Radio’s “Focal Point” program that he is pro-life and opposes the agenda of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business.

“I absolutely would defund Planned Parenthood — not because I don’t believe in planning parenthood, [but because] Planned Parenthood as an organization is an absolute farce on the American people,” he said.

Cain, who is African-American, accused the abortion business of engaging in a racist agenda.

“People who know the history of Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood, they know that the intention was not to help young women who get pregnant to plan their parenthood. No — it was a sham to be able to kill black babies,” he added.

Cain also talked about his pro-life views in general and alluded to judicial appointments.

“I believe that life begins at conception, period. And that means that I will have to see enough evidence that someone I would appoint shares that same view. I believe that the current Supreme Court is leaning too much to the liberal side,” he said. “I’m a Christian, I’ve been a Christian all my life. I’ve been a believer in the Bible since I was 10 years old. I’m very active in my church, and there is no way I would compromise my religious beliefs about the sanctity of life. And so it starts with, will they have demonstrated in their career, in some of their other rulings, if they come from the federal judge bench, whether or not they also share that.”

“Because I believe that the principles that our Founding Fathers cherished, when they founded this country, and wrote the Declaration of Independence which inspired the Constitution, they were based upon biblical principles. I want to get back to those principles as president, if I run and get elected — not rewrite those documents,” he added.

I do think that Cain needs to be challenged now rather than later to clarify his views and to increase his knowledge. He has a year to do it before the election. Right now he is leading Romney in the national polls, and that’s good, because Mitt Romney’s record has been pro-abortion since 1994 and Mitt Romney refused to sign a pro-life pledge. So, if we have to pick a nominee in 2012, we have to pick Herman Cain over Mitt Romney. But Cain needs to improve his thinking and speaking on pro-life issues to prevent gaffes from occurring that make people think that he isn’t pro-life. His previous words were pro-life, his allies are pro-life, and more importantly, his previous record has been pro-life – right up to use a million dollars to support pro-life causes.

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