Mike Huckabee made the Left, and some on the Right, very uneasy in the first debate when he said he would invoke the Constitution to protect life. But as he explained in Iowa last week, he just wants to follow the Constitution:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: …How do you get past Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and is there already a legal apparatus in place that’s trying to do this?
HUCKABEE: Well, the issue is not, is there a Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment. And frankly, I don’t think that a lot of people caught that that’s a bold stroke. But here’s the question: Is the unborn child a human being? Is it a person? And if it’s a person, it’s entitled to protection under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment, which is due process — you cannot deprive somebody of life or liberty without due process. It doesn’t say you can’t deprive them, it just says you can’t do it without due process.
Second thing – the Fourteenth Amendment says that there’s equal protection under the law, and that no person can be treated differently than another person. Now, as president, I would take that at face value. And I believe that a person is a person, whether they’re unborn or whether they’re out of the womb. Their personhood is clearly indicated by the biology that we know from conception forward.
Now, if that’s the case, again, as president, I would say, we will protect every person. And I know that that would just send shockwaves. There would be lawsuits immediately. Fine. Let there be. Let’s let this now work its way, but from the position — instead of being where we defend the killing of 60 million babies since 1973 — did you hear that? Sixty million.
We have presumed that it’s okay to take their lives without due process and equal protection. Let us now operate on the principle that it is not okay and let them fight for the right to take those babies’ lives. Let them tell us when that person becomes a person. Let them argue their point of the unrestricted right to deny life and liberty to that person. Let them argue from the standpoint that they’re not equal enough. That’s a debate I’d take on any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It’s just that we’ve never had a president who was willing to go there. Well, I’m not dis-willing. If I’m elected, I will go there.
And the reason why is that I don’t believe that I can honestly make this speech and end it by saying, ‘God bless you, and God bless America’ if we are committing such savagery as the infanticide that we have continued to slaughter so many unborn children. And I think that the Center for Medical Progress has done this country a great service by letting those videos get revealed, and reminding a lot of people who just didn’t want to think about what really happens in those abortion clinics, and the selling of parts. And maybe people are waking up to the horrors of this absolutely uncivilized behavior.
Folks, America ought to be a civilized country. We ought to act on our best instincts. Our inclination, our instinct should always be to defend life and protect life. And we need to operate from that premise, rather than from the presence of having to beg and see if maybe we can restrict one organization, Planned Parenthood, from getting funding. Would I like to see Planned Parenthood’s funding end? I’d like to go further than that. I’d like to see them criminally prosecuted, and I’d like for them to go out of business, because we are simply protecting the people that we used to just take money to end their lives.
So, yeah, I understand exactly what I’d be stepping on into. But folks, it’s time. When I hear somebody say, ‘I’ll introduce a bill, I’ll follow an amendment, I’ll sponsor a constitutional amendment.’ Let me tell you how meaningless that is. I mean, you can say that all day long. I worked in the legislative process. As lieutenant governor, I presided over the Senate. When a person says they’re gonna file a bill or start a process — well, great, that’s like John Kerry saying he’s going to send a strongly-worded letter to the Iranians, and if they don’t immediately back down, he will send them an even more strongly-worded letter, and he’ll put it in all caps! That’s empty promises. And it’s time that we get past that.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for APIA and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.