GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is a staunch pro-life advocate, so much so that he says he backs the recent Paraguayan government’s decision to deny an abortion to a rape victim that is just 10 years old. The former governor of Arkansas and ordained minister said that to have allowed an abortion, even in the case of rape, would have compounded the problem, not alleviated it.
Governor Huckabee, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, August 16, was asked by host Dana Bash if, given his anti-abortion stance even in the case of rape and incest, would he still advocate such parameters if, as in a recent case in Paraguay, a 10-year-old was impregnated by her stepfather. (Bash noted that the young victim, now 11, gave birth by caesarian section because Paraguayan law forbids abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is endangered.) She noted that a Huckabee presidency would have similar abortion standards if he had his way.
“Let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible, but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?” the former governor asked.
Huckabee brought up an example of a man who was nearly aborted but became an individual who helped millions of people, he said he liked to think of the “possibilities” rather than ending a life. Bash then noted that the horror visited upon the victim, to have been raped and then to have to carry the baby to term — “That’s also not easy,” she said.
“And I wouldn’t even pretend that it’s anything other than a terrible tragedy,” Huckabee admitted. “But let’s not compound the tragedy by taking yet another life. And I always think we sometimes miss the fact that, when an abortion happens, there are two victims. One is the child. The other is that birth mother, who often will go through extraordinary guilt years later, when she begins to think through the — what happened with the baby, with her.”
What the former governor does not admit in all his protestations is that the victims of rape and incest, feeling guilt those years later, do so primarily due to the stigma placed upon the victims’ acts via sociological and religious strictures. Given proper treatment, care, therapy, and a social atmosphere absent of the burden of guilt (emotional and psychological), survivors of rape and incest who chose to abort could live without the onerous, not to mention judgmental, strain of guilt. But in places like Paraguay (and most of Latin America) and a Mike Huckabee abortionless America, such a worldview cannot gain ground due to the entrenched Christian guilt-driven two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-life philosophy.
In fact, the former Baptist minister last month stated while campaigning in Jefferson, Iowa, that if he were president, he would not rule out sending in federal troops or the FBI to shut down abortion clinics. Huckabee is part of a small contingent who believes that the president of the United States has the power, invested in the position by the Constitution, to outlaw abortions. Although banning abortions might be allowable through an Executive Order, such an order would stand only as long as it went unchallenged, which might ultimately lead to a Supreme Court ruling on the matter. (The same would likely occur with the closing down of abortion clinics with troops and/or agents of the federal government.) History indicates — beginning with Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions and on through the many challenges to that decision since — that outlawing abortions via Executive Order would not stand Supreme Court scrutiny.