Ted Cruz appeared on a Catholic talk show on Monday and discussed his plans to work around the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion, should he be elected president.
During his appearance on Robert George’s show on EWTN, the host and Cruz discussed using an interpretation of the 14th Amendment to grant the right of fetuses to receive protection under the Equal Protection Clause. Cruz believes that he could use this loophole to work around the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
This theory of manipulating the Amendment holds that there is a magic loophole that would allow Congress to declare zygotes “persons” under the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments, and therefore criminalize abortion nationwide without the need for SCOTUS to overturn Roe v. Wade, Right Wing Watch explained.
“Now the amendment in its fifth section includes a provision that delegates to the Congress, the power to, and I quote, ‘to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article,’” George began.
“Now do you believe that unborn babies are persons within the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and, if so, will you call on Congress to use its authority under the 14th Amendment pursuant to Section Five, to protect the unborn?” George asked the presidential candidate. “Or do you take the view, as some do, that we can’t do that until Roe v. Wade is overturned either by the court itself or by constitutional amendment? Where do you stand on that?”
“Listen, absolutely, yes,” Cruz began. “I think the first obligation of everyone in public office is to protect life. Life is foundational. In fact, as you look at the Declaration, that ordering of unalienable rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — I think is a very deliberate ordering.”
“I very much agree with the pope’s longstanding, and the prior popes’ before him, longstanding call to protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” he continued.
“And we can do that by Congressional action without waiting for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade?” George asked Cruz.
“Absolutely yes, under the 14th Amendment,” Cruz replied.
The same threat to bypass the Supreme Court using this amendment was made by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in August. Rand Paul also holds belief in this radical theory.
“And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law,” Huckabee stated during the Fox News presidential debate.
Even many anti-choice advocates contend that this strategy will not work, however. They fear that a personhood bill of this scope would backfire with such broad terms.
For example, granting “personhood” to fetuses would ban abortion even in situations where both the woman and fetus were in mortal danger, put women who suffer miscarriages at risk of jail or prosecution, and may outlaw forms of birth control.
Despite being a massively fringe theory in the past, these GOP candidates are giving this dangerous idea a very large stage in their war on women.
In contrast, democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has vowed to not only protect Roe v. Wade, but also to expand funding of Planned Parenthood, creating easier access to reproductive healthcare for women nationwide.
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