Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee Address Abortion in Latest Republican Debate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee Address Abortion in Latest Republican Debate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 6,

Concord, NH ( — The latest Republican presidential debate featured few fireworks on pro-life issues such as abortion or embryonic stem cell research. During Wednesday night’s debate, Mitt Romney was asked about his strategy to end abortion and Mike Huckabee called for a human life amendment to the constitution.

Romney has come under criticism from other candidates for favoring a two-step approach to ending abortion — one that is the traditional approach backed by most pro-life groups.

He has said he prefers to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states the opportunity again to make abortion illegal. Following the high court’s decision, he wants a constitutional amendment adopted to protect all unborn children by law.

Romney defended that stand during the debate.

"Well, I think all of us — I believe almost all of us in the room would say that we’d love to have an America that didn’t have abortion. But the truth of the matter is that — that’s not what America is right now. That’s not where the American people are right now," Romney explained.

"So I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states and the elected representatives of the people and the people themselves have the ability to put in place pro-life legislation," the former Massachusetts governor added.

"And of course it’s our aspiration that at some point we’ll see a nation that doesn’t have abortion. But until that time, I certainly believe that allowing states and citizens and their representatives to fashion their own laws to protect the sanctity of life is very, very important," he said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declined an opportunity from the questioner to criticize Romney’s position and used his time to delineate his own.

"I would look to see us have in this country what I helped lead in our state in Arkansas, and that’s a human life amendment to our state constitution," he told the audience.

"It says that we believe life begins at conception and that we ought to do everything in the world possible to protect it until its natural conclusion, and that means that we truly value and respect elevate and celebrate every life," Huckabee said.

Huckabee said that the same kind of concern that society shows to the right to life of people after birth should be extended to them beforehand.

"The reason this country has been extraordinarily interested in what’s going on with those miners out in Utah is because even though we don’t know them, they represent us in the sense that they are human beings, and we don’t know their faith," Huckabee said. "We need to show the same kind of respect for life whether a child is in the womb or whether in a coal mine or in a long-term care facility."

"It’s about the fact that in our culture the greatest testament that we can give is that we have a(n) undying respect for every human life as having intrinsic worth and value," Huckabee concluded.

In his answer, Romney also touched on this respect for the sanctity of human life.

"I recognize that for many people, that is considered an act of murder, to have an abortion. It is without question the taking of a human life, and I believe that a civilized society must respect the sanctity of a human life," he said.

"But we have two lives involved here: A mom and unborn child. We have to have concern for both lives. And so the expression of our compassion and our consideration — and work to change hearts and minds — and that’s the way, in my view, we’ll ultimately have a society without abortion," Romney concluded.