Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman gave the conservative blog Red State an interview and, in hit, he restates his deeply-felt pro-life views.
Huntsman has not signed the pledge the Susan B. Anthony List put forward that has other GOP candidates committed to supporting legislation that would revoke federal taxpayer funding from the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Instead, he says he would go further — by pledging to veto any federal budget containing Planned Parenthood funding.
The relevant pro-life portions of the interview appear below:
A. That’s correct.
Q. Now you..
A. I have been pro-life my entire career – I have two little adopted girls. One from China, one from India, who remind me every day about the beauty of life. And, uh, these little girls come from a culture where, uh, they were both abandoned – one at birth and the other at two months of age, where their mothers could have chosen otherwise. But their mothers for whatever reason chose life. And I’ll never be able to thank the mothers; I’ll never meet them. Uh, but I think about them all the time and so does my wife. And they were a couple mothers, no doubt, in a hardship position and you know, poorest of poor, in these very [under]developed countries, um, and they chose life. And they gave us life. And we now live with the life that they left for this world and these two little girls are going to go on and change the world in their own way and that, for me, is once again an example of the power of life, and how central life is to our existence here. If you believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which is the philosophy which I tend to filter everything through when I make a decision as Governor, when I served as Governor, it’s a very powerful thing in our lives.
As Governor I also signed legislation that drove home that point. Uh, including banning second-trimester abortions, uh, including legislation on suffering of the fetus. Uh, including developing a trigger mechanism if Roe v. Wade ever were to be overturned.
Q. What I’d like to do, if I can, is go through, I guess kind of like a lightning round of questions. I think they can fairly be answered “yes” or “no,” on where you stand on various life issues, just to kind of introduce people to where you stand on a number of things. For instance, as President, would you sign an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy?
A. Uh, I would go right to where Ronald Reagan was, where we would not fund abortions anywhere in this world.
Q. Okay. Uh, you of course support the Hyde Amendment, is that correct, in keeping with that?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Would you support, either by legislation or executive order, a policy stating that all hospitals receiving medical funds must allow medical personnel who object to abortion on conscience grounds to opt out of that procedure?
Q. Okay. Do you support efforts to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood?
A. I do, but I have to be consistent with legislation in my own state, where there was some health aspects non-abortion health related aspects of Planned Parenthood that I supported.
Q. But would you agree, I guess though, that money is the ultimate fungible asset in the world – I mean, if you’re giving money to Planned Parenthood for other things, can’t that same money that they would otherwise from their budget there be diverted to the provision of abortion?
A. I would, I would agree with that.
Q. So notwithstanding that… well, let me just put the question in a different way. Would you veto any Federal budget that contained funding for Planned Parenthood?
A. Uh, yes I would.
Q. Okay. Even if that budget was satisfactory to you in other particulars, as far as the size of the budget and so on and so forth?
A. Say that one more time? You broke up a little.
Q. Sure, sure. Even if that budget was satisfactory to you in other particulars – in other words, it didn’t contain any..
A. Okay, yes. That’s right.
Q. One of the things that has frustrated pro-lifers for a long time is that Democrat nominees for President have long been able to publicly promise that they will nominate any Supreme Court judge (sic) that would not uphold Roe v. Wade, whereas Republican nominees have I guess kind of spoken in terms of code, like, “I would nominate judges like Roberts, Scalia, or Alito,” or worse, “I would have no litmus test in terms of the judges I would support.” Can you say that you would only nominate Supreme Court judges – justices – who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?
A. Uh, when I interviewed for judgeships when I was Governor I did not impose a litmus test.
Q. Okay. Would you continue that policy as President?
A. Uh, I would continue that. I would seek out pro-life candidates first and foremost, but I would not, you pretty much know who those people would be, but I would not expressly impose a litmus test.
Q. Okay. You, of course, have a great amount of expertise, maybe more than anybody in the field, in issues of China. And I don’t know if you’ve seen the news report today of Christian Bale, the actor – of course, he plays Batman – was roughed up by some Chinese guards attempting to go and visit Chen Guangcheng. Have you seen the news reports about that?
A. Uh, I have, uh, not directly, but just as it flashed on the screen. I know Chen Guangcheng, I know of his case very well.
Q. What, if anything, and let me break this up into two questions. What, if anything should be done by the United States to encourage China to change its “one child” policy?
A. Well, uh, I probably did more than anybody. Uh, because my daughter Gracie was known by 1.3 billion people in China. Everybody heard her story. They knew that we had adopted her and given her life. Uh, they knew that she got to seek a great educational opportunity – a young, pretty, brilliant girl who was, I mean, it was all the time in China. I dare to say that our one act of adopting a girl, as United States Ambassador to China, in many minds – and this would be impossible to quantify – but I tell you, may have had more of an impact in that country, one thing, than all the speeches combined of U.S. government officials over the years.
Q. Okay. One thing that many people may not know is that India, where your other daughter was adopted from, certain parts of India are contemplating adopting a two child policy. What if anything can or should the United States do about that?
A. Well, I would just offer the same thing, and that is highlighting the beauty and the value of life. And there’s nothing more powerful than leading by example. And when you can lead by example by showing the kind of life that these little girls live when they are allowed into this world, I think that’s a very powerful manifestation all by itself.