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Herman Cain on abortion: He may be wrong but he's consistent

October 17, 2011 | 11:56 am

Give Herman Cain credit for consistency, and I'm not talking about his steadfast defense of "9-9-9."

On Sunday he outlined his position on abortion, though "outline" suggests a combination of elements, whereas Cain's points are one point: no abortion.

"I do not believe in abortion under any circumstances," he said on "Meet the Press." "Not for rape and incest." (He said rape and incest exceptions were unnecessary because the percentage of abortions in those situations was minuscule.)

The standard spiel of antiabortion politicians is to allow such exceptions in a post-Roe vs. Wade world. For example, Mitt Romney says, "I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother."

The Romney position is illogical. If one believes that an embryo is the moral equivalent of a living human being, abortion is homicide even when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. (Abortion to save the life of the woman is allowed even in this scheme because the doctor can save only one life.)

Politicians embrace the Romney position because even some antiabortion types are squeamish about forcing a woman to raise a child conceived in painful circumstances. But extend that solicitude for the woman to other sorts of hardships and you end up supporting abortion in plenty of "ordinary" situations.

Herman Cain seems to understand that.


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-- Michael McGough

Photo: Herman Cain speaks with the media after an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" in Washington on Oct. 16. Credit: Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

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