After a strong second place showing at CPAC this weekend — where 74 percent of the attendees called themselves pro-life — Gov. Scott Walker has roused the ire of pro-life Republicans for seeming to duck the issue on Fox News Sunday.
“Well, I think ultimately, I’m pro-life because that’s an unborn child. When I think of the ultra-sound picture that Tonette, my wife, and saw of our first son, who is now going to be 21 this June, it’s indistinguishable not to recognize that’s a human life,” Walker said when host Chris Wallace asked whether the governor believes a woman has a right to end a pregnancy at any point during the nine months of pregnancy. “That’s why I’m pro-life. My point is, we acted on the grounds that we have legally to be able to act under the Supreme Court’s decision, um, we’ll act that way at the federal level if we were in a position like that as well, but ultimately it is a life.”
When pressed by Wallace on whether he would “change the law” on abortion, Walker demurred. “Well, that’s not a change you can make. The Supreme Court ultimately made that.”
Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project, said today, “Claiming you are impotent on your core principles is neither true nor wise. What about advocating for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks?”
Professor Robert George of Princeton University urged Walker to be what George calls a “conscience Republican.” In a statement released today, George said, “The Republican Party was born of the witness of the “Conscience Whigs” in defiance of the slave power. That is our moral heritage. Today, when the great moral cause of our time is securing the right to life of the child in the womb, we need the witness of Conscience Republicans.”
“A conscience Republican would treat Roe v.Wade the way Abraham Lincoln treated the pro-slavery Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford,” he said. George went on to urge Walker to “lead the effort to enact legislation, pursuant to Congress’s authority under sections 1 and 5 of the Fourtheenth Amendment, to protect the basic human rights of the child in the womb an dprovide the Supreme Court the joppotunrity to reverse its appaling ruling in Roe v. Wade.”
Professor Gerry Bradley of the Notre Dame School of Law called Walker’s remarks tragic. “Governor Walker’s replies indicate reliably that he recognizes the truth about when people begin…and so it is all the more tragic that Governor Walker cannot — at least in this exchange with Chris Wallace — actually bring himself to declare that Roe v. Wade is a gross injustice, that it must be reversed, and that he will work assiduously to bring about precisely that end.”
Though Walker has signed pro-life laws in Wisconsin, this is not the first time Gov. Walker has given pause to pro-lifers. Breitbart News reported recently that Walker’s choice of campaign staff past and present is reason for concern. Walker recently hired an outspoken pro-abortion polico to run his campaign. Moreover, Walker has run ads in the past that imply he is content to let Roe v. Wade remain pat.
The Walker camp issued the following statement to Breitbart News: “Life is a value Governor Walker learned from his parents, and its the way he’s lived his life, preceding his time in politics. His policies have earned him a 100 percent rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in his first term he signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and he will continue working for every life.”
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse