GOP 2016 contender Ted Cruz is turning the tables on a question about abortion, observing that the Democrats know abortion is highly controversial, so much so that in 2012 they plotted to fabricate the narrative that Republicans wanted to ban contraceptives rather than broadcast their own support of abortion-on-demand.
Cruz responded to host Chuck Todd during an MSNBC town hall:
Name the last presidential race where Democrats campaigned trumpeting their support for abortion. You think about the 2012 election. The 2012 election the Democrats focused over and over again on the war on women, which was a totally made up threat. But it focused on contraceptives. It wasn’t on abortion. It was on contraceptives…Listen, I have been around conservatives my entire life. I have never met a single human being, in any place, who wanted to ban contraceptives.
“There’s some people that are not thrilled with it,” Todd said. “Not for religious reasons.”
Listen. There are people who because of their faith don’t use contraceptives. That’s – you have a right to follow your faith. That’s not my faith. I’m Southern Baptist. My faith doesn’t have a problem with contraceptives but I respect those whose faith differs from mine and the great thing about our country is you can live according to your faith. If you’re faith says don’t use birth control then you don’t use it. You know, in my family, I’ve joked. Heidi and I have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have 17.
Cruz then interjected two of the left’s favorite words – “tolerance” and “diversity” – and used them to explain how Christians of different faith traditions respect each other’s beliefs on contraception, yet are still pro-life:
You know, we can have some tolerance and some diversity. But the fact that the Democrats had to create this made up threat on contraceptives shows that most Americans want to protect life. And I hope that we have a culture that values every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
In July of 2014, Cruz blasted Senate Democrats for their effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that President Barack Obama’s HHS contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In addition, he criticized the Obama administration for punishing the Little Sisters of the Poor and waging war against the Catholic Church by coercing these religious groups to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees when these items violate the tenets of their faith.
Cruz resisted Todd’s questions on the issue of “personhood,” or assigning constitutional rights to the unborn. Nevertheless, he did sign a pledge in Georgia last year to support a personhood amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Though pro-life activists believe in the dignity of human life from conception, some leaders have opposed “personhood” efforts as a legislative strategy in the states because they generally fail to be approved in anticipation of not being upheld by the Supreme Court.
“I told you I’m not going to get into the labels, but what I will say is we should protect life,” Cruz said after being pressed by Todd on the issue.
Cruz reiterated that he is not interested in restricting birth control or in vitro fertilization.
“I think parents who are struggling to create life, to have a child, that is a wonderful thing,” he said.