Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, joined the “Pro-Life Weekly” program on the Catholic TV network EWTN last week to discuss his Heartbeat Protection Act, an effort to ban abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. King was caught off-guard when the host, Catherine Szeltner, asked him to square his anti-abortion views with his infamous remark that we “can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Referring to the case of Jane Doe, the undocumented immigrant teen who fought for weeks in court for the right to access an abortion, Szeltner asked King about his “somebody else’s babies” comment and if his “heartbeat bill” would “extend to the preborn babies of illegal immigrants.”
King responded that if Jane Doe had carried her pregnancy to term, “it would have been an anchor baby,” which “would have been a good benefit for that child,” but that he wants to end birthright citizenship while also saving “all of their lives”:
Well, the Heartbeat Protection Act is consistent with the statement that I tweeted out, and this government should not be involved in ending human life, we should be involved in protecting human life. And I think that we need to pass also my legislation that ends this automatic citizenship to babies that are born to illegal parents in America, but I want to save all of their lives. If this little baby had been born, it would have been an anchor baby, it would have been an American citizen and that, you think, would have been a good benefit for that child.
If I have to choose between automatic citizenship for babies born to illegal parents in America or abortion, I’m going to go ahead and let them have the automatic citizenship, but we can fix this thing two ways.
King told Szeltner that he was hoping to get his bill in front of the full House Judiciary Committee, with the goal of having a House floor vote on it on the day of the March for Life in January.