Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said last month that Congress could “absolutely” criminalize all abortion by passing a law giving 14th Amendment protections to fetuses and zygotes, thus bypassing a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade.
This represents the Republican presidential candidate’s strongest endorsement yet of the radical anti-choice “personhood” strategy, which, based on a questionable interpretation of Roe, holds that Congress can simply outlaw abortion by classifying fertilized eggs as persons under the law. If successful, personhood would outlaw nearly all abortions and could even criminalize certain types of birth control.
Cruz made the comments in a November 25 interview with influential social conservative commentator Robert George as part of a series of candidate interviews that George is hosting on the the Catholic television network EWTN.
After outlining the personhood strategy, George asked Cruz, “Do you believe that unborn babies are persons within the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and, if so, will you call on Congress to use its authority under the 14th Amendment pursuant to Section Five, to protect the unborn? Or do you take the view, as some do, that we can’t do that until Roe v. Wade is overturned either by the court itself or by constitutional amendment? Where do you stand on that?”
“Listen, absolutely yes,” Cruz responded.
“I very much agree with the pope’s longstanding and prior popes’ before him longstanding call to protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” he added.
“And we can do that by Congressional action without waiting for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade?” George asked.
“Absolutely yes, under the 14th Amendment,” Cruz responded.
Cruz has on two separate occassions promised personhood groups that he would support their strategy, but has previously been eclipsed on the issue by his presidential rival Mike Huckabee, who has vowed to impose personhood by executive fiat if he becomes president. Another GOP presidential candidate, Rand Paul, has sponsored a personhood bill in Congress.