Why Do Republican Candidates Refuse to Outlaw Abortion?

Some argue that the POTUS’s view on abortion doesn’t matter because the President has little influence over it. This is not true. The president can use the bully pulpit to influence public opinion, curb abortion through executive orders, sign legislation, and nominate pro-life justices to the federal courts.

During the recent GOP presidential debate, candidates made excuses for their unwillingness to act on abortion by stating that the issue is now in the hands of the states to decide. This is a cop-out!

The fact is the US Constitution already protects preborn children.

The 14th Amendment reads:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

States have recognized pre-born children as “persons” at all stages of pregnancy. Protection for preborn children was rooted in British Common Law. The authors of the amendment included the preborn as persons.

Despite the battle being mostly in the states currently, that doesn’t absolve candidates for president from stating clearly that the federal government has a role to play in outlawing abortion.

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Mark Harrington (00:00):

Last night, Republican candidates for president meant in Milwaukee for a debate. I’ll have reaction to that here on the program. Also, here in the state of Ohio, we have the Secretary of State has assigned the issue number to the abortion amendment. That’ll be on the ballot here in November. I’ll have an update, so stick around to the Mark Harrington Show.


Activist Radio. The Mark Harrington Show is brought to you by Created Equal and you can donate to our work by going to createdequal.org that’s createdequal.org. And if you want to follow me on all my social media platforms or you can subscribe to our podcast on all the popular podcasting platforms, go to markharrington.org. So we got some breaking news last night. The Republicans put their slate of candidates up at the debate in Milwaukee, but one person was missing and that was Donald Trump, but they met anyway and they talked it out. I’m going to start out by just talking and giving you some general impressions and reactions to the debate generally, and then we’re going to get into some of the specific things that were said by some of the candidates. So let me just give you my perspective on all this right now. Donald Trump wasn’t on the debate stage and I think that’s for good reason.


I mean, he said basically, when you’re ahead by 40 or 50 points, what’s the point? Especially when you have people on the stage that are pulling it like 1% and he’s pulling it like 70% or something. And I think that makes sense politically. Why would he want to sit there and take a beating from all these candidates when he’s so far ahead and just allow the group of them to narrow the field to narrow, which eventually will take place. But it’s kind of my perspective that the candidates, if they truly cared about America, would’ve boycotted last night’s debate. Why they should boycott the debates because of what’s happening to Donald Trump. We have an unprecedented example of election interference. We’ve never seen anything like this. We have the Department of Justice and all of these district attorneys and others in different states now bringing indictments against the president.


There are four cases currently against the president, and my guess is he’s probably going to be found guilty at least in one of these cases and probably some of these charges. The point of all of this by the Democrats and the point of all this by the permanent Washington establishment is not only to take down Donald Trump, is to destroy our electoral system so that Republicans can never win the White House again. That’s what’s going on here. Friends, we need to understand that, and I would just wish that the candidates that are running for the White House on the Republican side would make that clear. They would set partisanship aside and make a strong stand for the rule of law and for election integrity, and they didn’t. In fact, it would’ve been awesome if they would’ve just said, we’re boycotting this because of what’s happening to Donald Trump and what’s being done to our electoral system.


It’s being torn apart. And that is the reason why the Deep state is doing this. It’s not only about Donald Trump, but it’s an attempt to tear apart the system altogether so that the Democrats will always win these elections. And we already know that the odds are against the Republican winning the White House ever again because the math just doesn’t really work out all that well. If you look at the electoral college map, it’s really hard to see a path for victory for a Donald Trump or any other G O P candidate for president. The odds are already stacked against the Republicans and then in this case, with Donald Trump now facing four indictments likely going to be convicted and likely going to go to prison, he may end up there and who knows what happens after that? We are facing a constitutional crisis in America because of this, and I think that needs to be front and center.


And if the Republican party cared about America, they would make this the main campaign issue. And I think boycott, boycotting debate last night would’ve been appropriate. The other thing is I think Donald Trump’s going to be the nominee. I mean, he’s head by 40 points. I don’t see that eroding. So a lot of these debates for me are really of little consequence. I don’t think there’s any candidate in the field that has any chance of defeating Donald Trump. So it’s somewhat entertaining and you do learn more about the candidates as these debates unfold. But the fact of the matter is Donald Trump’s going to win the nomination. Whether he wins the White House or not, I guess is up for debate. I think it’s going to be very difficult for a Republican to win. So anyway, that’s the way I look at it overall. But as far as the debate itself, I mean, I was frustrated watching it.


In fact, I had my phone, I was watching Donald Trump his interview with Tucker Carlson, and I would pause that anytime Rhon DeSantis spoke, anytime Vivek spoke anytime. Maybe Chris Christie, someone like that that I wanted to hear from. But be honest with you, I’m not going to sit through this. It was a dumpster fire in many respects. But a couple of people we want to focus on, especially when it comes to the issue of abortion, supposedly the G O P that is the Republican party is the pro-life party. Supposedly they’re supposed to be pushing forward a pro-life agenda, but you wouldn’t have known that last night. Unfortunately, I think the Republican party and Republican candidates ever since the overturning of Roe versus Wade are on defense. And some you can kind understand that at some level, but they’re basically backpedaling on the abortion issue. Instead of taking the issue to their opponents, it seems like they’re just backing up kind of in cowardice, fearful that it’s not a winning issue.


Well, that’s not leadership. That’s not leadership. And the Republican party is the pro-life party, and they should be leading the way on the sanctity of human life. But what we want to do here, we’re going to go through a few of these clips. I’ve got five of them from some of the candidates that were on the stage last night, and I’m going to react to each one of ’em. The first clip is from Nikki Haley. She’s running for president, and she was a former governor of South Carolina, also the ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration. And she was asked about abortion. And if you would, Mr. Producer, go ahead and play this clip.

Nikki Haley (07:34):

Need to stop demonizing this issue. This is talking about the fact that unelected justices didn’t need to decide something this personal because it’s personal for every woman and man, now it’s been put in the hands of the people. That’s great. When it comes to a federal ban, let’s be honest with the American people and say it will take 60 Senate votes, it will take a majority of the house. So in order to do that, let’s find consensus. Can’t we all agree that we should ban late term abortions? Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions? Can’t we all agree that doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortion shouldn’t have to perform them? We all agree that contraception should be available and can’t we all agree that we are not going to put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty if she gets an abortion? Let’s treat this like a respectful issue that it is and humanize the situation and stop demonizing the situation. Brett,

Mark Harrington (08:30):

It’s very interesting. She uses the term that we’re demonizing the situation. Well, Nikki, maybe because this issue is demonic, maybe that’s why it’s being demonized. This is the shedding of innocent blood. This is child sacrifice. Now, when she’s talking about demonization, she’s probably talking about those who support abortion, and she’s talking about pro-lifers I guess. But listen, we’re talking about the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies on a scale like the world’s never seen. So you can talk about consensus and all of this, but the truth of the matter is, if we treated abortion like we treat general murdering a born child, we wouldn’t be talking in terms of finding consensus. We would be looking for leadership. And Nikki Haley’s not going to give us leadership, that’s for sure. The Republican party is behaving like we never overturned Roe versus Wade. They’re asking for 15 week bans and late term abortion bans. That’s what we were doing when Roe was in place. So again, I think they’re running for cover on abortion. Nikki Haley’s the worst of the bunch. Alright, let’s go to the second clip. This is Governor Ron DeSantis talking about abortion and asked about a six week ban on abortion, a federal ban on abortion. Go ahead and play that clip,

Bret Baier (09:56):

But just to be clear, governor, would you sign a six week ban federally?

Ron DeSantis (10:00):

I’m going to stand on the side of life. Look, I understand Wisconsin is going to do it different than Texas. I understand Iowa and New Hampshire are going to do different, but I will support the cause of life as governor and as president.

Mark Harrington (10:15):

Well, here’s a non-answer, I’m sorry. I know a lot of people like Ron DeSantis. I think Ron DeSantis was a good governor basically of Florida, but he’s signed a six week ban in Florida heartbeat Bill. Why wouldn’t he say he would do that at the national level? And the reason why he will not say that is because he doesn’t think it’s politically expedient to say that. And then he talks about how it’s going to be different in one state like Wisconsin compared to New York or any other pro-abortion state. That’s true. But again, that doesn’t absolve the president of the United States from taking the lead on abortion. This is not a question of states’ rights. We cannot leave this debate as it is as a state by state debate or battle over abortion that violates equal protection. And there is a federal role for the federal government when it comes to abortion, or should I say child murder. So I like Governor DeSantis, but this is not taking the lead. You should have come out right out of the block and said, yes, I would sign a six week ban on abortion. Alright, let’s move on. This is the former vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. Go ahead and play that clip.

Mike Pence (11:29):

Can’t we have a minimum standard in every state in the nation that says when a baby is capable of feeling pain, an abortion cannot be allowed. A 15 week ban is an idea whose time has come. It’s supported by 70% of the American people, but it’s going to take unapologetic leadership leadership that stands on principle and expresses compassion for women In crisis pregnancies. I’ll do that as president of the United States.

Mark Harrington (11:58):

Well, I like Mike Pence as a person. I think he’d be a great grandfather for your children, let’s say nice guy, but he’s going to be a lousy president if he ends up winning in November of 2024. I mean, that’s just the facts of the matter. The idea that he says that they’re going to stand on principle, that he will stand on principle and what’s his principle 15 week ban and protecting children, unborn children who can feel pain. That’s not principle. Now I understand why he’s trying to do that. He thinks that’s the only thing that’ll get through Congress. And he’s saying that there should be a minimum standard so that states like California, New York and Illinois will have to come and meet the federal standard in those states and other states that are pro-life, they can go below the standard of 15 weeks. But the truth of the matter is a 15 week ban isn’t going to save that many children.


It’ll save some more than likely. But I don’t think that should be a minimum standard. We need to be talking about banning abortion from the moment of fertilization, period. That’s leadership. So unfortunately, I know Mike Pence has been a strong pro-life supporter over the years, but I don’t see him moving the ball down the field when it comes to this issue if he were to win the White House. Alright, next or next clip is from Doug Burghum. I don’t know who Doug Burghum is. I’ve never seen him before until last night. I don’t even know why he’s on the stage to be honest with you. He probably doesn’t even know why he is there. But again, he chimed in on the issue of abortion. So go ahead and play that clip.

Doug Burghum (13:45):

Well, first of all, I’m a pro-life governor of a very pro-life state. And this issue is of course very important. But I am on the record and I stand behind that we should not have a federal abortion ban. We should not. And the reason why we shouldn’t is very simple. It’s the 10th Amendment in the Constitution. In the Constitution which the states created the federal government, not the other way around. It says that there were certain duties allowed to the federal government delegated to them by the states. The rest are left to the states or importantly, or to the people we need to get back to freedom and liberty for the people in this country. And we can’t have Republicans who fight for 50 years for this great cause to return it back to the States and then the next day they turn around and go, no, the Feds should do that because the Feds are stepping into people’s lives. They’re stepping into people’s businesses over and over. If we say that the Feds should be in on this one, where do we stop? I say that we follow the Constitution and this is returned to the states. This is where it should be.

Mark Harrington (14:45):

Well, I think we all understand. The 10th Amendment says basically, if it’s not dealt within the US Constitution, it should be left by to the states of the people to decide. That’s true. But what he’s forgetting is the 14th Amendment in the United States Constitution does deal with this issue and historically and legally, and as it regards precedent that the unborn Preborn child was considered a person before the 14th Amendment was written. And so he’s leaving saying he wants to deal with the Constitution and respect the Constitution, but he’s not thinking about the 14th Amendment. And so folks, let me read that amendment to you because I think it’s key. It’s absolutely central to the argument over whether there should be federal legislation or a remedy, if you will, for the abortion issue At the federal level. It says this, no state shall make or enforce any law which shall bridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any state.


And this is the important part, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. So Doug Bergham is forgetting this amendment to the Constitution. He refers to the 10th Amendment in that the state should deal with things that are not in the Constitution. I understand that and agree with that, but he’s leaving out the notion that the 14th Amendment already protects the unborn. And why do I say that? Because number one states had already recognized the pre-born as children and as persons at all stages of pregnancy before the 14th Amendment was written. Also, personhood for the unborn was rooted in British common law, which is where we get the majority of our law here in the United States. And then number three, the amendment authors themselves, the 14th Amendment, those who wrote it believed that it included the pre-born.


And so those are three reasons why the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights does deal with this and why it should be a federal issue. And the federal government does actually have a part in it. Now the question is what should they do? What should they do? And there are three options. Not all of them are equal in my opinion. The first option is that the United States Supreme Court, rather than just sending this back to the states, which they did in the Dobbs v Jackson case, is that they recognize that word person of the 14th Amendment includes the unborn and therefore they should be protected equally under the law. That’s number one. Number two, that there can be a ban on abortion that would be signed by the President. That’s not as I guess good or effective as a Supreme Court decision that recognizes the personhood of the unborn of the 14th Amendment.


But it does handle all 50 states. And I think the Congress does have the authority to do that. And then number three is a constitutional amendment. And I know this is the heavy lift, but it may be the most permanent thing that we could do. And that is two thirds of the Congress and three quarters of the states would ratify a constitutional amendment that would establish personhood from the time of conception for the preborn. So those are the options. And it’s not leadership to say the Constitution doesn’t deal with this. Therefore the 10th Amendment says send it back to the States and you can wash your hands of it. I don’t think that’s not constitutional. And I think Doug Bergham, whoever that guy is wrong on it. So all right, let’s move on. This is the last clip and this is representative Tim Scott from the state of Florida. Go ahead and play that clip.

Tim Scott (18:52):

We cannot let states like California, New York and Illinois have abortions on demand up until the day of birth. That is immoral. It is unethical, it is wrong. We must have a president of the United States who will advocate and fight for at the minimum a 15 week limit. I’m a hundred percent pro-life conservative. I have a hundred percent pro-life record. I got to tell you though, we must fight for life our

Mark Harrington (19:27):

Alright, leave it there. Now, I was hoping he was going to say we should outlaw abortion at the time of conception. Once again, he’s going for a 15 week ban. And I have to say, what good is that going to do as far as babies being saved? I will say this politically speaking, it will save children in states like California states like New York and Illinois. A standard of 15 weeks obviously is better than currently the standards in those states which are up to birth. So in that sense, I understand what they’re trying to do politically, but it’s all about rhetoric and language. Tim Scott should have said, I am a hundred percent pro-life, therefore I believe life begins at conception. And as president of the United States, I will work towards the goal of protecting all children from the very moment of conception or fertilization. Having said that, politically speaking, we likely cannot get that done right now, but we could get something short of that, possibly something in the order of six weeks or 15 or whatever it is.


Whatever we can get through the Congress would be better than what we have for a minimum standard as an incremental step to the place to which we could actually outlaw abortion altogether. So unfortunately you don’t hear that from the candidates. They jump straight to what’s politically expedient or possible or pragmatic, and they lose out on teaching the American people that life begins a conception and abortion should be outlawed from that point forward. And we should stand for that type of legislation first and foremost. So anyway, that’s my take on the Republican debate for the ones running for president of the United States in November of 2024. And like I say, I think the Republican Party unfortunately has been running from the abortion issue ever since the Roe v. Wade Roe v Wade was overturned. And that’s unfortunate. We need to take our case to the American people, win or lose because the stakes are so high. Children’s lives hang in the balance based on what these men and women do. And whoever occupies the White House has a huge opportunity to bring about the protections to the unborn and also using the bully pulpit properly. And so I don’t see any of these candidates doing that necessarily. It doesn’t mean I won’t support the nominee. I will, whoever that may be. Alright, so that’s my take on the Republican debate last night. And if you want to keep following me, you can go to mark harrington.org, mark harrington.org to find out more.


So friends, I don’t want you to be disappointed by the G O P and their candidates running for president this time around. It is what it is. Republican party’s been in this situation for decades, unfortunately, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone arising to the call to really defend the unborn. There are some good folks on that platform and I imagine someone would make a good president. But the bottom line is this. Now that Roe versus Wade has been overturned, the states are the ones that are going to be battling this out. And that’s for better or for worse, in my opinion. For right now, it’s better than what we had before when Roe v. Wade was the impediment that needed to be removed for us to really make progress. So having said that, the president of the United States doesn’t have a whole lot of influence like he used to when it came to putting up nominees to the Supreme that might overturn Roe v.


Wade. I mean, there’s things that the president can do, like I say, using the bully pulpit, signing executive orders, possibly signing abortion legislation. That’s it. But the bottom line is right now the fight is in the states and that’s where we need to be focused. And so what I want to do is give you a quick update about issue one, issue one, and I say issue one because in the state of Ohio, we have now been given by our Secretary of State the issue number and it’s issue one. And I think that’s good in that just in August, not to get into the weeds here, but we had issue one, which was to try to raise the threshold to 60% and the other side voted no and that was defeated. Well, this time a no vote on issue one actually defeats the constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion into the Ohio Constitution.


So a little bit of confusion is going to work to our advantage. Possibly those who voted no on issue one in August might think that vote no on issue one in November for that matter, and therefore that might help. But the bottom line is the issue number has been certified or if you want a knowledge by the Secretary of State. So we are game on and we’re racing towards November here in the state of Ohio. And so friends, the call to action again today is get involved in the battle in Ohio because all the marbles are at stake here. You can go to created equal.org/abortion amendment or created equal.org/ohio. And if you go to that webpage, you’ll see a red lined document that basically marks up the amendment making basically two main cases. And that is first of all, that the amendment will remove all protections on parents’ rights when it comes to abortion for their minor children, number one.


Number two is that it would open the door to late term, painful, late term abortions in our state, which right now the limit’s at 21 and a half weeks. Now, again, that’s not a great limit, but it’s better than nothing. And if this thing passes, we that is Ohio could become a destination state for late term abortion. Let me make it clear, we’re against all abortion, but we’ve got to stop this amendment and we’ve got to do everything we can legally and ethically to do so. And so we’re going to make this issue about abortion. We’re going to make it mostly about late term abortion where we understand the majority of Americans and that for that matter, Ohioans are against late term abortion. And we’re going to start running ads and doing other things soon. And we need your help. So you can come to Ohio, you can go door to door with us, we’ll set you up, we’ll manage the situation, the process, we’ll oversee everything and we’ll provide you housing, whatever else you need.


If you can come to Ohio, please let us know. Go to create equal.org/ohio or abortion amendment and you can also support us financially. And you can do that by going to create equal.org and just click on the donate league on the right side. So be encouraged, folks. We got a big battle here in Ohio and we could establish that beachhead, that beachhead that would give us the launching pad to take a victory from Ohio and go elsewhere in the United States to also defend the unborn in states where currently that is not the case. So we’ll see you next time. God bless you. God bless America, and remember America to bless God.

Outro (27:14):

You’ve been listening to Mark Harrington, your radio activist. For more information on how to make a difference for the cause of life, liberty and justice, go to created equal.org.org. To follow mark, go to Mark Harrington show.com. Be sure to tune in next time for your marching orders in the culture war.