Back To Top

Cain says he opposes abortion without exceptions

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Herman Cain on Sunday said he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake, contradicting previous statements in which he favored some exceptions.

The tough stand that Cain staked out during an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" comes as he tries to clear up his position on an issue closely watched by social conservative and evangelical voters, who are among his strongest supporters.

Republican presidential candidate businessman Herman Cain speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition presidential candidate forum, in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Republican presidential candidate businessman Herman Cain speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition presidential candidate forum, in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)

In a 1998 interview with Nation's Restaurant News, the former pizza executive described himself as "pro-life with exceptions, and people want you to be all or nothing."

In a recent interview with CNN, he said the government should not tell women what to do in cases of rape and incest. Afterward, his campaign issued a statement saying he was "100 percent pro-life." It did not specifically mention whether he supported any exceptions.

The no-exception position is considered the most rigid in the anti-abortion community. Even some who oppose abortion support exceptions in extreme circumstances such as when the mother's life is at risk.

Cain told CBS he's "pro-life from conception, period."

Asked whether that includes instances of rape, incest and life of the mother, Cain said, "Correct. That's my position."

He also endorsed a controversial theory linking abortion to racial genocide. Cain said Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wanted to eradicate minorities by putting birth control clinics in their neighborhoods, a charge that the group denies.

Cain said 75 percent of the organization's abortion facilities were built in black communities.

"In Margaret Sanger's own words, she didn't use the word genocide, but she did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born," Cain said.

But Planned Parenthood disputed Cain's claims, citing a study by the Guttmacher Institute that found that fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are in in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

"Herman Cain is wrong on the facts and clearly out of the mainstream in his attack on Planned Parenthood," spokeswoman Veronica Byrd said in a statement.

"It is simply unacceptable for those who oppose legal abortion to use inflammatory and divisive language based on race to push an ideological agenda."

Still, Cain's view has gained currency in the anti-abortion movement, which has backed several state measures to ban abortions based on race. In Cain's home state of Georgia, dozens of provocative billboards popped around Atlanta last year labeling black children an "endangered species" in an effort to use race to rally support against abortion within the black community.


케인, "낙태는 흑인에 대한 계획적 학살"

미국 공화당의 흑인 대선후보 허먼 케인이 임신 중절 시술은 흑인 아기에 대한 '계획적인 학살'이라고 비난하자 계획출산 옹호론자들이 즉각 반발하고 나섰다.

미 폭스뉴스에 따르면 케인은 30일(현지시간) CBS방송에 출연해 "낙태 시술소의 75%가 아프리카계 미국인 동네에 세워졌다"며 이는 흑인 인구를 줄이기 위한 "계획 적인 학살"의 일환이라고 주장했다.

그는 이 같은 주장의 근거로 산아제한 운동가이자 미국산아제한연맹(ABCL)의 설 립자 마거릿 생어(1966년 사망)의 발언을 언급했다. ABCL은 낙태 권리를 지지하는 미국가족계획연맹(PPFA)의 전신이다.

케인은 "마거릿 생어가 '학살'이라고 표현하지는 않았지만, 흑인 아기를 태어나 지 못하게 함으로써 미국의 가난한 흑인 인구를 줄인다고 분명히 말했다"고 주장했 다.

이에 대해 베로니카 버드 PPFA 대변인은 "인종에 대한 선동적인 어휘로 합법적 인 낙태를 반대하고, 이념 논쟁을 벌이려는 처사를 용납할 수 없다"고 말했다.

버드 대변인은 또 미 비영리 연구기관인 구트마허연구소가 최근 발표한 통계를 인용해 "케인의 주장은 잘못된 사실에 근거한다"고 비판했다.

구트마허연구소에 따르면 2008년 기준으로 미국의 전체 낙태시술소 가운데 63% 가 백인 동네에 위치하며, 흑인 동네에 세워진 시술소는 전체 9%에 그쳤다.

이날 케인은 또 근친상간과 강간 등으로 임신한 여성의 낙태를 지지한다던 자신 의 기존 주장을 철회, 낙태에 대해 더욱 보수화된 입장을 드러냈다.

그는 수정된 순간부터 낙태는 허용될 수 없다며 어떤 이유든지 임신중절 시술에 반대한다고 말했다.

그러면서 케인은 흑인 임신부들에게 다른 관련단체들이 "진실한 상담"을 제공하 는 동안 PPFA는 낙태를 권유한다고 비난했다.

이에 대해 버드 대변인은 PPFA가 "모든 형태의 차별에 반대한다"면서 "PPFA를 방문하는 모든 여성은 인종, 거주지역, 종교, 소득수준과 상관없이 고품격 의료서비 스를 받는다"고 반박했다. (연합뉴스)