Sunday, December 30, 2007

Huckabee Would Criminalize Abortion Providers

At The Trail blog at the Washington Post, John Solomon writes:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, locked in a tight GOP race in Iowa, said Sunday he would seek to punish doctors who took money to provide abortions to women if he succeeded in outlawing the procedure, as he has long advocated.

"I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money, and that's why he was doing it, yeah, I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor," Huckabee said during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead."

The former governor said he would not support penalizing women who sought abortions even if they were outlawed. "I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about ... I consider her a victim, not a criminal."

Huckabee, whose campaign surged to the lead in Iowa polls but has cooled in recent days, also used the appearance on the Sunday show to launch his most pointed attack yet on rival Mitt Romney. He accused the former Massachusetts governor of running a "very desperate and, frankly, distorted" campaign for the presidency.

"If you aren't being honest in obtaining the job, can we trust you if you get the job?" Huckabee asked, citing instances in which he alleged Romney distorted Huckabee's record as governor. Huckabee also came to the defense of a fellow rival, saying that when Romney "went after the integrity of John McCain, he stepped over the line. John McCain's a hero in this country. He's a hero to me."

McCain, whose campaign also has been targeted by Romney since it began rising in New Hampshire polls, also got into the mix during an appearance on ABC's This Week. McCain declined to call Romney a "phony" but said "I think he's a person who changed his positions on many issues."