Appearing on a Catholic talk show on EWTN, 2016 GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz said abortion could be "outlawed" in the U.S. by using legislation to do an end-around the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
According to Right Wing Watch, Cruz agreed with host Robert George that an interpretation of the 14th Amendment would seem to indicate that a fetus could receive protections under the Equal Protection Clause if granted that right by lawmakers.
"Now the amendment in its fifth section includes a provision that delegates to the Congress, the power to, and I quote, 'to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article,'" George began.
"Now 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?" George asked. "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 replied. "I think the first obligation of everyone in public office is to protect life. Life is foundational. In fact, as you look at the Declaration, that ordering of unalienable rights -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- I think is a very deliberate ordering."
“I very much agree with the pope’s longstanding, and the 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 pressed the candidate.
“Absolutely yes, under the 14th Amendment,” Cruz replied.
Cruz's citation of the Equal Protection Clause isn't unique among GOP presidential candidates.
In August, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made the same assertion -- minus the legislative details -- saying, "And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child's Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law."
Watch video of Cruz below via Right Wing Watch: