Does Ted Cruz support executing women who have abortions?

Earlier today, Ted Cruz announced the formation of “Pro-Lifers for Cruz,” a coalition of conservatives with a particular distaste for a woman’s right to choose who feel that Ted Cruz is the presidential candidate who best represents their values.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who recently announced his long-anticipated endorsement of Cruz, will chair the group. Troy Newman, chair of Operation Rescue, the group behind the Planned Parenthood sting videos that recently resulted in the indictment of two of the group’s members, will serve as a co-chair. Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli is also part of the group’s leadership.

As RightWingWatch was quick to point out, touting Newman’s endorsement could (or, rather, should) be a bit of a problem for Cruz, given that before Newman was involved in Operation Rescue, he was best known for arguing that it was not only acceptable but necessary to kill women who have abortions, along with abortion providers. And in the short biography of Newman that Cruz’s announcement includes, it cites books Newman wrote where he makes that case explicitly.

Here’s Newman’s bio on Cruz’s website:

Troy Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and a founding board member for the Center for Medial Progress. He has been involved in the pro-life community for over 20 years, starting in 1991 as the Operation Rescue West president. He is also a published author, having written Their Blood Cries Out and his most recent book Abortion Free.

And here’s RightWingWatch’s take:

We have reviewed both “Abortion Free” and “Their Blood Cries Out” here at Right Wing Watch. In “Their Blood Cries Out,” written in 2000 and revised in 2003, Newman lays out the case for churches to oppose abortion rights, saying that by failing to follow what he says is the biblical response to abortion — executing abortion providers and treating women who have abortions as “murderers” — the country is mired in “bloodguilt” and is awaiting the judgment of God. In the meantime, Newman writes, the U.S. has experienced “warnings” from God about legal abortion, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Although he renounces extrajudicial violence against abortion providers, Newman has argued that the murderer of an abortion provider in Florida should have been able to argue that the act was justifiable homicide meant to “save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day.” When another abortion provider died of leukemia, Newman put out a press release rejoicing in his death. Newman’s second-in-command at Operation Rescue is Cheryl Sullenger, who spent time in federal prison in the 1980s for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.

By embracing Newman and promoting his book, we have no choice but to conclude that Ted Cruz is on board with at least the gist of what Newman argued, if not his specific call to execute anyone involved in abortion procedures. That’s especially true given the way Cruz responded the last time someone went to an abortion clinic with a gun and opened fire.

All this is to say, while I doubt Ted Cruz would advocate vigilante justice — he’s no Paul LePage — it’s definitely worth asking him whether he supports criminalizing abortion to the same extent that Troy Newman does. We already know that Ted Cruz absolutely adores the death penalty; does he think that women who have abortions and/or the doctors who provide them should be executed by the state?

This doesn’t seem like the kind of question we should have to ask politicians with a non-zero chance of becoming president, but there seems to be a non-zero chance that Cruz would answer yes.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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12 Responses to “Does Ted Cruz support executing women who have abortions?”

  1. barrystutner says:

    Shouldn’t Rafael’s mother be stoned to death as she had a child out of wedlock and lied about the father?

  2. “Does Ted Cruz support executing women who have abortions?”


    This has been yet another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

  3. JaneE says:

    The biblical response to abortion was a fine. Unless the woman was suspected of being impregnated by someone other than her husband, in which case attempting an abortion was mandatory. If the child was the husband’s, god would save it, if it were a bastard, it would abort.

  4. Houndentenor says:

    I went to an Evangelical-affiliated college for undergrad. (That was my religious upbringing.) There are currently a great deal of problems there now because of cultural shifts. The board is mostly older and has old-school views about many things while the students, and even their parents are somewhat more progressive. Not liberal by any stretch, just not as hardcore. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out, but the struggle, while not much publicized in the mainstream media is much discussed lately in those circles.

  5. Outspoken1 says:

    White babies only…. how about black or brown babies?

  6. FLL says:

    Ted Cruz is the barometer for the implosion of fundamentalist Christians in American politics. They certainly had their day. Consider the clout William Jennings Bryan had at the turn of the twentieth century or the lesser amount of clout that Jerry Falwell and the rest of the Christian Right had during the Reagan era. Now consider the following timeline.
    (1) George W. Bush era: No separate fundie Christian candidate was necessary because George W. represented their interests so perfectly.
    (2) 2008 Iowa Republican caucus: Huckabee won with 34.4% to Romney’s 25.2%. Huckabee lost everywhere else.
    (3) 2012 Iowa Republican caucus: Santorum won with 24.6% to Romney’s 24.5%. Santorum lost everywhere else.

    The fortunes of the fundie Christians in U.S. politics seem to be on the way to hell, and the defeat of Ted Cruz in this year’s Republican Iowa caucus would put the final nail in the coffin. Now what do I think of the tribalism and xenophobia that Trump represents? I think that tribalism and xenophobia have been a problem going back into the earliest mists of prehistory, and as society progresses we overcome tribalism and xenophobia little by little. I do not offer the same assessment of the Bible-based madness that Ted Cruz and his followers espouse. That certainly has not been part of the human condition going back into the earliest mists of prehistory, but rather only since about the late fourth century of the common era when the fundie Christians took over the heart of the Western world. Cruz and Trump represent two different problems, and there is no question as to which problem will be the first to wind up on the ash heap of history. If Cruz loses in Iowa and completes the trajectory of the timeline above, it’s disaster for the fundie Christians and their political clout. Countdown. 10…9…8…7…6…

  7. BeccaM says:

    Oh, and to answer the question more directly: I feel certain Ted Cruz would be fine with executing Democratic women who’ve had abortions. If they vote reliably GOP, he just wants them to shut up about their unscheduled trips to Mexico and Canada to take care of ‘little problems.’

  8. BeccaM says:

    What I found remarkable was this was 18 year old Teddy bragging with the kind of childishly potty-mouthed language most teenaged boys outgrow by time they turn 14.

  9. Doug105 says:

    To be fair something similar is in the mind of a lot of teenage boys.

  10. Doug105 says:

    Best of both tRump takes out Cruz?

  11. BeccaM says:

    Cruz has so objectified females his entire life, at 18 he said his life’s ambitions — when he wasn’t ranting about sweaty butts — included starring in a teen titty film.

    And he’s turned his very young daughters into trained campaign props.

    Yes, I think we absolutely should judge a man by the company he keeps, especially if it’s someone so adamantly pro-forced-pregnancy, he’ll foam at the mouth in demanding doctors and women be executed for having an abortion for any reason. Pretty much the hypocritical opposite of ‘pro-life’, no?

  12. goulo says:

    Hmm, I wonder if any journalist will actually ask Cruz about this… :/

    Might not matter anyway; just as Trump recently said he could murder someone in public and not lose any supporters, and is sadly probably right, Cruz could probably say he’s all for killing women who have abortions and not lose any supporters.

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