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Political Mercury

Ernst says what Jindal doggedly dodged on potential abortion penalties


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking in Carroll in the fall of 2012. Photo by Douglas Burns

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking in Carroll in the fall of 2012. Photo by Douglas Burns

State Sen. Joni Ernst deserves points for candor on her pro-life stance on abortion.

The Red Oak Republican’s stated position would be that the person performing the abortion should be punished — if the leading goal of her social ideology is realized, and abortion is criminalized.

Her exact words, reports Washington, D.C.’s The Hill: “The provider should be punished, if there were a personhood amendment.” (You probably have seen footage of her comments in televised advertisements as well.)

A fair follow-up for Ernst: “Do you want to suspend doctors, take their licenses away, fine them or put them in prison, or since in your worldview abortion is murder, should the physicians be executed?”

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Slap on the wrist? Or flip of the electric-chair switch?

Not all pro-lifers are comfortable talking about the penalty phase that would be involved in punishing doctors and/or women were abortion illegal again.

Take for instance a Sept. 26, 2012, interview I did with Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Louisiana Republican, and likely presidential candidate in 2016, following a campaign stop he made in Carroll, to ostensibly support Mitt Romney and challenge gay marriage.

Ernst said what Jindal doggedly dodged in a decidedly testy exchange.

Here is the complete text of and interview I did with Jindal on abortion:

Daily Times Herald: “A lot of people here today share your views on anti-abortion. It’s a very pro-life crowd here. I understand that you don’t provide for exceptions for rape and incest with your position on abortion. Should your pro-life position prevail, and abortion be criminalized again, what do you think would be a fair penalty for a woman who has an abortion or a doctor who performs one?”

Gov. Jindal: “I think it’s a great gotcha question. This is not about…”

Daily Times Herald: “It’s not a gotcha question. Isn’t that the end game of your position, sir?”

Gov. Jindal: “Can I answer your question now?”

Daily Times Herald: “Well.”

Gov. Jindal: “Let me finish the answer, all right?”

Daily Times Herald: “But it’s not a gotcha question.”

CVA_11 PAGE 12Gov. Jindal: “It is. And let me answer your question. It’s a great gotcha question. Like many others dedicated to the pro-life cause, this isn’t about locking up women. This is about creating a culture of life where every child is loved and accepted in our society, creating a consistent culture of life where we value every innocent human life and want them to be born and nurtured and raised in our society. This isn’t about locking up women. This is about accepting those babies. This is about loving all human life and protecting innocent human life, and certainly that takes a lot more work. It’s not as simple as simply passing a law or even passing a constitutional amendment. It truly is about creating a consistent culture of life, where every child is valued, loved, nurtured and protected.”

Daily Times Herald: “So if it’s illegal…”

Gov. Jindal: “I gotta catch a ride.” CV

Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who writes for The Carroll Daily Times Herald and offers columns for Cityview.

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