During a town hall meeting on MSNBC with Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, Texas Senator Ted Cruz refused to answer whether or not he supported personhood bills that gave constitutional rights to babies starting at conception!
Ted Cruz refused to answer eight direct questions Thursday about whether or not he’d support personhood bills – legislation that would give Constitutional rights to fertilized eggs – despite pledging to support it last year.
I told you I’m not going to get into the labels, but what I will say is we should protect life. But I’m not interested in anything that restricts birth control,” he said after being pressed at length by Chuck Todd in the MSNBC town hall that will air in full Thursday at 8 p.m. “And I’m not interested in anything that restricts in vitro fertilization because I think parents who are struggling to create life, to have a child, that is a wonderful thing.”
This carefully-crafted answer seem designed to speak to all sides of the debate, as a sort of political code-switching. His answer, read with the different definitions of birth control and abortion held by each side of the debate, means different things. Anti-abortion activists consider emergency contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs) – birth control methods doctors say prevent, but do not end, pregnancy – to be “early abortion,” and some oppose common in vitro fertilization procedures because the embryo may not survive the process. But Cruz’s determined refusal to disavow personhood tows most of the anti-abortion activists’ party line, while stressing support of birth control and IVF speaks to the more moderate Republican voters he is trying to appeal to in New York.
It’s unclear what Cruz defines to be birth control – he wouldn’t say when asked repeatedly – but he referenced the Little Sisters of the Poor Supreme Court case, saying it involves “abortion-inducing drugs.” The case focuses on contraception, emergency contraception, and IUDs.
The New York primary marks a crucial turning point for Cruz’s candidacy: It’s the first of many more moderate states in the primary schedule, where the very conservative senator needs to start broadening his appeal to keep going.
Cruz has no real hope of winning outright here – front-runner Donald Trump is still the odds-on favorite in his home state – but he needs to peel off a significant number of delegates if he wants to keep Trump from winning a majority of the nation’s delegates, which would force a contested convention that puts the nomination in the hands of delegates the Cruz campaign has been working hard to woo.
Cruz insisted during the MSNBC Town Hall that the strength of the GOP has been his “focus every day” right now, and that “the way to win and turn the country around is to unite the party.”
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