Herman Cain Still Doesn’t Know What He Believes About Abortion

Herman Cain apparently isn’t done trying to figure out what his position on abortion is:

3. Part of your 2004 Senate campaign focused on your stance against abortion, something you’ve struggled in recent days to articulate after an interview with Piers Morgan. What did you need to clarify in that interview?

A. I am pro-life from conception. Abortions, no exceptions. That has been my official stand from the beginning. What Piers Morgan was trying to do was to pigeonhole me on, “Well, what if this was your granddaughter?” You know what? If it’s my granddaughter? Yes, this is my official position, and it’s always been that. If it’s my granddaughter? I used the word “choice.” And that’s where they jumped all over it. A family will make that choice. I was not talking about the whole big issue.

So he thinks Roe v. Wade should be over-turned, and he supports a Human Life Amendment, which means he wants abortion to be illegal nationwide. Yet, an individual family should be free to “make that choice”? What the heck does that even mean?

Personally, it’s no big deal to me if Cain waffles on this issue. I don’t really care about it all that much. There are a lot of Republicans who do, though, especially in Iowa. They’ve got to be pretty confused about what Cain actually believes at this point.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. WR says:

    Not an “individual family.” His family. Cain believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases, except when one of his relatives needs one.

    Why is this so hard to understand? It’s completely consistent with Republican philosophy on all issues, from government spending to sexual morality.

  2. Franklin says:

    Maybe it’s their “choice” to obey the law or not?

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Cain won’t be the nominee, but if by some cosmic infarction he were to become the nominee then Obama could win all 50 states. Seriously. The real irony, however, is that material segments of the GOP primary electorate are so numbingly brain dead we actually have to pay attention to this farce of a (non) candidacy. Crazy bad.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    As WR points out, this isn’t strange. Republicans only make laws to control “the other.”

  5. Ron Davis says:

    It’s like he gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says “How can I shoot myself in the foot today?”

  6. lou91940 says:

    I’m just an ordinary person, a 71 year old male, for whom abortion is a tricky matter. Obviously it’s no longer the concern it was 50 or so years ago, but I have daughters and granddaughters for whom government control would matter. I can’t say I fully support abortion, but I can understand some of the reasons for it. I certainly don’t understand nor would I support “cosmetic” abortions. I fully understand a woman’s personal health issues or the obvious incest and rape issues and with modern medical practices I can understand issues of fetal deformities or health. I have unresolved thoughts on government funding for abortion.

    As for religious reasons…for me that is between the woman and her God should she believe and should not be an issue between a woman and a government religious dogma.

    Perhaps this is a dialog which should only involve women or allow only their votes. I definitely do not believe that abortion is a male conservative prerogative to decide for the entire nation.

    Conservatisms prurient and unrelenting interest in what happens in peoples bedrooms from miscegenation to gay marriage has always been an issue for them, anti-abortion control seems to fall into that arena.

  7. Murray says:

    Lousy campaign but great book tour.

    The coverage he gets for a minimal investment in organization is impressive.

  8. G.A.Phillips says:


  9. Barb Hartwell says:

    I wish all these issues or non issues would just go away, Why should anyone care about abortion, or gay marriage it is none of their business. Go after the stuff that affects us all, stop pretending you have morals because it insults our intelligence.

  10. Dave Guenthner says:

    Mr. Cain gives everyone (not just his family) the choice, but doesn’t believe abortion is right in any case, nor should there be a law against it. He (and I) are pro choice, and our choice is life. But your choice is just that, yours. We sincerely hope it’s life. God gave us all free will (pro choice).. You can make all the laws you want (about anything), but choice will always be an option, in every case. You will never change that.

  11. rodney dill says:

    I don’t see any problem (as far as this being contradictory beliefs) with Cain or any candidate that is Pro-Life and wants to make abortion illegal, and is still willing to accept (and even support) the choice of a family member to have an abortion, which under current law is legal. As a Father with grown daughters I know better than to think I can enforce my views on anything with my adult children. Of course, anyone that is Pro-Choice will continue to have problems with his views.

    So he thinks Roe v. Wade should be over-turned, and he supports a Human Life Amendment, which means he wants abortion to be illegal nationwide. Yet, an individual family should be free to “make that choice”? What the heck does that even mean?

    Now if Roe v. Wade were overturned, and A Human Life Amendment existed (both big IF’s)
    and he still believed a family should have a choice then he would indeed be holding contradictory views.