Why Do I Like Herman Cain’s Abortion Position?

How could you possibly accept Herman Cain’s position on abortion if you are a conservative? I like Herman Cain’s position on abortion because he takes the government out of the equation. You would think this would be right up a conservative voter’s alley—after all, these are the same people who would swear on a stack of bibles that they believe in limited government and personal freedom. But conservatives, for all of their talk, have never really trusted the idea of limited government when it comes to social issues.


"The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make."

Herman Cain on the Piers Morgan show

I was a registered Republican once upon a time, mostly because my father, the chairman of our county’s GOP organization in South Carolina back in the eighties, handled my registration paperwork. So I’ve grown up with every Herman Cain aphorism in the book. What the reaction to Cain’s comments show are the same thing I figured out long ago—Republicans aren’t who they say they are. As a party, the GOP is not as interested in individual liberty as much it is a party obsessed with group control.

Conservatives are largely against abortion, saying that they want to save the lives of unborn fetuses. The United States has an extremely high infant-mortality rate, largely due to the lack of adequate prenatal care for low-income mothers. Yet conservatives are not in favor of government programs providing such prenatal care and have voted to eliminate existing programs that have succeeded in lowering the infant mortality rate.

Liberals find this illogical. It appears to liberals that "pro-life" conservatives do want to prevent the death of those fetuses whose mothers do not want them (through stopping abortion), but do not want to prevent the deaths of fetuses whose mothers do want them (through providing adequate prenatal care programs). Conservatives see no contradiction. Why?

Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think

Cain’s recent remarks on abortion have been framed by the media as a mistake, but to those of us who are would like to see some sort of logical coherence in a political party’s policies, the onus should be on Republicans in Iowa and elsewhere to explain how their “less government is better government” platform goes out the window when it comes to a woman having control over what happens to her own body.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.

(Photo by Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
  • The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
  • Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less

Afghanistan is the most depressed country on Earth

No, depression is not just a type of "affluenza" — poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
Keep reading Show less