(COLUMBIA, SC) When faced with a question of protecting human life, on the issue of the personhood of the child in the womb, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was the only candidate to back down. This question, as part of a presidential discussion held on Monday in South Carolina, saw the first contrast between Republicans vying for the nation’s highest office on the issue of abortion and the federal government’s role in protecting innocent human life.
A question from Princeton professor Robert George noted that Congress retains the authority to recognize the personhood rights of the preborn. George queried former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on this assertion.
“Many people today say that we need to wait for Roe vs. Wade to be reversed before Congress can do anything about protecting life in the womb. However, Section 5 of the 14th Amendment expressly authorizes the Congress, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the guarantees of due process and equal protection contained in the amendment’s first section,” said George. “Would you, as President, propose to Congress appropriate legislation pursuant to the 14th Amendment to protect human life in all stages and conditions?”
Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain responded in the affirmative. Romney, on the other hand, suggested that a federal personhood measure “would create…a constitutional crisis.” He added, “That’s not something I would precipitate.”
Instead, Romney lobbied for a continuation of the strategy of altering the makeup of the Supreme Court. “I would like to see that Supreme Court return to the states the responsibility for determining laws related to abortion,” he said.
The week’s second presidential candidate forum is scheduled for Wednesday at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California where candidates will have a chance to further clarify their positions. Will Romney adapt to this question to reflect President Reagan’s position, and that of the Republican Party?
Reagan issued his Personhood Proclamation on January 14th, 1988 in which he said:
“The unalienable right to life is found not only in the Declaration of Independence but also in the Constitution that every President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend. Both the 5th and 14th Amendments guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law.”
Reagan continued, “This sacred legacy, and the well-being and the future of our country, demand that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land.”
The Republican Party Platform—which Reagan’s pro-personhood ideology has helped to shape—also reads, “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”
“Far from a ‘crisis,’ personhood restores the protections for the preborn that were intended by our founding fathers and the drafters of the 14th Amendment,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “Roe v. Wade has no basis in constitutional law. It was a tribunal of nine men in 1973 that unleashed the current ‘constitutional crisis’ upon our nation.”
Personhood USA is a grassroots Christian organization founded to establish personhood efforts across America to create protection for every child by love and by law. Personhood USA is committed to assisting and supporting Personhood Legislation and Constitutional Amendments and building local pro-life organizations through raising awareness of the personhood of the pre-born.