Defining personhood legislatively
September 07, 2011
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, according to information supplied by Personhood USA, a grassroots Christian organization from Arvada, Colorado, obviously upset by Romney's response . 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.

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