Ron Paul Signs 'Personhood' Pledge; Tenth Amendment Squabble Ensues
Ron Paul became the fifth Republican presidential candidate to sign the Personhood Presidential Candidate Pledge, but that may not be good enough for Personhood USA.
In an accompanying statement to the group, the Texas congressman said, "You can't have liberty without life."
“I don't just believe life begins at conception; I know it as a scientific certainty,” he wrote.
The pledge requires that the candidates “stand … with the Republican Party platform in affirming that [they] “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”
Regarding the latter, Rep. Paul stated that “The Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to cancel out the Tenth Amendment. This means that I can’t agree that the Fourteenth Amendment has a role to play here, or otherwise we would end up with a ‘Federal Department of Abortion.’”
The 14th Amendment, which protects individual liberties from state encroachment, requires that: "No state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Paul wrote: “We should allow our republican system of government to function as our founders designed it to: protect rights at the federal level, enforce laws against violence at the state level."
But Gualberto Garcia Jones, legal analyst for the Colorado-based Personhood USA, took issue with Paul's states'-rights stand.
“The United States suffered through a terrible civil war precisely because the federal government left it to the states to decide whether an entire class of people were to be considered persons or property,” Garcia Jones said.
“If Rep. Ron Paul believes that the preborn are persons under the law, why wouldn't they be protected under the 14th Amendment? Rep. Paul's vague statement on the duty of the federal government to ‘protect rights’ is without effect if there is no mechanism for guaranteeing those protections,” she said.
“Personhood USA understands and agrees with Rep. Paul, that crimes, including murder, are to be prohibited by state laws,” continued Garcia Jones. “However, pro-lifers are left wondering how a President Paul would seek to protect the right to life in states that would choose to continue to allow abortion after Roe v. Wade is overturned.”
Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry also signed the pledge. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman -- both Mormons -- have not.