It is remarkable to realize how, in just a few years and despite repeated losses, the “personhood” movement has gone from a fringe effort that had no support to a central part of the Republican presidential primary.
When the first personhood effort in Colorado got trounced at the polls in 2008, anti-choice groups ranging from National Right to Life and Americans United for Life to the Eagle Forum all refused to support these sorts of amendments.
But this year nearly the entire Religious Right movement got behind the personhood effort in Mississippi … which likewise failed miserably. Nonetheless, the movement vows to press forward and has even managed to get nearly all of the leading Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge promising to support both state and federal personhood amendments.
Last night, Personhood USA and a gaggle of Religious Right anti-choice groups hosted a “Pro-life Tele-Town Hall and Radio Simulcast” that featured Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry being interviewed by Iowa radio show host Steve Deace and Personhood USA’s Keith Mason.
Each candidate received roughly ten minutes to proclaim their anti-choice bona fides and assure those listening that, if elected, they would do everything in their power to outlaw abortion. Rick Santorum even went so far as to declare that presidential candidates should not even be saying they “believe” life begins at conception because it is not a belief, it is a scientific fact:
I want to make sure that everybody understands that when politicians say “I believe life begins at conception,” that is conceding ground. And the ground that we concede is by using the term “believe.” Life beginning at conception is not a belief, it is not an article of faith, it is an article of fact. It’s a biological fact that life, in fact, begins as conception and we need to begin to understand that we have to use language that is consistent with what the truth is.
While each of the candidates used the call as an opportunity to highlight their anti-abortion views and agenda, none of the candidates could hold a candle to Michele Bachmann, who made it quite clear that outlawing abortion has been her life’s work … one she is willing to die to see happen:
I want everyone to know that I recognize and respect the dignity of every human life from conception until natural death. This is not a check the box thing for me; this is the core of my conviction, this is what I would literally die for. We have a moral obligation to defend other people and the reason for that is because each human being is made in the image of likeness of a holy God.
Some of the most elegant words about life came to us from the Declaration of Independence and ti says that God has given us our right to life, and we know that President Obama has a war on the family.
What we need to do to end Roe v. Wade and end that horrible holocaust in the United States of life is to pass the Personhood Amendment. I am the first person to sign Personhood USA’s pledge, and I am proud to say that, to define life from the moment of conception. We don’t have to wait for the Supreme Court; we can be involved in this ourselves and I am thrilled to have signed the Personhood Amendment.
As President of the United States, I won’t just talk this talk, I won’t relegate pro-lifers to the corner and pat them on the head, I will actually do something about it and I will veto any congressional attempt to provide federal funding of abortion. That’s why I led 40,000 Americans to the United States capitol to block Obamacare.
I’m 55, since I’ve been 19 I’ve been very active in the pro-life movement. I get it. This isn’t a check the box issue for me; this is life itself. The one thing we can’t get wrong in this election is the life issue. Too many times we have been relegated to the corner – I will not, as president I will actively pursue the personhood legislation.