Home / News / Gingrich defends view on why victims of rape and incest should carry pregnancies to term, proposes an 'unappealable' personhood law
Gingrich defends view on why victims of rape and incest should carry pregnancies to term, proposes an 'unappealable' personhood law

Gingrich defends view on why victims of rape and incest should carry pregnancies to term, proposes an 'unappealable' personhood law

Newt GingrichRick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich participated in Personhood USA's National Presidential Pro-life Forum last night to explain why they supported a pledge to support personhood amendments on state and federal levels.  Ron Paul, who had also signed the pledge but is having a spat with Personhood USA over the enforcement of a federal "human rights amendment," did not participate in the forum.

The forum was aired on the Steve Deace show and co-hosted by Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA.  It was co-sponsored by Champion the Vote.

Personhood amendments would overturn rights to abortion under Roe v. Wade by recognizing "persons" at conception, meaning that fertilized human eggs would have constitutional rights to life.  They contain no exception for rape or incest, the viability of the fetus, or health conditions such as ectopic pregnancies.  Among the legal questions raised by them,they also have the potential to ban forms of birth control.

Gingrich said that personhood laws should be enacted by Congress because Congress had the power to define freed slaves as persons.  He said that such a law can be written in such a way that it cannot be appealed, and defended his stance that rape and incest victims should be forced to bear children:

[@about 1:20]  As you know, Professor Robby George of Princeton was the person who first began developing this, and he and I gave a discussion at a forum that Senator DeMint and Congressman Steve King co-hosted in South Carolina several months ago, and it's based on the fact that in the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, it says very specifically that Congress shall define what is a person, what does it mean and they were doing it, of course, because there were no records for the slaves.  So when you freed the slaves, they had no historic record for who they are, they had no citizenship per se because they had been slaves, and the Congress was reckoning with this question of how do we define what a person is?  What is a person?  Robby George points out, and I believe he is correct, that this 14th Amendment almost certainly [inaudible] to the Congress to define personhood as beginning at conception.

Now, I think one way to solve this would be to write the bill so that it is not appealable.  In 1802 when the Jeffersonians, when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Judicial Reform Act of 1802, which abolishes 18 out of 35 federal judges, they wrote a prohibition on the Supreme Court for even reviewing it for two years.  And the Supreme Court followed that prohibition because they were afraid that the Jeffersonians would frankly abolish them if they didn't.  So I think you could write an exclusionary position that would start the process, but I also think there are other tools.

[...]

(@ about 6:58 Georgia Right to Life asked how Gingrich how he came to his conclusions and how he would protect the rights of children born of rape and incest and Gringrich responded at 7:24.)

Well, first of all, that is the position of if you believe that life begins at conception, then the question becomes — and we had this discussion in 1984 when I was on the platform committee with Henry Hyde — and the Hyde Amendment had always included a rape and incest exception because that was the only way you could get a majority to pass it, and there is a doctrine that says if you have to choose an imperfect tool in order to save the  maximum number of lives, that it's morally acceptable even if it is tragic.  But Hyde convinces, even in the platform committee that year, that we should adopt a position that all life is sacred, and therefore, we should provide ways to provide other kinds of compensation, other kinds of approaches, to enable people in those situations to have their child, to do so without damaging them.

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • ChadW

    This Personhood law has been shot down by every state wherever it went to ballot. Most recently it was shot down in Mississippi, arguably the most Religious state in the US, by 57% of the vote. That's not a close call. So it seems that Newt has a plan to bypass the people and try to use Congress to speak for us. So will this be before or after he packs the courts with religious judges? Certainly it will be after his first executive order to abolish the separation of church and state (http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/76090650). Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman are starting to look kind of tame next to Newt.

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com admin

      Great comments, ChadW. You are definitely "up to speed" about the theocracy Newt and the "Champion the Vote" people envision. I wish they'd pay more attention on the national media.

      Newt, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum (another big 'let's dissolve church/state guy') and Ron Paul, who supposedly is the "champion of liberty," all want women subjected to these horrible personhood laws, regardless of whether the people living outside of wombs want it or not. I wonder how any of these candidates would feel if one of their own family members were raped or suffering from some kind of medical condition and then had to suffer the consequences… wait a minute, we already know.

      Rick Santorum believes that everyone must be subjected to and suffer under these personhood laws except his own family:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/16/985393/-Rick-Santorum-is-against-abortion-for-any-reason,-with-one-exception-

      Deborah

  • http://7edb Laura

    No,No,No! Damnit, what the hell do these people think?

    Unless you're a woman who wants or needs the right to choose then you should have it.
    Unless you're a victim of rape or incest and need/want the right to choose you should have it.

    The only thing that bothers me about abortion is that I have seen women use it as a form of birth control. It is my personal opinion that that is wrong.

    Essentially however, I do not believe that the gvmt has the right to make laws that govern my person hood and that includes euthanasia. Harrumph! *steps down from soap box, picks it up and moves along with her day*

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com admin

      Great soapbox speech!

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      Where can I get a soap box? I really need one. :lol: Well said.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    Gangrene is a sick puppy, who would just love to damage the mental health and well-being of women anyway he can with his demented and corrupt power.

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com admin

      Huntsman appears to be the only GOP candidate who is not bowing down to the altar of the religious right.

      Johnson didn't, either, but he switched to the Libertarian party today.

      Deborah

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        I saw that. Thing is, IMO, Obama is still the best candidate we have. So unless Bernie Sanders runs, I don't feel I have much by way of options.

  • Pingback: Tent Revival! | Mike Malloy Radio Show : Progressive Radio : Online Video Streaming : The Best In Nighttime Liberal Talk! M-F 9pm-12am.

Scroll To Top