Perry Challenged to Back Federal Amdt Stopping Abortions

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2011   |   1:58PM   |   Washington, DC

This week, Texas governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry took a states’ rights position on abortion saying states should have the ability to ban abortions. Now, a pro-life organization is challenging him to go a step further by endorsing a federal Constitutional amendment that would offer legal protection for unborn children.

As LifeNews reported, Perry told ABC News about the need for the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to be reversed and for states to be able to protect unborn children, saying, “You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t.”

“You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, ‘We’d rather not have states decide that,'” he added.

Today, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to these statements. She pointed out that Perry, at a recent event for pro-life Hispanics in Los Angeles, said, “Somehow, the folks in Washington have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, the overriding responsibility of every government: to protect citizens at every stage in life, especially those who cannot protect themselves.”

Dannenfelser told LifeNews she appreciate’s Perry’s pro-life convictions and abortion opposition, but wants him to understand that support for a federal role in protecting unborn children is important.

“Governor Perry has been a long time friend of the pro-life movement and we welcome and appreciate all the work he has done for women and unborn children as Governor,” she said.  “We agree that certainly there is a lot that can be done at the state level to reduce the number of abortion, but that does not diminish or eliminate the federal government’s responsibility to protect human life in all of its stages.”

Meanwhile, Princeton University law professor Robert George, who is a respected pro-life advocate, also weighed in on Perry’s comments.

“It is important for Governor Perry and for all Americans to recognize the responsibility of the national government under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to ensure that the guarantees of Section 1 of that Amendment are honored by all 50 states,” he explained. “Those guarantees include the following: ‘nor shall any 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.'”

“As a matter of indisputable scientific fact, the child in the womb is a living human being. As a matter of moral truth, deeply embedded in our legal and constitutional traditions, all human beings are persons,” George explained.

Dannenfelser is also encouraging Perry, should he decide to join the crowded field of Republicans seeking the nomination to take on pro-abortion stalwart Barack Obama, to sign the organization’s pro-life pledge that several candidates have signed and some have decided against signing.

“His signature on our pledge will be a welcome addition. We are also anticipating his clarification that if elected he will continue his fight for life at the national level,” Dannenfelser said.

Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul signed it while Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain decided against signing it. The pledge has the candidates promising to support only judicial nominees who won’t interpret the Constitution in a way that supports Roe v. Wade, select pro-life Cabinet members on positions affecting abortion policy, supporting legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortions and Planned Parenthood, and to support a fetal pain bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Recently, profiled Perry in an article featuring comments from two statewide pro-life groups, Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life, verifying Perry’s pro-life credentials and discussing the lengthy list of pro-life actions he’s taken as governor. Representatives of both groups expressed confidence in Perry advocating a pro-life agenda should he decide to run for president and be nominated by Republicans to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.