Remember Mississippi's wacky "personhood" initiative? Remember heaving a collective sigh of relief that the Bible Belt, obesity-, poverty-, and diabetes-addled though it may be, at least had enough sense to realize the absolute insanity of mandating that abortion be prohibited "from the moment of conception?" Well, four of the seven GOP candidates don't. Turns out that Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul have all pledged to protect fetal "personhood" legislatively and constitutionally.
The first three did so while participating in a "pro-life teletown hall" organized by Personhood USA and other pro-life groups, so that's not a real surprise. But Ron Paul, who didn't participate in the town hall, has also signed the Personhood USA pledge, though his signature appears to leave the decision to enforce the hypothetical up to the states.
Perry stressed his intent to create a "human life amendment… without waiting for the courts to overturn Roe vs. Wade." Continuing, he noted that "Roe vs. Wade will be overturned with a true pro-life president possibly appointing upwards of two or three new Supreme Court Justices…"
Bachmann, for her part, stressed that she would repeal the Affordable Care Act, and took shots at her fellow candidates, saying "We have candidates in this race who don't understand the sanctity of life," before adding that "The president can put abortion pills for girls eight years of age, eleven years of age, on the bubblegum aisle," referencing the FDA's recommendation that the morning after pill be made available over-the-counter, which both the Obama Administration and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected.
Rick Santorum said something too, but no one takes him very seriously, and so I'll ignore his points.
Gingrich promised to "write a [Personhood] bill so that it is not removable," and cited an example from 1802 (the year he was birthed), when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison removed over a dozen federal judges. He also promised to reinstate the Mexico City Policy (legislation enacted by Ronald Reagan that barred the United States from providing foreign aid funds to family planning groups that provide abortions, later overturned by Obama).
I think the scariest thing about this is that Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason said that they'd invited all seven candidates, and noted that "…if a candidate claims to be a Republican, then they should have no problem signing this pledge," which means that being pro-life is now non-negotiable if you want to be a Republican, just like denying climate change and poor-shaming. Toe the party line or you'll get thrown into third-party hell, ladies and gents.