Open Letter from Personhood USA to Ron Paul


Updated: This article now includes a response from the Ron Paul campaign following the open letter. 

Submitted by Keith Ashley on Mon, 12/26/2011 – 22:30

Dear Dimitri and Rep. Ron Paul,

Upon closer review of Rep. Ron Paul’s statement accompanying the personhood pledge, we have serious concerns both about the internal inconsistencies within Rep. Paul’s statement, and the inconsistency between the clarifying statement and the language of Personhood USA’s pledge.

We do not wish to hurt Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign in any way, which is why we would like to give him the opportunity to explain and hopefully reconcile the inconsistencies. We recognize and respect that Rep. Ron Paul has been heroically consistent in his views on federalism. Also, nobody doubts that Rep. Ron Paul is personally pro-life, but he is running to be the head of state, not a private citizen. Therefore, his view of the role of the federal government and the protection of life – the only inalienable right greater even than liberty, is of paramount importance to us.

Thomas Jefferson who authored the Declaration of Independence (this nation’s foundation of liberty and self-government) and who was also one of the main supporters of the inclusion of a bill of rights to the U.S. Constitution wrote that “the chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that and you have abandoned all.”

Rep. Ron Paul seems to agree with Jefferson within the text of his clarifying statement, when he writes:
“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.”

However, Rep. Ron Paul also states 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.”

When this last statement is combined with his desire to see the jurisdiction of the courts removed for the purpose of dealing with abortion, one has to wonder: How exactly does Rep. Paul suggest we “protect rights at the federal level”? We agree with Rep. Ron Paul that the 10th amendment police powers are the proper vehicle for state criminalization of murder (born and unborn) but we strenuously disagree that the 10th amendment could possibly allow for the decriminalization of murder. If this were the case, it would truly seem that we would be throwing out the whole purpose of the constitution, which is to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” I am sure that this is not Rep. Ron Paul’s aim, so where does Rep. Ron Paul believe is that federal protection of the right to life?

How will the rights of unborn children (our posterity) be federally protected in NY or California, where a majority of the people are in favor of the legalized murder of unborn children?

We understand his position that self-government comes with certain responsibilities, and that liberty implies allowing people to make mistakes. But there is a critically important difference when we are speaking of abortion. With abortion the mistaken policy of the person with power is used to exterminate another, powerless, person: that is not the exercise of liberty but the most evil form of tyranny.

The 14th amendment states that:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; 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.”

If Rep. Paul believes that “life begins at conception” and therefore agrees with the core reasoning of the Personhood movement that all human beings should be considered legal persons with rights, then why would the 14th amendment’s clear requirement that states grant equal protection to all persons not apply to making sure that state criminal codes protect the lives of born and unborn persons equally? Rep. Ron Paul would surely agree that if a state decided to decriminalize the killing of all human beings over 70, that state would be violating 14th amendment’s equal protection clause, would he not?

Lastly, and most importantly, how can Rep. Ron Paul reconcile his states rights permissive theory of abortion with the statement in our pledge that “every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and is endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life.” If in fact our right to life comes from God, not government, and we acknowledge that “to secure these rights governments are instituted among men,” how can Rep. Ron Paul adhere simultaneously to the theory that entire states in this union may trespass with impunity upon these fundamental rights while maintaining that these rights are unalienable?

In conclusion, these are the inconsistencies we would like to see resolved:

1. Where within our republican system of government does Rep. Ron Paul find the federal protection of the right to life?
2. Does Rep. Ron Paul believe that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment does not extend to unborn persons?
3. If Rep. Ron Paul believes in the “unalienable right to life”, why does he believe the federal constitution, specifically the 10th amendment, requires that the states have the authority to sanction murder, if they so choose?

We honestly desire Rep. Ron Paul to be a champion for life with as much depth and consistency as he has shown for limited government, and we believe that it is possible for him to answer the above questions in a way that would satisfy both his principled view of limited government and his desire to protect all innocent human beings.

This is how we believe he could answer and maintain his consistency:
1. Where within our republican system of government does Rep. Ron Paul find the federal protection of the right to life?
The right to life is firmly enshrined in in the declaration of independence, the preamble to the constitution, and the 5th and 14th amendments.
2. Does Rep. Ron Paul believe that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment does not extend to unborn persons?
No, Rep. Ron Paul believes that as applied to abortion, the 14th amendment requires that state laws be applied equally to all persons. A scientific, legal, and morally consistent understanding of the definition of the word person requires that term include all human beings as persons at every stage of their development. Therefore the 14th amendment should apply to unborn persons.
3. If Rep. Ron Paul believes in the “unalienable right to life”, why does he believe the federal constitution, specifically the 10th amendment, requires that the states have the authority to sanction murder, if they so choose?
Rep. Ron Paul believes that the 10th amendment recognizes states’ police power, which includes the power to pass laws to regulate to protect the health, safety, and morals of the people. No state, and no government has the power to legalize murder, as that would be a violation of the unalienable right to life granted by God to those beings made in His image and likeness.

Please consider our questions carefully and respond to us by noon tomorrow. If you need more time to address these issues, please contact us via email requesting an extension of time and we will be happy to do so.

Personhood USA is a standard bearer, not a kingmaker. We do not seek to endorse or reject a candidate for office. We do however, require that those who sign the pledge adopt a consistent policy. For the reasons stated above, we do not believe that Rep. Ron Paul’s policies towards life meet the standard of the Personhood USA pledge.

We are hopeful that you will satisfactorily address the issues presented above. If not we will be put in the unfortunate position of having to reject your pledge publicly.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

God bless you,

Personhood USA

Originally posted here. Stay tuned to tonight to The Steve Deace Show for the Presidential ProLife Forum from 8-9:30 Central Time.

Response from Ron Paul Campaign: 

Rep. Ron Paul to Personhood USA Re: Pledge

Let me begin by noting again that not only do I share Personhood USA’s goal of ending abortion by defining life as beginning at conception, but also that I am the only candidate who has affirmatively acted on this goal in his career.   I am the sponsor of federal legislation to define Life as beginning at conception, and will promote and push this goal and legislation as President.

I believe the FEDERAL government has this power, indeed, this obligation.

As you probably know, this comes directly from Supreme Court’s misguided Roe decision, in which the court stated that it did not have the authority to define when life began, but that if it were ever decided, then that life would have to be protected.

It is the only bright spot in an otherwise poor moral and constitutional decision.

What you are seeing in my response is simply a clarification about the details of enforcing such a decision about where life begins.

Defining life as beginning at conception would define the unborn child as a life.  Thereafter the taking of that life would be murder.  Murder in our criminal code and constitutional history is punished by the laws of the individual states. The federal government does not dictate the terms of the state murder laws.  Some have longer sentences.  Some allow for parole, some do not.  Some have the death penalty, some do not.

This is how our republican form of government was intended to function, and I believe we need to stay on that path.

Federal law needs to define Life.  I have sponsored and will continue to promote legislation to federally define Life as beginning at conception, establishing the personhood of every unborn child, thus finally fulfilling the role of the government in protecting our life and liberty.

  • Mikewest

    I believe our Lord and commander has given us
    crystal clear instructions for this very moment in time concerning the upcoming
    elections in the following scriptures.

    “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the
    COVETEOUSNESS…” (Exodus 18:21)

    “Take you WISE MEN, and UNDERSTANDING,
    and I will make them rulers over you. “ (Deuteronomy 1:13)

    Sadly, the mistake most Christians make today is by ignoring
    these clear and specific scriptures above. Instead they will draw deep lines in
    the sand over particular shared VALUES and ISSUES versus making a
    candidate’s RELATIONSHIP with Christ the top priority. This often
    compromised requirement should be first, foremost and non-negotiable. Surely it
    would be the same model for choosing a wife, husband, business partner, church
    leader, and most importantly how God Himself will chose one day whether we are
    allowed to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    The confusion comes from theologians who wrongfully justify
    this elevation of values over relationship based on the “no religious test for
    office” clause in the constitution. However, this man-made document’s main
    purpose is to restrain the gov’t not the people. It’s because of this very
    clause that protects our individual right to have a religious test! When you
    think about it, everyone has a religious test. We all choose to worship someone
    or something.

    Back to looking at the verses
    above, these are just a few of the many reasons I place Dr. Ron Paul as the choice
    of any serious Christian voter.

    As a real constitutional scholar and avid
    student of our founder’s vision of a very, very, very limited federal gov’t,
    he’s quite “ABLE” to keep his
    oath of office. As someone who takes his oaths very seriously, he will no doubt
    actually uphold the constitution in its original intent. Based on his years of
    public service, he has shown nothing but respect and unwavering loyalty to this
    providential document.

    As the only Austrian economist
    that supports gov’t accountability and individual responsibility, he’s clearly
    the only one ABLE to really
    change this economic crisis by exiting our offensive empire building wars, the
    wicked United Nations & International Monetary Fund. I also believe by
    truly limiting the gov’t, the Church will be set free to be unlimited and will be
    indirectly assisted into another great national revival.

    As a seasoned congressional leader who’s notably
    known as “Dr. No” for his willingness to stand alone based on his personal
    convictions, He’s shown time and time again to be a man that “FEARS GOD” more so than mortal
    men of his own party or constituency.

    Dr. Paul has proven over the years to a solid “MAN OF TRUTH”. His life’s record of
    honesty to his family and the many people he has served is impeccable, widely
    respected and without comparison to his peers. As a humble born again follower
    of “The Truth” Jesus Christ, he refuses to go around proudly proclaiming his
    righteousness in order to gain political favor. Unlike the many politicians of
    our day who conveniently give deceptive, insincere, and pompous speeches filled
    with self-righteous God-talk designed to fool gullible Christians. Verifiable
    actions need to precede words.

    If there was ever an ISSUE that needs further
    exploration and expansion by the Christian community this is it! “HATING COVETEOUSNESS”. Here Dr.
    Paul has teed off like no other modern day Christian Statesman by countless
    stands against one political group taking from another. He’s clearly against
    Obama’s Social Welfare in taxing the rich to give to the poor. And on the flip
    side, he’s against Republican Corporate Welfare that takes from the poor tax
    payers and bails out wall-street bankers. He has been a giant congressional
    watchdog in advocating contentment across the board.

    5.      MEN or Male. Like all other
    ordained institutions including the family and Church, God’s highest standard for
    the civil realm is clearly for men to take the lead. God made male and female
    to complement each other rather than to compete. If you’re really PRO-LIFE, put
    down your marching signs and start encouraging and honoring young women who
    choose the beauty of motherhood over the enticements of being in the public square’s
    lime light. Furthermore, you would also encourage and honor the older women who
    opt to spend their limited time on teaching the younger women how to love their
    husbands and children.      

    Finally, in researching and looking over Dr.
    Ron Paul’s life-long commitments to his faith, family and 30 year record of
    humble Christian service, it appears that no one comes closer to matching up to
    these 5 specific gold standards from Jehthro.

    However, if you are like some that just
    can’t get past some secondary “issue”. I would strongly recommend what Dr. Paul
    said at a recent debate. He was asked “what one book would you recommend for every
    citizen to read?” he responded aside from religion and more specifically
    dealing with civil gov’t and politics, he said “The Law” written by Frederick
    Bastiat in 1850 during the years leading up to the French revolution. It’s a
    classic book on the ideas of preserving individual liberty and freedom by
    restraining governmental socialism. It goes back to the “old path” and thoughts
    of our founding fathers and their vision of America. He is absolutely right in
    promoting this book that clarifies a lot of civil issues, in my mind it lines
    up with everything I know to be scriptural.

     After reading it, my final thought is
    “how in the world did the church get so far off track?”

    “If my people, which are called by
    my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from
    their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,
    and will heal their land.”

    II Cornicles 7:14

  • Cody D Darr

    so in other words…He’d have been better off being less honest and just signing it without clarification?

  • Mikewest
  • Saveamerica4u

    EVERY candidate except Dr. Paul is continually breaking this pledge as it does not just refer to the unborn.  All the other candidates condone pre-emptive war, murder and torture of innocent lives including women and children, that is certainly AGAINST the pledge they just signed.  WHAT A CROCK!

  • Evermillion45

    There is a bit of understanding here.  Dr. Paul says that he will fight to have the federal government recognize the beginning of life as the moment of conception.  In doing so, it would put abortion on the same level as murder, as it is taking the life of another. He then says that he would leave the enforcement up to the states. He isnt saying that he’s going to leave the decision whether abortion should be legal or not up to the states-as that would defy the federal government’s ruling.(14th amendment) He is simply stating that the way the law should be enforced should be up to the states AS DEFINDED BY THE CONSTITUTION.  We don’t need more federal oversight.

    There is nofederal oversight on murder. There are guidelines to protect the rights of those involved. There are rules set by the federal government that must be followed by the states, but there is no department of Murder.  The enforcement of laws against murder is left to the states, why should it be any different for abortion?  I agree with everything Ron Paul stated, and believe it is the best course of action.

  • 40to65

    Here’s a reality check and a suggestion for Personhood USA:

    Reality check:  Neither imprisoning medical professionals and women for murdering unborn babies, nor federally funding serial abortions, will save this country.  We have monumental, sovereignty-ending problems in our American faces, right this very minute, and you people are shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen that the only man who can save us is a passive baby killer.  If this man does not get the Republican nomination, you will have four more years of exactly what you’re getting for your cause right now…nothing.  No other Republican candidate can beat Obama.  Think on that for a minute.

    Suggestion:  Back off.  Take what Ron Paul has freely given you, smile, thank him, and then endorse him and help him win.  He will need the votes, because when the pro-choicers see his pledge, they will have to do exactly what you have to do, which is get their priorities straight.  If they can’t do that, he will lose their votes, and you will have only yourselves to blame.

    This is what democracy is about.

    I personally am one of those who thinks that abortion is exactly like religion.  It is a private, personal choice that is no one else’s business. It is a horrendous, gut-wrenching choice made by mothers and their teenage daughters that they have to live with forever.  It is a frivolous choice made by irresponsible, morally questionable women, too weak in character to confront the consequences of their actions.  It is a choice made in fear by unlucky, underinformed, and disadvantaged women who know that their personal safety will be at risk if they confess that they are pregnant.  It is a choice made by victims of violent crimes out of desperation for the madness to end.  It is a choice that women just like them made in dark alleys before abortion was legal.

    My grandson is seven.  My daughter was 18 when she had him, 17 when she found out she was pregnant.  Oops.  Bummer for her…I guess she should have taken better precautions, right?  Or abstained, right?  She cried every day for weeks when she found out she was pregnant.  Abortion never entered her mind, just the thought of how ill-equipped she was to take care of her baby.  This was my baby girl, and the torment she was suffering was unbearable to me.  I was the one who suggested abortion, and her reaction was that of a mad animal.  This was eight years ago.  Abortion was a legal, viable option, and the thought of it repulsed her.  I wonder if she would have felt that way if she didn’t have a choice.

    My daughter and I don’t talk about pro-life/pro-choice.  She did forgive me quickly and chalked it up to temporary insanity.  I have never thought that she made the wrong decision.  It was hers to make and she stands behind it, and I am so proud of her.

    So fight your fight.  The pro-choicers will fight theirs just as fervently.  But please give Ron Paul a break.  His intentions are crystal clear.  He is on your side, and he is the best you will get for the next 5 years.

    My eye is on the ball, and my views on abortion are secondary to saving the Constitution and this country and our kids in the military, along with the wasted innocent lives in countries where we do not belong.

    I will do everything in my quite significant power to help Ron Paul be President.  And then I will fight him tooth and nail for a woman’s right to choose.

    • just nobody

      “I personally am one of those who thinks that abortion is exactly like religion”

      You mean like one of those religions where they sacrifice babies to Molech or something? I’m just curious, because I don’t think there is any religion that can give a mom the right to kill her unborn child. It’s only a personal decision to me if no other person will be affected by it. Abortion takes two, the killer and the killed. It’s not “personal.”

      BTW, I feel for what you went through.  It happened in my family.  I love my granddaughter so much. She was a gift from God. We never considered abortion. It wouldn’t have mattered what the law said.

  • Mark

    Ron Paul is a Neo-Nazi to the core.

    1. Paul’s newsletter called for “Race War” and contained blatantly racist and anti-semitic statements.

    2. Paul sides with the Muslims and Palestinians against Israel.

    3. Paul thinks Israel should not exist.

    4. Paul would allow Iran to build nuclear weapons.

    5. Paul would allow Iran to nuke Israel.

    6. Paul would allow Iran to pass a nuclear device to Islamic terrorists.

    7. Paul would not have aided England against Nazi Germany.

    8. Paul would not have sent American troops to fight Hitler.

    9. Paul said it was none of America’s business to save Jews in WWII.

    10. Paul believes the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11. 

    11. Paul is pro-choice on abortion.  If you think abortion is a states rights issue, not a federal issue, you are pro-choice!

    12. Paul supported the murder of Terri Schiavo.

    These are all positions from Paul’s record, most of them recent.

    No true Christian would vote for this vile man.

    • Me

      Yeah, no, good job twisting the truth just like NeoCons do all the time.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Mark

        I’ve done the research on Paul.  Why haven’t you?  If you don’t have much time, just start with Google.  No Christian should even consider casting a vote for this evil man.
        Ron Paul wants to cut aid to Israel.

        Ron Paul wants Iran to build nuclear weapons.

        Ron Paul says he wouldn’t have sent U.S. troops to fight Hitler.  He’d allow the Jews to die.

        Ron Paul wouldn’t have aided England against Nazi Germany in WWII.

        Ron Paul says the events of 9/11 made President Bush happy and there was glee in the Bush administration.

        Ron Paul opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibited discrimination on the basis of race. “Paul said he would vote against the law because it imposed unfair rules on what private business owners can and can’t do on their own property. Essentially, they should be free to discriminate if they wish, Paul says, however distasteful that may be.

        Ron Paul opposed the Martin Luther King national holiday.

        In 1999, Ron Paul was the was the only member of Congress to oppose issuing a Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks.

        In May 2011, Ron Paul said in an interview that he opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

        Let’s quote Ron Paul shall we?

        “Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”

        — Ron Paul

        Ron Paul is friends with and has posed for pictures with white supremacist leader Don Black.

        Ron Paul called forced integration of schools “evil.”  
        Ron Paul believes Jews may have been responsible for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
        Ron Paul celebrated David Duke’s 44% showing in the 1990 Louisiana primary in an article titled “The Duke’s Victory” saying, “he scared the blazes out of the establishment!” 

        Across the board on issue after issue, Ron Paul’s political views line up 100% with the political views of Neo-Nazis, Anti-Semites, Aryan Nation, Stormfront, White Aryan Resistance, Ku Klux Klan and every other vile and hate-filled White Supremacy organization.

        Combine his positions with his racist and anti-semitic newsletter and Ron Paul is a certified Neo-Nazi.  

  • Bob Farkas

    Quote: “When this last statement is combined with his desire to see the
    jurisdiction of the courts removed for the purpose of dealing with
    abortion, one has to wonder: How exactly does Rep. Paul suggest we
    “protect rights at the federal level”?”

    Dr. Paul doesn’t think the Federal government should have any jurisdiction over murder. The states have jurisdiction over this. That’s all. Abortion is murder, and it should be treated the same way – at the state level.

    That is all Dr. Paul is saying. Some states obviously won’t make it murder, but I guess if you’re pro-life, you better live in a pro-life state. That is what living in the United States is all about. It’s either that, or you violate the constitution. Frankly, getting the feds involved is bad. They mess everything up. Why do you want them to mess this up too?

    • Mr. Justice

       It’s very difficult to discuss legal solutions to unconstitutional rulings with those who have a very limited understanding of jurisdiction. It’s made worse when people are making the wrong jurisdictional argument tied to a legal status that has nothing to do with Federal jurisdiction. Who needs reason when you have passion? Who needs God’s word when all you have to do is join a Praise Worship Band with a fender strat so out of tune God is thinking about another deluge! The Federal government has a role to protect the status of married men and women, unmarried men and women when States fail to do so. Ron Paul understands that. Romney, Perry and Newt dont know and don’t give a damn. You are making illogical legal arguments that, on their surface, seem plausible to the uninformed, but are in fact, pointless and false.

      The 14th Amendment personhood argument is a new theory run up the flag pole. Satan creates these false legal arguments to the ignorant so he can distract while robbing them of hard earned savings. For 10,000 years (eternity) , God was perfectly happy with His creation that man cannot live by bread alone. We are not animals. (Study the FDA and you’ll discover that according to this demonic agency, man is an animal as defined in their statute. See /google Adask. )  Personhood is man’s theory (or political genius scam artist) that “man” , a two legged dumb ass with a 501(3)c legitimization certificate on his lapel pin AND law degree, has the power to define “man made in God’s image” and then codify this idiotic definition. Why don’t you tell God his Son needs redefining too? A lot of churches worship something, but I can’t tell exactly what that thing is they worship.  Statutory rights are right up there with other worthless statutes that are exclusively redefined, renumbered, trashed, denied and ignored by the mob that is our judicial branch. The primary purpose of the 14th Amendment by men who claim exclusive right to “practice law” crafted the Amendment  to reshape an inalienable right belonging to God for his image and remake it to a statutory right of their own image; i.e. a limited right a  lawyer can re codify, deny, abscond, and now thanks to Obama the Usurper and Republicans-Democrat thugs, throw you in prison forever without a trial. America, home of the cowards. MLK jr was slaughtered by men devils in our government who want to do away with inalienable rights. Satan has just about completed the task. He’s going to make that dollar disappear, along with your sovereignty next.
       “That even the elect, may be deceived…” Ok, they are deceived dumb cowards.
      I’m certain that this “personhood” idea is going to be a great fundraiser, and produce the same stinking result the social conservatives so consistently failed since 1973.

      The political social Christian conservative movement is neither Christian or conservative. It’s statist, whoremongers (welfare) and war mongers (war at any price, war as any burden, and war to make any amount of money to be used to kill and imprison the rest.)  This is why Ron Paul is winning Believers, and leaving statist fake christians to worship their MittDoll, or the other windup men.

      Ron Paul understands liberty and freedom. You must know God’s right order to see the Kingdom of heaven, let alone produce a generation capable of self-government. Ron Paul understands that a moral society is a requirement for liberty. But first he needs to win. The other men are wolves in sheeps clothing.
      Bachmann has the ability to discern, though she might fill her administration  with neocons for all I know. Lawyers are not trustworthy because they have been deceived. Oh, worship me for a second and you can have all these corrupt, filthy, dirty kingdoms! Lawyers are in a class all their own, ain’t they?

      Instead of having another purity test (pulling down their pants to check if they are circumcised), can we at least stop the poorly reasoned legal theories and purity checks that go with them? Please?

      We need Ron Paul to unravel and unmask the ponzi monetary scheme. Iran is the least of the world’s problems. America’s love affair with murder is going to come to an end in a very bad way. America is the Babylonian whore. It’s in self-annihilation mode, and God’s hand has been removed.

  • Bonenhammer Fulfilled

    Life does not begin at conception. An acorn is not a tree.

  • Guest

    So in Ron Paul’s view If 1) the life is defined as conception and 2) a state provides that murder between conception and birth receives no criminal sentence. Then he would be ok with this?