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May 29, 2004

A dangerous strategy for ending abortion

Michael A. Peroutka is a Constitution Party candidate for the office of president of the United States.  It appears that his candidacy is motivated chiefly by his abhorrence of abortion.  No problem so far.  I was alarmed, however, by his strategy to end this abomination, as revealed in an interview he gave to WorldNetDaily:
To end abortion "immediately," he said, the president would simply have to declare the personhood of the unborn from the moment of conception. The executive branch, which holds the law-enforcement function of government, could then enforce that personhood through the U.S. attorneys, he says.
After making the declaration of personhood, Peroutka explains, he would then appoint new U.S. attorneys throughout the nation, as did President Clinton upon entering the presidency.
"U.S. Attorneys could be appointed who understood that the unborn child is a person under the Fifth Amendment and shall not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process," he said. "So I believe that it is doable on Day 1."
The candidate says the new government lawyers would then "prosecute those who would deny that personhood," such as operators of abortion clinics.
The personhood declaration could be accomplished, he said, through an executive order.
As a candidate of the Constitution Party, and as "the founder of the Institute on the Constitution", and as someone who left government agencies whose functions he did not see as "constitutionally permissible", Mr. Peroutka proposes to use the brute force of the federal government to unconstitutionally further expand the federal government's power.  Although his goal is without a doubt noble, someone who presents himself as a student of the Constitution should know that the president has no constitutional authority to act -- directly or indirectly -- against abortion clinic operators.  Someone who thinks he can 'end abortion' using the power of the executive is a dangerous man.
We are much more likely to see an end to abortion if the federal government -- all three branches -- finally recognizes the constitutional limits of its power and returns the issue to the states.

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