I was at the American Academy of Religion conference this weekend, and missed the live coverage of the Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa. I’m watching right now, and just saw Newt Gingrich extol the proposal by Manhattan Declaration author and Princeton University professor Robert George that the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to pass legislation declaring a fertilized egg a “person” entitled to civil rights.
Although many of the other candidates have supported a Human Life Amendment—something long advocated by anti-choice groups—Gingrich maintained on Saturday that Congress has the authority under the 14th Amendment to declare that life begins at conception and that he would urge Congress could write in the law that the Supreme Court could not review it, obviating the need for a constitutional “human life” amendment. Congress could then “undo Roe v. Wade for the entire country in one legislative action.” In other words, Gingrich wants not only to have Congress pass a law that declares life begins at conception; wants not only to have Congress afford fertilized eggs all the protections of the 14th Amendment; he wants Congress to do so and attempt to “block” (his word) the Supreme Court from reviewing the constitutionality of such a law.
Gingrich is apparently the only one of the presidential candidates to run with George’s proposal. At a similarly styled forum in South Carolina in September, George befuddled the other candidates with his questions about his personhood idea.
UPDATE: Fertilized eggs should have equal protection, but children should work as janitors because child labor laws are “truly stupid,” according to Gingrich.