Beliefnet
BALTIMORE, Oct. 10 (CNS) -- Reform Party presidential candidate Patrick J.Buchanan said he would take several steps to reverse abortion laws in theUnited States, from appointing pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, toreversing President Clinton's executive orders on abortion to urgingCongress to vote on a human life amendment.

Buchanan also said that, despite Pope John Paul II's recent opposition, heis in favor of capital punishment in cases "where the crimes are heinousand it is the only justifying penalty," and when the judge is certain ofthe defendant's guilt.

In a wide-ranging, 35-minute interview with Catholic News Service, conducted Oct. 6 as Buchananheaded for Washington after an TV news appearance in Baltimore, the Catholiccandidate also talked about his view on limiting immigration, his supportfor school choice, his opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, whyhe disputes the notion of a Catholic vote, and his belief that the UnitedNations should be moved to a neutral country, like Switzerland.

On abortion, Buchanan said the most important thing the president of theUnited States could do "is to alter the character of the Supreme Court andreconvert it into a pro-life constitutionalist court which respectsAmerica's religious heritage and tradition and respects the Constitution asoriginally written."

Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, "was anabomination, not only from the moral standpoint but a constitutionalstandpoint," he said. "So I would appoint only pro-life justices who hadthe courage to overturn (it)."

He said he would reverse five executive orders Clinton signed in the firstdays of his presidency that, according to Buchanan, "virtually madeabortion on demand the policy of the federal government."

He was referring to Clinton's executive orders issued on Jan. 22, 1993, the21st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, that reversed a number of federalregulations, such as prohibitions on abortion counseling in federally fundedfamily planning clinics and restrictions on access to abortion in U.S.military hospitals overseas.

Buchanan said he would cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, the U.N.population council and fetal tissue research, would push federal legislationto outlaw RU-486 or give the states the freedom to do so, and would outlawabortions at all military hospitals.

"You can use the office of the presidency to advance the whole cause oflife and the culture of life," he said. He would also ask Congress to voteon a human life amendment.

Regarding capital punishment, Buchanan said he believes it is "a states'rights issue." He supports "the use of capital punishment in certaincircumstances where the crimes are heinous and where I believe that it isthe only justifying penalty."

"I always have held that, though I do believe that any judge ought to havein his own mind absolute certitude that the individual is guilty of thesecrimes before he imposes the death sentence," he added.

Asked about Pope John Paul's strong plea in recent years that capitalpunishment be eliminated in all but the most extreme cases--and avoidedeven then--Buchanan said the pope's view "ought to be listened to withrespect, but I respectfully disagree."

He added, "I think a society that sends a message that it will not take thelife of any criminal no matter what he does sends a message of weakness."

Buchanan is opposed to banning tests of all nuclear weapons, weapons whichhe feels are not "inherently evil."

"I believe it is fundamentally evil to use one of those monstrousinstruments on a defenseless city," he said, "but I do think that there isa role both in diplomacy and even ... in war for the use of some of theseweapons, mainly tactical atomic weapons."

On the issue of immigration, Buchanan said he thinks the United Statesshould cut the number of people allowed in each year by about two-thirds, toabout 300,000 legal immigrants.

Even under his policy, the United States would still have "the mostgenerous immigration policy of any nation on earth," he said.

He feels efforts should be made to help "the 30 million who have come herein the last 30 years to assimilate and Americanize."

"I think we're in danger of pulling apart over issues of race and ethnicityand culture and language and religion," he said.

Buchanan said the United Nations should be moved out of the United States by2001 to a neutral country, like Switzerland.

He called the United Nations a "bloated bureaucracy" that is "dominatedby regimes most of which are envious of and hostile to American nationalinterests."

The United States should keep its seat on the Security Council, he said, butshould not have to pay so much to a world body that has "an agenda whichdoes not correspond to the national interest of the United States."

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