Ron Paul: Cases of rape, incest should be dealt with by morning-after pill, not abortion

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Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Following his Tuesday announcement that he will launch a 2012 presidential exploratory committee, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) went on CNN’s show In the Arena, where he argued with Eliot Spitzer about the constitutionality of Social Security, among other things.

Watch part of the interview:

Leading up the interview, In the Arena’s blog posted an excerpt from Paul’s new book Liberty Defined: Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, in which Paul explains his anti-abortion rights stance from the perspective of an OB/GYN and suggests that America has overstepped ”the bounds of morality by picking and choosing who should live and who should die.”

Addressing abortion as a constitutional right, Paul asserts that the federal government should not have authority to “grant permission to destroy [life]” but writes that states should be able to enact their own laws dealing with abortion. For example, he suggests victims of incest or rape — rather than having abortions to terminate their pregnancies — should take emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill, to prevent pregnancy.

From Liberty Defined:

On one occasion in the 1960s when abortion was still illegal, I witnessed, while visiting a surgical suite as an OB/GYN resident, the abortion of a fetus that weighed approximately two pounds.

It was placed in a bucket, crying and struggling to breathe, and the medical personnel pretended not to notice.

Soon the crying stopped. This harrowing event forced me to think more seriously about this important issue.

That same day in the OB suite, an early delivery occurred and the infant born was only slightly larger than the one that was just aborted.

But in this room everybody did everything conceivable to save this child’s life. My conclusion that day was that we were overstepping the bounds of morality by picking and choosing who should live and who should die.

These were human lives. There was no consistent moral basis to the value of life under these circumstances.

Some people believe that being pro-choice is being on the side of freedom. I’ve never understood how an act of violence, killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right.

To speak only of the mother’s cost in carrying a baby to term ignores all thought of any legal rights of the unborn. I believe that the moral consequence of cavalierly accepting abortion diminishes the value of all life.

It is now widely accepted that there’s a constitutional right to abort a human fetus. Of course, the Constitution says nothing about abortion, murder, manslaughter, or any other acts of violence.

There are only four crimes listed in the Constitution: counterfeiting, piracy, treason, and slavery. Criminal and civil laws were deliberately left to the states.

It’s a giant leap for the federal courts to declare abortion a constitutional right and overrule all state laws regulating the procedure. If anything, the federal government has a responsibility to protect life—not grant permission to destroy it.

If a state were to legalize infanticide, it could be charged with not maintaining a republican form of government, which is required by the Constitution.

If we, for the sake of discussion, ignore the legal arguments for or against abortion and have no laws prohibiting it, serious social ramifications would remain. There are still profound moral issues, issues of consent, and fundamental questions about the origin of life and the rights of individuals.

There are two arguments that clash. Some argue that any abortion after conception should be illegal. Others argue that the mother has a right to her body and no one should interfere with her decision.

It’s amazing to me that many people I have spoken to in the pro-choice group rarely care about choice in other circumstances. Almost all regulations by the federal government to protect us from ourselves (laws against smoking, bans on narcotics, and mandatory seat belts, for example) are readily supported by the left/liberals who demand “choice.”

Of course, to the pro-choice group, the precious choice we debate is limited to the mother and not to the unborn.

The fact is that the fetus has legal rights—inheritance, a right not to be injured or aborted by unwise medical treatment, violence, or accidents. Ignoring these rights is arbitrary and places relative rights on a small, living human being.

The only issue that should be debated is the moral one: whether or not a fetus has any right to life. Scientifically, there’s no debate over whether the fetus is alive and human—if not killed, it matures into an adult human being.

[...]

So if we are ever to have fewer abortions, society must change again. The law will not accomplish that. However, that does not mean that the states shouldn’t be allowed to write laws dealing with abortion. Very early pregnancies and victims of rape can be treated with the day after pill, which is nothing more than using birth control pills in a special manner. These very early pregnancies could never be policed, regardless. Such circumstances would be dealt with by each individual making his or her own moral choice.

Read the full excerpt here.

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