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Ron Paul on Abortion

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


Abortion is murder

A popular academic argument for abortion demands that we think of the child in the womb as a parasite.but the same argument justifies infanticide, since it applies just as well to an infant outside the womb.newborns require even more attention & care.

People ask an expectant mother how her baby is doing. They do not ask how her fetus is doing, or her blob of tissue, or her parasite. But that is what her baby becomes as soon as the child is declared to be unwanted.

Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 59-60 Apr 1, 2008

Roe v. Wade decision was harmful to the Constitution

The federal government should not play any role in the abortion issue, according to the Constitution. Apart from waiting forever for Supreme Court justices who rule in accordance with the Constitution, Americans do have some legislative recourse. Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over a broad categories of cases.
Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 60 Apr 1, 2008

Define life at conception in law, as scientific statement

On the right-to-life issue, I believe, Iím a real stickler for civil liberties. Itís academic to talk about civil liberties if you donít talk about the true protection of all life. So if you are going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well.

I have a Bill in congress I certainly would promote and push as president, called the Sanctity of Life Amendment. We establish the principle that life begins at conception. And someone says, Ďoh why are you saying that?í and I say, Ďwell, thatís not a political statement -- thatís a scientific statement that Iím making!ď

I know weíre all interested in a better court system and amending the constitution to protect life. But sometimes I think that is dismissing the way we can handle this much quicker, and my bill removes the jurisdiction of the federal courts from the issue of abortion, if a state law says no abortion, it doesnít go to the supreme court to be ruled out of order

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference Feb 7, 2008

Protecting the life of the unborn is protecting liberty

Liberty is the most important thing, because if we have our liberties, we have our freedoms, we can have our lives. But itís academic to talk about civil liberties if you donít talk about the true protection of all life. So if youíre going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well. I have a bill in Congress which I would certainly promote and push as President. But itís been ignored by the right-to-life community. My bill is called the Sanctity of Life bill. What it would do is it would establish the principle that life begins at conception. Thatís not a political statement, but a scientific statement that Iím making. Weíre all interested in a better court system, and amending the Constitution to protect life--but sometimes that is dismissing the way we can handle this much quicker. My bill removes the jurisdiction of the federal courts from the issue of abortion. If a state law says ďno abortion,Ē it doesnít go to the Supreme Court to be ruled out of order.
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference Feb 7, 2008

Get the federal government out of abortion decision

Q: If abortion becomes illegal and a woman obtains an abortion anyway, what should she be charged with? What about the doctor who performs the abortion?

A: The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it. We donít need a federal abortion police. Thatís the last thing that we need. There has to be a criminal penalty for the person thatís committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist. As for the punishment, I donít think that should be up to the president to decide.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Delivered 4000 babies; & assuredly life begins at conception

Q: What will you do to restore legal protection to the unborn?

A: As an O.B. doctor of thirty years, and having delivered 4,000 babies, I can assure you life begins at conception. I am legally responsible for the unborn, no matter what I do, so thereís a legal life there. The unborn has inheritance rights, and if thereís an injury or a killing, there is a legal entity. There is no doubt about it.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Sanctity of Life Act: remove federal jurisdiction

Iím surprised that I donít have more co-sponsors for my Sanctity of Life Act. It removes the jurisdiction from the federal courts & allows the states to pass protection to the unborn. Instead of waiting years for a Constitutional Amendment, this would happen immediately, by majority vote in the Congress and a presidentís signature. Itís a much easier way to accomplish this, by following what our Constitution directs us. Instead of new laws, letís just use what we have & pass this type of legislation.
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Nominate only judges who refuse to legislate from the bench

Q: Will you nominate only judges who are demonstrably faithful to the judicial role of following only the text of the Constitution, and who not only refuse to legislate from the bench, but are committed to reversing prior court decision where activist judges strayed from the judicial role and legislated from the bench?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Save ďsnowflake babiesĒ: no experiments on frozen embryos

Q: Our children were adopted as embryos. They were snowflake babies, which means that for the first part of their lives, they were frozen embryos. Can you look at them now and honestly tell me that it would be OK with you if someone used them in medical experiments and snuffed out their little lives? Is that your position?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

No tax funding for organizations that promote abortion

Q: The Mexico City Policy states that as a condition for a foreign organization to receive federal funds, they will neither ďperform nor actively promote abortion.Ē Would you work to apply this Mexico City policy to organizations within the US?

HUCKABEE: Are we being asked to apply a Mexican law to the US?

Q: Itís the principle of not giving our tax dollars to organizations within our country that actively promote or provide abortions. Itís an American law.

BROWNBACK: This is Ronald Reaganí policy that we wouldnít use federal funds to support organizations that promote abortions overseas.

HUNTER: Itís actually a UN policy.

KEYES: Actually, it was a policy of the Mexico City Population Conference. I was the deputy chairman. I actually negotiated the language into the final resolution at that conference.

Q: I want to know, will you defund Planned Parenthood?

Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Embryonic stem cell programs not constitionally authorized

Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?

A: Programs like this are not authorized under the Constitution. The trouble with issues like this is, in Washington we either prohibit it or subsidize it. And the market should deal with it, and the states should deal with it.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?

Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 3 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-020 on Jan 11, 2007

Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.

To provide for human embryonic stem cell research. A YES vote would:
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 810 ; vote number 2005-204 on May 24, 2005

Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill HR 748 ; vote number 2005-144 on Apr 27, 2005

Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act; Bill HR 1997 ; vote number 2004-31 on Feb 26, 2004

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save motherís life.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003

Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research.

Vote to pass a bill that would forbid human cloning and punish violators with up to 10 years in prison and fines of at least $1 million. The bill would ban human cloning, and any attempts at human cloning, for both reproductive purposes and medical research. Also forbidden is the importing of cloned embryos or products made from them.
Reference: Human Cloning Prohibition Act; Bill HR 534 ; vote number 2003-39 on Feb 27, 2003

Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit the federal, state and local governments that receive federal funding from discriminating against health care providers, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan, that decline to refer patients for, pay for or provide abortion services. In addition the bill would expand an existing law "conscience clause" that protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Bilirakis, R-FL; Bill HR 4691 ; vote number 2002-412 on Sep 25, 2002

Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-115 on May 16, 2001

Voted NO on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing any of 68 federal offenses or a crime under military law. Abortion doctors and women whose own actions harmed their fetuses would be exempt.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Graham, R-SC; Bill HR 503 ; vote number 2001-89 on Apr 26, 2001

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.

HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as ďpartial-birthĒ abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL; Bill HR 3660 ; vote number 2000-104 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted NO on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.

The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL; Bill HR 1218 ; vote number 1999-261 on Jun 30, 1999

No federal funding of abortion, and pro-life.

Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:

Q: What is the RLCís position on abortion?

A: Neutral. We have both pro-lifers to pro-choicers, and in between. As far as libertarian groups go, youíll find that we are probably the most tolerant of the pro-life viewpoint. Our immediate past chairman, Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX, 14th Dist.) is very pro-life. Many other members are pro-choice. As libertarians, we oppose Federal funding of abortion under any circumstances. It is not a litmus test, and it is not an issue that is often debated internally. However, the California RLC website www.LibertyCaucus.org, has sponsored a debate on the issue between two prominent members.

Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC14 on Dec 8, 2000

Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.

Paul scores 0% by NARAL on pro-choice voting record

For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: NARAL website 03n-NARAL on Dec 31, 2003

Rated 56% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion.

Paul scores 56% by the NRLC on abortion issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:

About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):

The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense. The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006

Report on Medicaid payments to abortion providers.

Paul signed Taxpayer Conscience Protection Act

Source: H.R.1981 2009-H1981 on Apr 21, 2009

Other candidates on Abortion: Ron Paul on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010