Rand Paul on Abortion



Fund community health centers instead of Planned Parenthood

Q: You've suggested doing away with federal funding for Planned Parenthood because "We have doubled the funding for community health centers."

A: I think most Americans don't want their tax dollars going to this. I think most people do want to defund this. We have 9,000 community health centers that do everything Planned Parenthood does, but they don't get into abortions. So it would be much less emotional for everyone if we just funded community health centers.

Q: Do you support continued funding for community health centers?

A: I do support a role for government in community health centers. The specific bill, including it in ObamaCare, obviously would make it such that I can't support that particular bill.

Q: Ted Cruz said he's prepared to shut down the government, if that's what it takes to defund Planned Parenthood. Do you support that?

A: I support any legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood. But I don't think you can start out with your objective to shut down the government.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015

Force a Senate vote on defunding Planned Parenthood

Q: [After videos that claimed to show Planned Parenthood representatives selling fetal tissue]: You offered an amendment to the highway funding bill to defund Planned Parenthood, but it looks dead--your next step?

PAUL: I've submitted a discharge petition--this is highly unusual for a non-leadership position to submit a discharge petition. This means that I'm going to try to force a vote on this. I really think that the time has come in our country to debate whether people want their taxpayer dollars going to this kind of procedure.

Q: And it looks like you're not going to get a vote on the Senate floor?

PAUL: They may block me today on this bill, but I'm trying to file for a discharge position to have a separate bill. If I have 16 senators to sign a bill saying they think we should defund Planned Parenthood, and I guarantee you that people across America who are outraged by this are going to call their senators and say, "Have you signed Rand Paul's discharge petition?"

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 26, 2015

Stop flow of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions

As a physician, one of the first things we learn is to 'Do no harm.' Since Roe v. Wade decision, over 50 million children have been killed in abortion procedures. As President, I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade, in an effort to stop harming the lives of the unborn.

Our government should not be responsible for funding abortions, and as President, I will attempt to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to groups who perform or advocate for abortion.

I believe we may be able to save millions of lives, and do no harm, by allowing states to pass their own anti-abortion laws. By giving this power to the states, I sincerely believe we would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues" , Apr 7, 2015

Supports "Plan B" morning-after contraception

[During an appearance at the College of Charleston], a young woman in the audience asked if Paul, who sponsored an anti-abortion bill in 2013 that defines life as beginning at fertilization, is opposed to Plan B, the emergency contraception commonly known as the morning-after pill.

A number of social conservatives--plenty of them in Iowa--have condemned the morning-after pill as an on-demand abortion drug, sometimes confusing the contraceptive with RU-486, which can be used to induce abortion.

Noticeably uncomfortable with the question, Paul first gave a terse answer: "I am not opposed to birth control," he said. After a pause, he elaborated. "That's basically what Plan B is. Plan B is taking two birth control pills in the morning and two in the evening, and I am not opposed to that."

Source: CNN.com 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2014

Supports religious freedom to deny contraceptive coverage

Sen. Paul today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court's ruling sided with Hobby Lobby on the contraception mandate: "Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious freedom by taking a stand with Hobby Lobby. Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment," Sen. Paul said. "Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty."

BACKGROUND: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby is a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to be exempt from providing contraception in their healthcare plan, if its owners religiously object, and there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief. The decision is an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Source: 2014 official Senate press release, "Hobby Lobby" , Jun 30, 2014

Thousands of exceptions follow from maternal health

Senator Rand Paul opposes a national law banning same-sex marriage and federal penalties for drug offenders, and said there could be "thousands of exceptions" to any abortion ban. For many of the evangelical Christians and abortion-rights opponents who dominate Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, the traditional first round of primary season voting, those positions are unacceptable.

In Paul's view, human life begins at conception and should be granted legal protection from that moment on, although he muddied his message with a March 19 CNN interview where he said that as a physician he could see where there could be "thousands of exceptions" that could make abortion legal. An aide later clarified that Paul meant that a singular exception to save the life of the mother would likely cover thousands of medically different individual cases.

Source: John McCormick article, "Rand Paul Cuts Own Path" , May 10, 2013

Personhood at conception, including embryonic stem cells

Paul is solidifying his outreach to the religious right by proposing a bill focused on one of his pet issues: granting legal rights and protections to fertilized eggs. Paul has introduced the so-called Life at Conception Act, which would grant "personhood" to fertilized eggs, effectively banning abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, many forms of birth control, and assisted reproductive treatments.

[FROM LIBRARY OF CONGRESS]: S.583 & H.R.1091: Life at Conception Act
Sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul along with 132 House members. Introduced 3/12/2013
Declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being. Prohibits construing this Act to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.

Source: RH Reality Check 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 8, 2013

Coarsening of our culture led to 50 million unborn deaths

The coarsening of our culture towards violent death has more consequences than war. Tragically, this same culture has led to the death of 50 million unborn children in the last 40 years. I don't think a civilization can long endure that does not have respect for all human life, born and not yet born. I believe there will come a time when we are all judged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath.
Source: Speech at 2012 Values Voters Summit , Sep 14, 2012

My opponents call me libertarian but I'm pro-life

Sarah Palin's endorsement [in the Kentucky GOP Senate primary] gave us a boost that energized supporters, brought in new ones, and, of course, annoyed my opponent and his Republican bosses to no end.

In talking to Palin, one of the primary things I wanted to do was allay her fears about social issues, telling her, "My opponents call me a libertarian but I want to assure you that I am pro-life." Palin responded, "Oh, we all have a little libertarian in us."

I do not apologize for believing there is too much government involvement in the private lives of Americans. Trying to portray me or my father as not pro-life--or saying I want to legalize heroin, or prostitution, or making other outlandish claims-- are smears Republican establishment types have always attempted. This race would be no different. One could make the argument that if sincerity is measured by proposed legislation, my dad is arguably the most pro-life member of the House.

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 78 , Feb 22, 2011

Life begins at conception

Dr. Paul believes life begins at conception. He recognizes the most basic function of government is to protect life. It is unconscionable that government would facilitate the taking of innocent life. Dr. Paul opposes any federal funding for abortion.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Opposes federal abortion funding.

Paul opposes the CC survey question on funding abortion

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic:"Public funding of abortions, (such as govt. health benefits and Planned Parenthood)"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q1b on Aug 11, 2010

Prohibit federal funding for abortion.

Paul signed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Source: H.R.3 &S.906 11-S906 on May 5, 2011

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