Ron Paul (R-Texas), presidential hopeful and Reason magazine pin-up, is a staunch anti-abortion doctor. He explains his reasoning on the blog of the CNN show In the arena:
In the 1960s, when abortion was still illegal, I witnessed, while visiting an operating theater as an OB / GYN resident, the abortion of a fetus that weighed about two pounds.
He was placed in a bucket, crying and having trouble breathing, and medical staff pretended not to notice.
Soon the crying stopped. This heartbreaking event forced me to think more seriously about this important question….
The fetus has legal rights – inheritance, the right not to be harmed or aborted by imprudent medical treatment, violence or accidents. Ignoring these rights is arbitrary and places relative rights on a small living human being.
The only question that should be debated is the moral question: whether or not a fetus has a right to life. Scientifically, there is no debate as to whether the fetus is alive and human – if it is not killed, it becomes an adult human being.
It’s as simple as that. So the timeline of when we consider a “human” fetus is arbitrary after conception, in my mind….
If an abortion doctor performs a third trimester abortion for any reason, high fees are paid and it’s perfectly legal in some states.
If a frightened teenage girl, perhaps not even knowing she was pregnant, delivers a baby and kills it, the police are out in droves to accuse her of homicide. What is really different between a fetus one minute before birth and a newborn baby one minute after birth? Biologically and morally, nothing….
Paul says cases of unprotected sex and rape can be treated with morning-after pills such as Plan B, which he says are not “abortion pills” but rather prevent conception from occurring first. location.
He also argues that he is against Roe vs. Wade not because he legalized abortion per se, but because he nationalized an issue that should be decided at the state level: “I consider it the responsibility of the state to restrict violence against every human being ”.
This is a nuanced argument for his point of view and deserves be read in full, especially if you don’t agree with him on the question (as i do). (The message from In The Arena is an excerpt from his book Definition of freedom.)
Further reading: In 2007, Paul presented the Sanctity of Life Act which asserts that life begins at conception and that federal courts have no jurisdiction over the regulation of abortion. Isn’t the first part of this incompatible with the second? While the federal government has the power to define when life begins (and the “moment of conception” is less clear as it may seem at first glance), then it seems odd that the federal government has no role to play in protecting it. Or a little differently: if federalism is the problem, shouldn’t the bill just declare that the federal government has no say in abortion and leave it the definition of when life begins? to individual states?
Whether you agree or disagree with Paul, I think hardly any other politician opens their thinking so frankly on the matter.