Pills in Front of a Pill Bottle With a Poison Label
Take Two Tablets and Kill Your Children in the Morning

Texas StateU.S. (I knew that!) Representative and probable presidential candidate, Ron Paul holds three views about abortion that are self-contradictory, as taken from his book Liberty Defined:

1. Life Begins At Conception (Or at sometime afterward).

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.

This is not a principled position but rather pragmatic one.  It is Paul’s view that killing a baby the day after conception is just birth control.  He is technically correct.  Killing a baby 10 minutes before it is born is also birth control, but neither practice is contraception.  He is also suggesting that any murders that can’t be prevented or detected should not be “policed”.  This could also apply to any other abortion, as well as the taking of lives in nursing homes or hospices, where there is no family to watch out for the victim.

2. The Federal Government Can Step in When States Permit Infanticide

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.

3. The Federal Government Can’t Step in to Protect Unborn Children.

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.

Apparently Paul accepts a ban on states allowing the private ownership of people.  But he is not creative enough or dedicated enough to the protection of unborn children to see how it is Constitutional to ban the private destruction of people.

Let’s try to reconcile his these three viewpoints.

First, he is often considered pro-life because he can articulate the moral position against abortion from the standpoint of being offensive or irrational.   But his own position is no less irrational.   By allowing for abortions in certain cases (rape and incest) and permitting the destruction of human beings after conception (the morning after pill), it is clear that he has left no place for a consistently rational position.

Second, by allowing for the preventing of infanticide to be in the jurisdiction of the federal government, there is no reason not to allow federal jurisdiction in abortion, unless he concedes that human beings in the womb are less than persons.

Third, as many other self-labeling pro-life politicians do, he fails at the point of implementing his viewpoint on abortion.  In turn, he must begin to twist his position on abortion to fit his actions.   This is exactly backwards.  Perhaps Paul would be the candidate of pro-lifers, if he really understood the inconsistency of his own viewpoint.

 

25 comments
  1. Numbers 2 and 3 go together. The point is that it is left up to the states how people are punished for things like murder. Infanticide was just an example and would also apply to a state legalizing abortion.

    1. So you are suggesting that Paul’s position is that if a state permitted its citizens to round up 8-year olds and cut them into little pieces, the federal government would have no jurisdiction over that?

      I am quite certain the example of infanticide was given to say that in that case “it could be charged with not maintaining a republican form of government, which is required by the Constitution.”

      This means that Paul does not consider unborn children to be as worthy as born persons, worthy of civil rights protections.

      1. RP isn’t saying this, but there is NO agreed upon time when a baby actually “becomes” a person. Stupid rhetoric like “if a state permitted its citizens to round up 8-year olds and cut them into little pieces, the federal government would have no jurisdiction over that” is not even worth a response. It’s too bad this issue always has to divide the Republicans/conservatives due to that kind of logic.

      2. You do realize there’s no agreed upon time when (or if) women become persons, right? And that there are still racists who make the same argument, that this or that person isn’t a human? If not, I point you to your nearest TV screen.

        There’s a perfectly reasonable point for a human to “become” a person– when the human organism begins. AKA, conception.

        This avoids the age-old problem of “oh, but THOSE humans aren’t people. We can kill them.”

        That it’s not agreed on is just fiddle-faddle. Humanity isn’t a matter of popular opinion, that all humans are people shouldn’t be, either.

      3. RP isn’t saying this, but there is NO agreed upon time when a baby actually “becomes” a person. Stupid rhetoric like “if a state permitted its citizens to round up 8-year olds and cut them into little pieces, the federal government would have no jurisdiction over that” is not even worth a response. It’s too bad this issue always has to divide the Republicans/conservatives due to that kind of logic.

      4. Well first, it would probably be a good idea to keep it in context. The context is, if the Supreme Court loses jurisdiction and the power returns to the states to be able to ban abortion (or protect life). Just as a state could be charged with not maintaining a republican form of government for allowing infanticide it could be charged with the same for allow abortion, murder, etc. Even with the very quote of this article, without context, it is clear that this is the point being made. It is not the federal government’s job to decide the punishment for these things, that is left to the states…but should the state fail to do it’s job, the federal government can charge it with not doing it’s duty. He makes it clear that he believe life starts at conception. This article is clearly biased and skewing things purposely.

      5. @4a5aba6b4b7e8e3717d25ced9ca0b776:disqus

        Do I understand you correctly? That Paul thinks states could be held accountable if their laws permit infanticide? Then why does not the same logic apply to unborn babies?

      6. Are you dense? It seemed pretty obvious that it does apply and that that is the point he was trying to make….

  2. It isn’t contradictory just because you are equating 1 day with 9 months when it comes to pregnancy. His position has always been clear: it shouldn’t be dictated by the federal government, but governed by the state and left up to the individual morally. You are very creative when it comes to defining contradiction.

    1. His position is contradictory if he holds to the personhood of unborn children. He would allow the federal government to step in to protect infants but not children in the womb. This is not a scientific, moral, or even Constitutional distinction, It is purely arbitrary.

  3. It isn’t contradictory just because you are equating 1 day with 9 months when it comes to pregnancy. His position has always been clear: it shouldn’t be dictated by the federal government, but governed by the state and left up to the individual morally. You are very creative when it comes to defining contradiction.

  4. Because Ron Paul’s gotta go down to make way for an Evangelical candidate. I too am troubled by his view, but I this sounds like a hit piece to try and keep people from considering him as a possible candidate. We need a candidate that’s willing to put their views into practice in office.

  5. He is also suggesting that any murders that can’t be prevented or detected should not be “policed”. This could also apply to any other abortion, as well as the taking of lives in nursing homes or hospices, where there is no family to watch out for the victim.

    So… poisoning homeless folks or small children would be legal, too. I can think of a LOT of ways that murder would be undetectable and unpreventable.

  6. Most of the people who would vote for Ron Paul don’t have a problem with abortion being legal. Now, they may feel it is wrong on a personal level, but most libertarians that I know are pro choice, at best they feel it is a state issue.

  7. Most of the people who would vote for Ron Paul don’t have a problem with abortion being legal. Now, they may feel it is wrong on a personal level, but most libertarians that I know are pro choice, at best they feel it is a state issue.

  8. Having established that 2 and 3 can be reconciled (the argument that a state’s responsibility position on abortion is pro-abortion is no different than Democrats claim that those of us who want to end the federal Department of Education are somehow “against education.”) Let’s look more closely at #1. What if life were defined as beginning at implantation as opposed to conception since the sperm and egg can combine and then be “aborted” naturally, and from my limited scientific understanding this is actually fairly common. That would take out at least some of the moral high ground from arguments against pills that prevent implantation. Then again, I will yield to someone who had greater scientific knowledge to clarify.

    So then David, since Dr. Paul concedes that government cannot police this situation the burden of proof falls on you to explain how government both can and should.

    Or we could just go back to the traditional Christian Republican policy that we’ll get nothing on abortion and like it. After Bush and the Republican congress, anyone doing anything against abortion would be a huge change for the better. If you want a fight with Dr. Paul, abortion is not the issue to pick it on.

    1. Claiming they’re the same isn’t establishing it, and the notion of redefining scientific terms for political advantage is abhorrent to anyone with basic respect for the scientific method.

      Life is life.

      If you mean “define all human life before X random point, based on estimates of chance for survival, as non-persons under the law” then say so.

    2. Appreciate your participation, Steve. First of all, if the pills can be shown to kill human beings and that is there only (or primary) purpose, possession of the pill can be outlawed. Difficulty in prosecution does not mean that an action should not be criminalized. Tax evasion is very difficult to prove. Even if you support the fair tax, any kind of tax is subject to fraud.

      It is the application of state’s rights to this issue that is so troubling, especially since Paul grants that infanticide could/should be a federal issue. That is the rub,

  9. I have come to believe that Paul is an Alan Keyes type of candidate who runs simply to get his message out. Not sure that he is the most effective voice for conservatives though. He seems a bit more libertarian than conservative in his views.

  10. The more rank and file Republicans try to undermine Ron Paul, the better he looks to me.

    Remember Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

    1. Paul has been speaking of Republican his whole life. He is the perpetual violator of Reagan’s 11th.

  11. He does NOT believe in abortion for rape or incest, he articulates that position then says ‘but how can you blame the child for the acts of the parent;? And his morning after pill is the kind that prevents conception from occurring in the event of rape or incest. And as for the third, the Constitution limits the powers the state gave over to the federal government, and regulating or punishing murder, at whatever age, was not one of those powers. If someone kills your neighbor you call the police, not the FBI.

    1. It prevents implantation. Not conception.

      In English, that means: it kills the little human.

      Dr. Paul should know that quite well.

  12. “Very PRO life”? Looking at your link…
    Get the federal government out of abortion decision. (Nov 2007)Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)Voted YES on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)Voted NO on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)Voted NO on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)

    Rated 56% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)Just based on your link it doesn’t look like he is “very” pro-life. It looks more like “somewhat” pro-life. Folks who see this sort of record might be tempted to call his position inconsistent.

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