Rand Paul Hammers Dems on Abortion

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rand Paul is en fuego!

After completely flipping the abortion narrative during an afternoon press conference yesterday by insisting that reporters ask if the DNC supported aborting a “seven-pound baby,” Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, lashed out at Paul in a statement:

“Here’s an answer. I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.

Now your turn, Senator Paul. We know you want to allow government officials like yourself to make this decision for women—but do you stand by your opposition to any exceptions, even when it comes to rape, incest, or life of the mother? Or do we just have different definitions of ‘personal liberty’? And I’d appreciate it if you could respond without ‘shushing’ me.”

And like that, Rand Paul won the argument. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, in a hasty attempt to shut down the argument, essentially admitted to supporting abortion to the moment of birth—even in Rand Paul’s hypothetical case of a “seven-pound baby.”

But Rand Paul wasn’t done. He stayed on offense in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN last night:

Paul: “I understand that our country is polarized on the issue, and not everyone agrees on the issue. But even most of my friends who are pro-choice will tell me, they’re not ok with seven and eight and nine pound abortions. They’re not ok with really in-stage, when the baby is fully developed, you know, there’s a bit of doubt and discussion earlier in pregnancy, but Debbie’s position, which I guess is the Democrat party position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine—I think really most pro-choice people would be a little uncomfortable with that, so I don’t know, I really think that she’s got some explaining to do, and if that’s the position of the party, a lot of pro-choice people are going to be uncomfortable with her position.”

Blitzer: “I want you to explain your position, because traditionally Libertarians believe the government shouldn’t be involved in making these kinds of personal decisions for individuals, so when should a woman have a right to have an abortion?”

Paul: “The thing is, is that there is a role for government in our lives, and the role is basically to prevent violence. And so when a baby is born—you know I’m a physician and so I examine babies in the neonatal nursery often, sometimes these babies are one and two pounds, they can fit in the palm of my hand, and everybody agrees that that baby that I examined has rights. That no one can injure that baby, and the government has a role to come, even into the household if a mother or a dad or a relative is somehow injuring a baby, that the baby has rights. So, somehow we have to decide when does a baby get rights. So, one pound baby has rights, but a seven pound baby in the uterus still, getting ready to be born or a nine pound baby would have no rights. It seems like an abrupt sort of diminution of rights, that all of a sudden you have rights and then a couple minutes before you didn’t have rights. These are very very difficult, I think, discussions, and then that’s a question of: when does life begin? And I don’t think we all agree on that. I personally believe that life is special. That human life is special, and that there is a sanctity, and that we’re more than just clay and dirt—”

Blitzer: “What about, what about rape and incest?”

Paul: “Well, you and I have had this discussion before, that there will be extenuating circumstances, and I’ve supported legislation both with exceptions and without exceptions. Basically, my point of view has been that, anything that puts forward and develops and says: you know what, there is something special about life, and there’s a role for government, I’ve supported. But that’s been a variety of things, both with exceptions and without.”

With this most recent appearance, Paul continues to articulate the pro-life position, while forcing pro-abortion activists like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to elaborate on their own radical positions.

And when that happens—when the truth comes out and the narrative is turned on its head—pro-life candidates win. Wasserman-Schultz’s advocacy for abortion without restriction simply doesn’t fly with Americans outside the Beltway. Gallup polls show that only 28 percent of people believe that abortion should be legal in all circumstances.

Rand Paul just exposed the Democrats’ radical views on abortion. By talking about the issue, he has positioned himself—almost by default, really—as the most pro-life candidate in the field. Will other GOP candidates follow suit?

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.