Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has always claimed to be a right to life advocate, and this will be a major theme in his 2012 presidential campaign. He says “I believe beyond a doubt that a fetus is a human life deserving of legal protection,” and he is now repeating that message in front of many anti-abortion organizations.
Abortion and the 2012 Campaign
The Congressman has gained considerable support since his 2008 campaign, and this is especially true among young people. Many of the Congressman’s views are controversial, but Republicans who dismiss him are making a mistake. The Ron Paul campaign has the enthusiasm, dedication and money to achieve 20% of the vote in the first five 2012 GOP primaries which will lead into the 14 state Super Tuesday.
The lawmaker will be 77 next year and will not be nominated, but he clearly has the potential to be a kingmaker. The libertarians could well determine the GOP nominee, platform and future direction of the party.
The Paul strategy is to move beyond his libertarian base and to gather support from the Tea Party and religious right. Evangelicals have long dominated Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential precinct caucuses, and social issues will continue to be their dominant concern. The religious right is also strong in South Carolina, 28 New Hampshire state legislators belong to Paul’s Republican Liberty Caucus, and the Congressman’s best state in 2008 was Nevada where he came in second.
To achieve his goals Paul has been emphasizing his record as a social conservative. He has made many impressive statements in support of the pro-life movement, but his base of support is the Libertarian Party which has always been pro-abortion.
Paul is able to straddle both groups with his “Sanctity of Life Act”. The Congressman can tell right-to-lifers he has the best legislation to achieve their goal, and at the same time he can assure his libertarian base that they have nothing to worry about and abortion will continue to be legal. Rep. Paul says:
I’m surprised I don’t have more co-sponsors for my Sanctity of Life Act. It removes the jurisdiction from the federal courts and 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 president’s signature. It’s a much easier way to accomplish this, by following what our Constitution directs us. Instead of new laws.
What the Congressman is not mentioning is that the Sanctity of Life Act is a federal law which would give states the authority to allow abortions. The Congressman is essentially saying he wants it to be legal to kill a child if a state agrees. He is saying the federal government has no right to tell states what they can do regarding abortion, and this would return the nation to the situation which existed prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. On the one hand the Congressman says the purpose of government is to protect life, and on the other he is saying this should no longer be a federal responsibility. He views abortion as an act of violence but wants no involvement by the federal government.
Once again, Paul’s pro-life rhetoric is aimed at evangelicals who dominate the Iowa presidential precinct caucuses. They have tremendous power and and Pat Robertson defeated George H.W. Bush in Iowa in 1988. Many evangelicals believe Rep. Paul is pro-life and it is easy to understand why. He says Right to Life is the foundation for all rights in the Constitution. He says those who reject this fundamental transcendent right reject the basis of both the Declaration and the Constitution. Once again, abortion has always been fine with him if it is approved at the state level.
After 38 years of judicial involvement there will have to be a federal solution, so Rep. Paul’s solution is impractical. By returning this issue to the states discriminatory practices would be established. All unborn children deserve a right to life from the moment they are “created”. In other words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Federal Government Should Have Nothing To Say About Abortion
Abortion is the first issue discussed in Paul’s new book “Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom.” Libertarian leader Lew Rockwell discussed Paul’s position in his book review: “If a community wants to permit the practice, Dr. Paul’s view is that the federal government should have nothing to say about it either way.” Ron Paul had the same position on slavery and civil rights. He is the only Member of Congress who is opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He believes if a state supported slavery or segregation it should be of no concern of the federal government. He wants the federal government to regulate very few things.
Paul will not acknowledge that human rights trump states’ rights. States’ rights is an important element of the Paul campaign, but states really have powers, not rights. It is the people who have rights.
Opposes Federal Law To Ban Abortion
Similar to many liberal Democrats, the Congressman says he is personally opposed to abortion. They all say we should educate people rather than having restrictive laws. He compares abortion to prohibition, and says laws to restrict alcohol were not effective because you can not force people. In his recent video he says abortion laws will not work, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ctsja3awrD4#at=144
He has said abortion should be illegal, but does not want to do anything about it. He does not believe there should be any liability for seeking an abortion, and he does not support a federal right to life constitutional amendment. He has repeatedly stated that a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be invalid. Despite his pro-life rhetoric, Ron Paul says nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to ban abortion, and he opposes such a federal law:
Under the 9th and 10th amendments, all authority over matters not specifically addressed in the Constitution remains with state legislatures. Therefore the federal government has no authority whatsoever to involve itself in the abortion issue. So while Roe v. Wade is invalid, a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be equally invalid.
The 14th Amendment
The pro-life movement wants to end legal abortion, reverse the Roe v. Wade decision, and restore legal protection for unborn children. Some advocate a human life amendment, while others believe the Constitution under the 5th and 14th amendments already provide for legal protection for all human beings. The pro-life movement has long argued that Roe v. Wade could be overturned if the Supreme Court said an unborn child was a “person,” which would then give it protection under the 14th Amendment of 1868 which says:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This is also unacceptable to Congressman Paul who says the 9th and 10th amendments guarantee states’ rights, but he claims the 14th amendment is part of “the imaginary Constitution.” The 14th amendment was enacted three years after the Civil War and its major motivation was to stop southern states from discriminating against blacks. The equal protection clause meant there could not be one set of rules for whites and another set for blacks. This was used to strike down the separate but equal doctrine advocated by segregationists.
The Libertarian Party Has Always Supported Abortion
Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian Party nominee for President. Their official position is “Government should be kept out of the matter of abortion.” Once again, Congressman Paul is “pro-choice for states” on abortion. He believes individual states should be able to legalize abortion if they so choose. The Congressman does not believe pre-born babies have a God given right to their own lives which no individual state may ever violate.
Abortion and Human Rights
Once again, Paul will not acknowledge that human rights trump states’ rights. He is against any federal law protecting a right to life, and says it is not mentioned in the Constitution. In the same manner the Congressman is against the UN Human Rights Declaration. If there is genocide or ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia he believes it is none of our business.
If Nazi Germany has a holocaust of its own Jews, he believes it is no concern of ours. When Kuwait was wiped off the map by Saddam Hussein in 1990, he wanted no response. UN troops were present in Rwanda in 1994, but he did not want them to disarm the Hutus. They killed over 800,000 people in 100 days. The Bush administration said Darfur was a genocide with over 300,000 dead, but Ron Paul did not agree. He always wants to do nothing when confronted by evil.
The United States does have financial problems and we can not be everywhere and do everything, but there are times when our participation is needed. In Bosnia, the Europeans provided the ground troops, and African nations could have taken the lead role in Darfur and Rwanda.
The Congressman always denounces Abraham Lincoln because of states’ rights. In 1860 the southern states said slavery was legal, and Ron Paul believes it was wrong to interfere with them. He believes the North should have left the South alone, and there should have been no Civil War. If slavery still existed in the South, he believes it would be a states’ rights issue, and the federal government should not act.
In 1960 these same states would not allow black children to go school with whites. Blacks could not eat in public restaurants and they were denied the right to vote. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was necessary but once again, Ron Paul is the only Member of Congress who opposes it to this day.