Ron Paul could do better in defending the right to life

While most libertarians support legal abortion, Ron Paul is to be commended for not only resisting that trend but using his knowledge and experience as an obstetrician to promote the pro-life point of view. There are many pro-life Catholics (and other Christians) who like Ron Paul’s views on economics and foreign policy who otherwise would not support his candidacy if Ron Paul were pro-choice. Without these voters, Ron Paul’s vote totals would be definitely be lower.

So I’m glad that Ron Paul is generally pro-life. But he sure could do better on the defense of human life. Let’s look at some votes he cast before he started running for president in 2008.

  • Ron Paul voted No on a national ban on human cloning, Roll Call No. 39 on Feb. 27, 2003.
  • Ron Paul voted No on a bill that would prevent taking minors across state lines to avoid parental notification laws, Roll Call No. 479 on Sept. 26, 2006.
  • Ron Paul vote No on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which would allow federal and military prosecutors to bring charges on behalf of a child “in utero” when they have been attacked in a federal or military crime. Roll Call No. 31 on February 26, 2004.

Supporters of Ron Paul would defend him on these votes on the grounds that he’s simply a federalist and strong defender of the Constitution and that abortion shouldn’t be a federal issue. Murder like most crimes are a state crime, Ron Paul has said often.

But what about the 14th Amendment to the Constitution? This is the Amendment after all which was passed because state laws were not protecting the liberties of millions of their  citizens.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.

So when New York legalized abortion in 1970 (before Roe v. Wade) they were allowing their own citizens to be deprived of their right to life enshrined in our Constitution. Think of it this way, if Colorado passed a law allowing you to kill someone if they had red hair, would you say Congress had no right to stop Colorado? Of course not. Unlike education or energy policy, the right to life is protected by our U.S. Constitution. We should make a federal case about it.

Finally, in several debates, Ron Paul has promoted his bill called the Sanctity of Life Act. He notes that the bill would strip jurisdiction over abortion from the federal courts, thus rendering the Supreme Court unable to overturn state laws protecting unborn life (like Roe had done so notoriously 39 years ago.)

But there’s a major problem with supporters of Ron Paul using this bill to show how pro-life he is. Especially when he’s voted no on great pro-bills over the last decade. Let me explain.

Back in 2004, Republicans held both the House and the Senate and George W. Bush was in the White House. Rep. Todd Akin, R-MO, authored the Pledge Protection Act, which would strip the federal court of any jurisdiction over the Pledge of Allegiance. While his bill passed the Republican-led House, it died in the Republican-led Senate. It never reached President Bush’s desk.

While recent polls suggest that a slim majority of Americans now call themselves pro-life, it pales in comparison to the Pledge. The support for keeping ‘Under God’ in the Pledge is at 87%.

If we can’t get a court jurisdiction bill on the Pledge to become law with Republicans in charge of the House, Senate and the White House, what makes us think we could ever get Ron Paul’s bill passed? It would be naive to think this is a winning strategy. This bill has almost no chance of becoming law anytime soon. Quite simply, supporting Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act is not an effective way to combat legal abortion in the United States. And it certainly doesn’t exonerate someone for casting some bad votes.



  • Michael P Molloy

    Hardly a Novel Idea!!! Here is Judie Brown’s (President of American Life League) take on it:

    “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act protects only those babies whose mothers WANT them. When those mothers are criminally assaulted and the assault results in the death of a preborn child, then that death is a crime.

    If the same mother enters an abortion mill and pays to have that baby killed, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act does NOT apply.

    In addition, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act recognizes the legitimacy of abortion! The bill specifically states:

    Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution–

    `(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law;

    Please note that this legislation puts the pro-life movement on record as recognizing the legitimacy of the act of abortion! that will come back to haunt our pursuit of an absolute prohibition on abortion.

    Sorry, but the UVVA is not REALLY pro-life.”

    Judie Brown

    • Jason

      Thank you for that. I can’t believe someone is questioning Dr. Paul on his pro life credentials just because he has a unique strategy in defending life. I wonder why the now Catholic Jane Roe whose real name has slipped my mind but who is pro life now, endorsed Dr. Paul?

  • Michael P Molloy


    I would recommend you do more research because your understanding of Dr. Paul’s positions is extremely inaccurate. The main reason that he opposed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act was because it was NOT a pro-life piece of legislation – it was pro-choice. It only covers mothers who have chosen to allow their babies to be born. It states in the bill that it has no effect on babies “for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law”! This act also applies only when a fetus is harmed during the commission of a federal crime against the mother, such as an attack on federal land or a terrorist strike. The harming of a fetus during a crime has long been recognized in state law as a punishable offense; 29 states have laws protecting fetal rights.

    Dr. Paul is the only candidate to have NEVER voted to give any money to Planned Parenthood or any other Abortion Provider. The Abortion Industry could not survive without either it’s Tax Subsidies or the money it get’s from the Tax Free Foundations.

    Dr. Paul is also the ONLY Candidate with a Consistent Pro-Life Ethic and I would highly recommend you look into the reality of US Foreign Policy that has supported Population Control since 1974. See Human Life International’s analysis of NSSM-200, aka the ‘Kissinger Report':


    • Joshua Mercer

      Not just federal crimes, but for military crimes as well. And on our military is dealing with lots of cases of assault every year. Calling the bill “pro-choice” is a novel idea.

  • Sid

    Actions speak louder than words. Rep. Paul is Pro Life however, he is such a Libertarian that when he has had the chance to stop the killing of innocent children he has not done so based on his strict federalist positions. While he is trying to pass his bill, go ahead and vote to save lives. No excuses. Granted Santorum’s support of Spector was short sighted to those of us with 20/20 hindsite, but he supported him because he promised that he would see to it that the conservative justices would get through his committee which they did. Santorum has been consistent in his battle for life. His stance on Iran and on middle east issues is based on facts that the press refuses to report on and we, in our complacency, refuse to understand. Santorum is the best conservative running and he’s a Catholic, what more could conservative Catholics wish for?

  • Dr. Peter Howard

    It is remarkable how misinformed Catholics are both to Ron Paul’s pro-life position. He is the ONLY candidate who knows how our Constitution works, obeys it and legitimately defends it — in this case against enemies “domestic”. Few are spending any time critically analyzing HOW Ron Paul is approaching these issues and how both Catholic and Constitutional principles promote it — it’s a very important Catholic principle called “subsidiarity” — responsibilities to address the moral and economic exigencies should be dealt with (are are more properly dealt with) at the most local of levels and then when they are unable to achieve that, then seeking help from a broader level. Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life” act approached abortion in exactly that manner and would have overnight stripped the issue away from the federal courts and Roe v Wade would have become irrelevant. Where was the Catholic support behind this? It wasn’t even a news story among Catholic news media.

    The pro-life inconsistencies of Rick Santorum are egregious with his pro-preemptive war, pro-torture, pro-wars that have been PROVEN to be based on lies, pro-Patriot Act which was a massive assault on Americans’ Bill of Rights, especially the 4th Amendment . . . And’s promo video uses Santorum’s line that what motivates him is “the dignity of every human life”. What the dignity of the human lives of the innocent men, women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan (numbers which are more accurately close to or over 1 million)? John Paul II denounced the wars even before they started, especially the unjust philosophy of morally acceptable preemptive wars. Rick Santorum needs to be challenged by Catholics on his moral and political convictions many of which are consistent neither with our Faith or the US Constitution. How I wish we could legitimately rally around a Catholic candidate, but at this time, it is not possible with what is known about either Catholic candidate.

    Who will have the courage to stand up for the WHOLE TRUTH about what it means to be Catholic and pro-life? I was very pleased to watch the following by a fellow Catholic who grasps the severity of our moral and economic situation in this country and how the two of them are inextricably linked. This fellow is Dr. Tom Woods and Catholics should get to know him to help them fully examine the candidates and the critical issues we face. Here’s a brief analysis from him for your prayerful discernment:

    God bless you all.



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