Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ron Paul on Abortion

Pro-life doctor and Congressman Ron Paul recently spoke out on prenatal rights. His strong pro-life stance is due in part to a shocking personal experience: while a resident ob/gyn, he witnessed a failed abortion, and watched as the tiny newborn struggled to breathe. The child, who received no medical attention, didn't stand a chance. (Jill Stanek, who was a nurse before becoming a famous pro-life blogger, has a similar testimony.)

I applaud Ron Paul for everything he has done for the right to life on a national level. Interestingly, however, he says that abortion should really be a state issue:
He also argues that he is against Roe v. Wade not because it legalized abortion per se but because it nationalized an issue that should be decided at the state level: "I consider it a state-level responsibility to restrain violence against any human being."
In a way, this makes perfect sense. After all, laws against post-natal murder are enacted at the state level. There is generally no need for federal laws banning murder, assualt, rape, and other forms of violent crime.

The key difference, of course, is that there is no ideology, adopted by nearly half of Americans, which holds that assualt is a constitutional right. Assault is guaranteed to be illegal in every state by popular demand; abortion is not.

When Roe v. Wade is overturned, pro-life advocates are prepared to go to work to protect preborn life state by state. In some states, this will be easy. But other states-- I'm thinking primarily of New York and California-- are pro-abortion strongholds. This could lead to an unacceptable divide of "life states" and "choice states," similar to the antebellum free state/slave state divide. History suggests that such variation in human rights from state to state will become untenable. There will be pressure for uniform federal protection of the right to life, perhaps in the form of a constitutional amendment.

What do you think?


Robert Treat said...

A couple of years ago a poster on a pro-life forum had some interesting things to say. This was someone who started out as a pro-choicer and came around to our side. What she had to say was well-thought out, and I've saved this particular thread. I wasn't able to post the link on the first try, so I've placed the link in my own blogger profile. I've also tried to post only excerpts from that post. You can see the entire post and responses to it by going to the link I've described.

Abortion is not simple. It is very complicated. Anyone who tries to simplify it is hurting their cause, no matter if they are pro-choice or pro-life. There are way too many loop-holes if you try to simplify.

Legislation... I would be in favor of legislation that made elective abortions illegal, but only if it contained within it a comprehensive set of programs to educate, care for, and counsel men and women of all ages in relation to sexual education, preventative measures like birth control/condoms/etc, prenatal care, crisis pregnancy counseling and housing, post-natal care, adoption services, etc. It's not fair to make a law and then expect things to be perfect. There may be programs out there that do all of this, but they are independent and unorganized. They need structure so that we can be assured that women are receiving the support they really need.

Hormonal contraceptives: I'm still for it. I do feel that if independent research can conclusively prove that certain brands prevent implantation more than 50% of the time they should NOT be able to legally call their product a contraceptive, since that is a lie. I feel prevention is very important.

Punishment if elective abortion was made illegal: Here's another biggie. Some of you will consider this to be too harsh, others, not harsh enough, considering there are those of you who sentence her to death and/or a life in jail after the first abortion.

1st offense: Jail/fine the doctor and investigate the clinic, arresting any others involved. Send the mother to counseling, or she goes to jail. Abortion is a symptom, not the disease itself. Her family/life should be investigated too if something comes up about it. She committed a crime; a background check isn't unusual or extreme.

2nd offense: Same deal for doctor/clinic. Woman has some jail time and counseling. Clearly there's something wrong here. A full investigation of her and those she knows should be done if it wasn't already; it may be possible that she's being forced to have the abortions, in which case she's a victim too.

3rd offense+: 50 years prison for each additional abortion. How's she going to get an abortion in prison, anyway? If it was shown on the first two offenses that no one is forcing her to abort, then she's doing it on purpose, which is criminal.

A woman has the right to control her body.
"What if the woman is in the unborn state?"

Being female does not give me a right to kill my children.

A woman's uterus is HERS alone. It is a haven and a cradle for her child, a sanctuary. People from both sides of this debate need to stop trying to emotionally manipulate women by scaring them or guilting them or angering them. Get your pickets out of her uterus; I don't care what side you're on!!

Marysia said...

I think that anyone who has the slightest objection to abortion needs to be out there busting their rump to ensure that every woman who needs these programs can readily access contraceptives, prenatal care, maternal child nutrition, child support, open unpressured adoption. Whatever it takes to help her prevent a crisis pregnancy, or get through & beyond one that has already started. These are public, collective responsibilities too large and lifesaving and urgent to be thrown on the mercy of the private sector. So how do libertarians not to mention a lot of conservatives propose to take care of these inescapable responsibilities? Private sector pregnancy charities do some good, yes, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to the vast need, and their work depends an awful lot on referrals to government programs such as WIC and Medicaid.

Abolitionist said...

well you just said it. We are really divided, so which is more realistic? Getting legal protection for the unborn in certain states, or tryong to get both pro-life and pro-choice senators to ratify a human life amendment. Maybe after enough awareness the pro-choice states will come to realize the errors of their ways and then a huma life ammendment would be more practical, but for now, legal protection from state gov'ts is more practical.

Angela said...

Varying bans on abortion from state to state? That would be interesting. Let's say New York bans it after 12 weeks old and Vermont bans it at 16 weeks, so if a woman from New York is pregnant for 13 weeks goes to Vermont then her baby suddenly becomes not human just by crossing state borders?