Update: Clarification has been made on each of the pro-life bills Ron Paul has introduced.
I write this endorsement as a committed Catholic, as a self-identified member of the "personhood wing of the pro-life movement", as a wife and mother, as a homeschooler, and as an across the board, conservative Republican, committed to conserving the founding principles of America, as spelled out in our nation's founding documents: The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
I endorse Ron Paul for President.
Ron Paul is a tireless and outspoken advocate for the Right to Life. And who better to make the case for the humanity and the rights of pre-born children to our diverse ideological culture: a preacher? or an OB/GYN? Here is what the OB/GYN and Texas Congressman says about the issue of abortion at his campaign website, on the page that is entirely devoted to this issue, "Life and Liberty":
As an OB/GYN doctor, I’ve delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. Many of you may have read my book, Challenge To Liberty, which champions the idea that there cannot be liberty in a society unless the rights of all innocents are protected. Much can be understood about the civility of a society in observing its regard for the dignity of human life.
He also says, "In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."
While many "pro-life" Republicans placate pro-lifers and lead us to believe that ending legalized abortion hinges on getting enough "pro-life" judges on the Supreme Court, Ron Paul does what is in his power as a Congressman. He is the prime sponsor of HR 1094 and HR 2597 the "Sanctity of Life Act", which would require that "human life shall be deemed to exist from conception, without regard to race, sex, age, health, defect, or condition of dependency" and HR 300, the "We the People Act", which (as he says) "...would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn." He has also authored HR 1095, the "Taxpayers Freedom of Conscience Act" which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called “population control". This set of bills is the most thoughtful and pro-active approach by any congressman (or president) to ending legalized abortion.
Some in the pro-life movement have criticized Paul for not supporting a Human Life Amendment. In fact, it has been the long held belief of this writer to hold that support of a Human Life Amendment is the standard for any pro-life candidate running for office. I have not broken from this standard. In fact, Ron Paul was the first to introduce a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in his very first term in Congress, just a couple of years after Roe vs. Wade was handed down. He also strongly supports current efforts to pass Human Life Amendments to state constitutions.
Admittedly, it appears in his current language that he would oppose a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution at the federal level: "I do not believe this should be a federal matter. All issues of life and violence and crime and murder are dealt with at the local level.” I'm not sure that this translates into opposing a HLA. There have been several different versions of a HLA, and each spell out the powers and authority of the federal and state governments differently. But regardless, Ron Paul is a stalwart defender of the Right to Life, but is just as much, a defender of the rule of law, namely the Constitution. He opposes, as does the Constitution, giving too much power to the federal government. I have no doubt, however, that a President Ron Paul would work hard to restore the Right to Life, while also upholding the Constitution. To get a handle on what all he's had to say on this, I encourage you to read his writings, found linked at his Life and Liberty page.
Ron Paul's defense of the Right to Life combined with his unshakable defense of the Constitution reminds me of St. Thomas More (the patron saint of politicians) as portrayed in a scene from A Man for All Seasons:
Sir Thomas More is being urged by his son-in-law Roper and by his wife and daughter to arrest a man, a scoundrel, really, named Richard Rich, who would later betray him to King Henry. And More responds, as follows, to Roper (who is incensed that he is getting away), referring to Rich:
“And go he should if he were the devil himself until he broke the law.”
Roper says, “So now you give the devil the benefit of the law.”
And More replies, “Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?”
Roper replies, yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that.”
More responds, “Oh? And when the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the devil the benefit of the law for my own safety’s sake.”
It was after reading Ron Paul's positions on war and foreign policy, that reminded me of this scene. As awful of a tyrant Suddam Hussein was, it is not the job of our military to go around fighting the bad guys or to be the police of the world. And then I realized that on all issues, Ron Paul consistently applies this principle, holding fast to the Constitution. Further, he subscribes to St. Augustine's just war doctrine, and therefore opposed invading Iraq. Still, he offered those bent on going to war, a Constitutional way to do it, much like St. Thomas More wanted to find a way to take King Henry's oath without violating his conscience or his Church.
I am relieved to be supporting a pro-life candidate who, though is not Catholic, is not at odds with with Catholic teaching or with the statements of our former Pope, John Paul II and our current Pope, Benedict XVI, and am relieved to no longer be grappling with the Church's just war tradition, even in light of "modern realities".
For those concerned with our national defense and the morale of our troops (as I am too), consider these two facts:
1) Ronald Reagan said, "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense."
2) Ron Paul has received more financial support from active duty military, than any other candidate.
More facts about Ron Paul:
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
I hope you will join me in supporting the new "man for all seasons", Ron Paul. There is a grassroots REVOLUTION going on, and there is "Hope for America". Be a part of it!
Portrait of Ron Paul by Leah Tiscione