If Ron Paul were President, 16 to 28 states would keep abortion legal

Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?
Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?

From the Weekly Standard. (H/T Triablogue)


“[Ron Paul] has an outstanding chance of winning in Iowa,” according to Bob Vander Plaats, who served as Mike Huckabee’s 2008 state campaign chairman. “There’s a lot about Ron Paul that people like,” Vander Plaats says, pointing to Paul’s “almost prophetic” vision of our economic problems and his commitment to do away with “politics as usual.”

But Paul could face trouble with values voters in Iowa, where 60 percent of GOP caucusgoers are evangelical Christians. Vander Plaats says his socially conservative umbrella organization, the Family Leader, has ruled out endorsing Paul because “sometimes [Paul’s] libertarian views trump his moral compass.”

“On abortion, [Paul] believes that’s a states’ rights issue, we believe that’s a morality issue,” says Vander Plaats. In a post-Roe v. Wade world, “We don’t believe abortion should be legal in Maine and illegal in Iowa.” (Paul voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003, but expressed deep reservations about voting for a federal law on abortion.)

“We’re very concerned” about Paul’s position that the government shouldn’t recognize civil marriage, Vander Plaats continues. The group also balks at some of Paul’s foreign policy views. ”Even though we may agree with him that we’re not called to be the policeman of the world, we do believe we’re called to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel,” says Vander Plaats. “And we do believe [a nuclear-armed] Iran is a definite threat not only to Israel, but to our freedom as well.”

[…]Vander Plaats says he doesn’t think very many Iowa voters are aware that Paul thinks it should be up to states to decide whether or not to protect human life. But now that Paul leading in the Iowa polls, his positions may come under greater scrutiny.

Here’s a 2006 USA Today article listing the states that would make abortion legal under Ron Paul’s plan.


Twenty-two state legislatures are likely to impose significant new restrictions on abortion. They include nearly every state in the South and a swath of big states across the industrial Rust Belt, from Pennsylvania to Ohio and Michigan. These states have enacted most of the abortion restrictions now allowed.

Sixteen state legislatures are likely to continue current access to abortion. They include every state on the West Coast and almost every state in the Northeast. A half-dozen already have passed laws that specifically protect abortion rights. Most of the states in this group have enacted fewer than half of the abortion restrictions now available to states.

Twelve states fall into a middle ground between those two categories. About half are in the Midwest, the rest scattered from Arizona to Rhode Island.

[…]The 22 states likely to enact new restrictions include 50% of the U.S. population and accounted for 37% of the abortions performed in 2000, the latest year for which complete data were available.

The 16 states likely to protect access to abortion include 35% of the U.S. population and accounted for 48% of the abortions performed.

So Ron Paul, far from being pro-life, would allow abortion on demand in 16 to 28 states, many of them the most populous states in the union – like California and New York. I understand that he calls allowing abortion in 16 to 28 states “pro-life”, but voters have to think and decide – is that really pro-life? Is it really pro-life when the number of abortions per year will drop from 1.1 million to 550,000? Is that pro-life? (Assuming that the people in the pro-life states don’t just cross the border to get an abortion elsewhere – which is false, of course). Paul’s position is that he is personally pro-life, but he thinks that other people should be allowed to decide if an unborn baby can be killed or not, at the state level. Isn’t that pro-choice though?

Similarly, Paul would allow states to redefine marriage to be anything they want it to be, since he thinks that the definition of marriage is an issue that states should decide. That’s his view. Is that pro-marriage? Does that position take seriously the need for children to be raised by a mother and a father?

6 thoughts on “If Ron Paul were President, 16 to 28 states would keep abortion legal”

  1. Don’t you think this is really reaching, particularly when Ron Paul’s main opposition is Romney the big government liberal, and Gingrich the big government moderate? This is like saying a man with a 100% pro-life voting record isn’t really “pro-life” because if he were in power there would still be back alley abortions.

    Do you deny that turning this into a states right issues where 22 to 34 states outlawed abortion would be a vast improvement over the current situation? Come on. Object to his principles perhaps, but let’s not pretend the one guy who’s actually worked with pregnant women in the most intimate sense of the word and who has been staunchly pro-life is somehow “not really pro-life” because his views would only likely lead to abortion being outlawed in the majority of states.

    Again, this is particularly silly when you see how many Republicans, particularly Republicans running for president this year, more or less give Roe v Wade up as the law of the land.


    1. I have posted about 2 dozen posts against Romney. But I like Gingrich’s 98% pro-life record of the top tier candidates, and Bachmann and Santorum are better still. What I said about the effects of Paul’s plan is accurate.


      1. I’m not disputing the ‘effects’, insofar as they’re how the votes would possibly break down if they were held right now and the issue was decided at the state level. I’m disputing whether it’s right to deny Ron Paul is pro-life given that he thinks the entire issue is a state rather than federal issue.

        Do you think that Paul’s view is “Okay, let’s let the states settle this. Now the pro-life movement is complete.”? Or would Paul then support state-level pro-life movements?


  2. I for one think that cutting the annual abortions in the United States in half would be a tremendous step forward. I mean 550,000 abortions per year is obviously 550,000 too many. But when you look at it realistically, no president elected to office has been able to bring the annaul fetus homicide rate below one million per year. And I’m not saying that being pro-life doesn’t matter. Far from it, it’s unconscienable to support the genocide of the unborn. But sugguesting that Ron Paul is not pro-life because some states would be opposed to him is tantamount to saying George Bush was not pro life because democrats opposed him. Whether it is congressmen, supreme court justice members, or states that oppose you; its inevitable that forces will oppose you when you try to advance the pro life movement. It’s not even handed to blackball Ron Paul because some states would retain the legality of abortion, when you know that even if your boy Newt Gingrich was elected the supreme court justice members will still maintain Roe vs Wade. And in both instances abortion will remain legal in at least parts of the United States.


  3. apologeticssavant says:

    “I for one think that cutting the annual abortions in the United States in half would be a tremendous step forward. I mean 550,000 abortions per year is obviously 550,000 too many.”

    What makes you think that’s anything more than a pipe dream?

    To begin with, that would require Congressional action. Well, Ron Paul is a 12-term Congressman. Hasn’t had any success getting it passed thus far.

    Even if it were passed, it would be subject to judicial review. Any Federal judge could strike it down.


    1. That is exactly the point of my post. It is pipe dream

      “But when you look at it realistically, no president elected to office has been able to bring the annaul fetus homicide rate below one million per year.”

      Obviously Ron Paul isn’t going to come in on a white horse and repeal Roe vs. Wade. But neither are any of the canidates. Even if they got an momentum what so ever, as you say, “any federal judge could strike it down”


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