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?

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

  1. I hope I’ve changed a few people’s mind about abortion. I have on my facebook page a picture of a foetus (born early at 12 weeks). It does not look like a bunch of cells, it looks like a very tiny baby trying to suck it’s thumb. I don’t live in America, but wish I could get this picture to these people who say it’s not an idividual, it’s just a bunch of cells.

    By the way, I put that picture at the top of my main page every morning.

  2. This post seems to not understand incrementalism in the States. The US simply will not go from allowing abortions on demand to blanket-banning them overnight.

    Because Rick Santorum is running, we have a greater chance of being more pro-life in public policy, but if he weren’t running, WK, would you support Paul in at least limiting abortion if we couldn’t stop it completely?

    1. Abortion came in, in stages. We will not get rid of it in one go, but we have to take it step by step. Wish we could just get rid of it. I was doing a pro-life stand in one of our local markets when I still lived in UK. someone came up really annoyed cos he thought we were pro-abortion. turned out he and his wife had been told after a scan that the baby would be severely disabled and if she did live would be like a cabbage. Because they didn’t agree with abortion their doctor took them off his books cos he wasn’t prepared to have a severely disabled child as a patient. The man then pointed to a girl of about 7 and said ‘does she look severely disabled. All she had was a limp.’ the man and his wife took over our stand for us so that we could go and get something to eat. Let’s face it, many children are supposed to be so disabled and aren’t. Some women use it as birth control cos they can’t be bothered to take a pill every day. Whatever pro-choice say, it is a life, and killing it is murder.

  3. Ron Paul has real issues. Actually with social issues. For instance, he thinks that

    Paul: Social issues are a loser in the election


    I really can’t understand this guy. The greatest president in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan, embraced social issues. And he won. GWB won.

    Paul can’t seem to think that there might be other principles that are important. Or he skips over important defining principles in our founding documents: That there are self-evident truths, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights: life.

    Certain social issues aren’t losing, and shouldn’t be left to states. The appropriate response is to disagree, and work against incorrect judgements. In this case, it is too work incrementally for the cause of life until there is a wholesale turnaround.

    This was the basis behind Lincoln’s reasoning: states could not be divided on foundational moral issues. And to take no stand on important issues, like Douglas wanted to do in the debates, was still to take a stand. For Paul this applies, since it would mean that he would not work for pro-life issues. It’s really too bad, since Paul does have a good understanding of economic issues.

  4. I’m certainly no fan of Ron Paul (although he does have some good things to say), but I think that there are other things that we can do regarding abortion. Rather than putting all our money down on making it illegal, I think we should take note of Obama and the liberal tactics and regulate it to death. that would be a whole lot easier, at least it seems to me.

  5. Whenever Ron Paul says that something should be decided by the states he is not making a moral judgment one way or the other. He is simply saying that the federal government has far over-reached the original intent of the constitution. If abortion were a state issue, we would immediately have states that would ban it. That is progress for LIFE. It would also be easier to work state by state to change the law than it is to work at the national level.

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