On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters’ First Amendment lunch on Capitol Hill. As expected, he explained the importance of defending free speech and free expression from the always-offended Thought Police—as well as the moral urgency of preserving traditional marriage and families.
Most memorably, however, he urged conservatives to begin reframing and rethinking the way they discuss perhaps the most divisive social issue in America: abortion.
“A couple weeks ago I had a press conference in New Hampshire and they had asked me, in an interview earlier, about the issue of abortion,” he said. “And they did what all liberal groups do; they wanted to know about this exception or that exception. I think about it in the opposite terms. Should we not ask them if there are any exceptions to when you can have an abortion?”
“We’ve let them trap us on the opposite end,” he continued. “Let’s trap them where the real question is. When the vast majority of the public is with us—84 percent of the public is upset about the idea of third trimester abortions—[we must stand our ground]. And I’m not saying you stop there, but certainly that’s where the argument ought to start. We should ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and all the Democrats, ‘Do you think a seven pound baby has no rights just because it’s still in the womb?”
As it happens, Paul has already asked her that question before. And her answer was stunning. This is why the government, he believes, has a vested and legitimate interest in ending such grisly procedures.
“Sometimes people look at me and they say, ‘you’re a libertarian don’t you believe in freedom of choice?” he intoned. “Well, I do. But the thing is that I also acknowledge that the government should be involved in protecting life. I believe in the police, I believe in the army, I believe in all these things that the government is involved. [I don’t care] what kind of light bulbs you get. But in protecting you from aggressing against another individual? Absolutely yes.”
“I think we win that argument,” he added. “I think we win it hands down and I think we need to push back on it. And I’m going to continue fighting on this issue.”