Monday, January 24, 2011

Rand Paul on March for Life

Sen. Rand Paul has issued a press release on today's March for Life in Washington, to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Kentuckians will recall that there was some question during the Republican primary as to the sincerity of Paul's opposition to abortion. This was an issue that Trey Grayson tried to raise with no success.

What is interesting about this press release, therefore, is that Paul doesn't rely on platitudes; he offers specific policies that he will vote for. I agree with all of them except his plan to strip federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases involving abortion.

The reasoning of Roe is much like the reasoning of the Dredd Scott decision; the former objectifies the unborn while the latter objectified slaves. The Human Life Amendment is the necessary corollary to the 13th and 14th amendments. I hope Paul will use his considerable energy to make this amendment a reality.

Likewise, Paul is correct to co-sponsor the Life at Conception Act, which, according to Paul "declares that all unborn persons are entitled to the equal protection of our laws from the moment of conception." It took a century, but our experience with slavery taught us that a constitutional amendment is not necessarily enough without a federal statute to flesh out the rights at issue.

Paul asserts that"state governments should be allowed to pass their own pro-life laws. If they were allowed to do so, many of our state governments would pass laws that would save countless unborn lives. In fact, prior to Roe, abortion was illegal in most states."

But if states try to outlaw abortion now, while Roe remains the law, those state statutes would be unconstitutional. Certainly a state could pass a law that outlaws abortion after the ratification of the Human Rights Amendment, but why bother? The constitutional amendment would make the state law redundant.

Still, I'm glad to see that Paul's commitment to the unborn is sincere and backed up with specific plans. He's off to a strong start.

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