Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity show on Tuesday evening, in a special interview filmed in Louisville, Kentucky, where he had announced he was running for president earlier in the day. During the interview, Paul reaffirmed his strong pro-life position.
Host Sean Hannity mentioned that Paul had described himself as “100 percent pro-life” and had proposed a “Life at Conception Act,” and then asked, “Do you make any exceptions for abortion?”
“I think that there is something special about life,” answered Paul. “I believe in God… I think there’s something unique and special, and there is a sanctity to life.”
Paul then described how he had worked in a neonatal nursery, checking premature babies for blindness, a common problem with premature births. Some of these babies only weighed about a pound, said Paul, and he could hold them in just one hand. “And everybody says that baby has a right to life, because that baby is alive. The real debate is when does life begin? When life begins it deserves protection.”
When Hannity asked him to clarify if he meant that he believes that life begins at conception, Paul answered, “I do truly believe that, but I also understand that there can be a range of opinions, and that to make life better, and to protect more life, I’m willing to go for all kinds of ‘in between’ solutions. And I think that one thing we agree on more than others is that a five or six pound baby, even in the womb, absolutely has rights.”
Hannity asked specifically about exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother—the commonly cited exceptions that polls show draw more support but account for only a small percentage of abortions performed in the United States. According to Texas Right to Life, rape and incest account for less than 1 percent of all abortions, and only 5 percent are done for the “mother’s physical or psychological health,” which includes being stressed or worried about the pregnancy or raising a child.
Paul responded that he had supported legislation that both included and did not include these exceptions. “I want people to know that I’m pro-life and that I’m hoping to try to get incremental change,” he said, “but I’m also open to promoting that there’s something special about life in the very beginning.”
As Breitbart News reported, Planned Parenthood had attacked Paul in a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon, because of his pro-life beliefs. The “Issues” page on Paul’s website under “Sanctity of Life” states clearly his position as, “I strongly believe in the sanctity of life. I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.”
During the interview with Hannity, Paul also called on his fellow Republicans to stand up for the civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights as strongly as they do for the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
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