Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) proved once again that when he claims to stand up for civil liberties what he really means is that he stands up for the civil liberties of white guys.
Fresh off accolades even from the left of his speaking filibuster of CIA head John Brennan in the name of a never-expanding police state, Paul introduced the Life at Conception Act, a bill that would declare that human life begins at conception, grant fertilized eggs the same legal status as born persons and would completely criminalize abortion in the United States. “The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known – that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward,” Paul said in a statement. “The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress.”
Paul is a long-time supporter of criminalizing abortion at the federal level while endorsing states to do the same because he hates big government and believes that individuals should be free to make even unpopular decisions without government pressure. Oh wait. Not quite.
Paul, who also opposes the Civil Rights Act, believes it is the 14th Amendment, the very vehicle that makes the Civil Rights Act a reality, that gives Congress the power to declare life begins at conception AND that it can do so without violating Roe v. Wade. Because, you know, consistency.
Now would be a good time to remind all those libertarian-minded Paul supporters who insist they can support Paul AND women because all Paul wants to do is return abortion to the states that this proposed legislation would do the exact opposite. So, hooray! States rights!
It’s hard not to be flip with Paul here. If the mainstream conservative movement really wants this extreme position, one that takes away a woman’s right to self-autonomy at the expense of potential life, to be it’s legacy, then Paul is their guy. Because this “fetal life” talking point fails to admit that the single most effective way to keep women out of public life, to keep them dependent, is to make them unable to control their ability to become mothers. That’s the tradition Paul is trying to enshrine. Let’s be very clear about that.
Photo from gage skidmore via flickr.