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Paul’s latest Iowa ad focuses on abortion
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is bringing his “abortion and liberty cannot coexist” message once again to Iowa voters. This time he’s doing so in a new television ad offering.
During his Ames Straw Poll remarks, Paul, an obstetrician, recounted a story where he observed an abortion and premature birth. Americans, he told those gathered in Ames, ““have lost our enthusiasm for freedom,” commenting on both his anti-abortion rights and anti-war stances.
He repeats the story in the new ad, asking, “Who are we to decide that we can pick and throw one away and pick up and struggle to save the other ones?”
He adds, “Unless we resolve this and understand that life is precious and we must protect life, we can’t protect liberty.”
The ad, titled “Life,” begins airing in Iowa Friday on both broadcast and cable stations, according to the campaign. It will also be aired in the early states of New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Paul is a Republican who holds many libertarian beliefs. And, for libertarians, abortion is one of the controversial areas where a valued principle of self-ownership conflicts self-responsibility. That is, one portion of libertarians believe that self-ownership dictates that no one, including a fetus, has a right live, essentially, as a parasite of another person. On the other side, libertarians argue that self-responsibility dictates that a woman, who knowingly engages in sexual intercourse, must take responsibility for the consequences of her own actions. Although this would seem to preclude situations that arise from rape or any form of forced sexual contact, this same group also often argues that no individual has the right to harm another individual — although there are continuing discussions within the libertarian community on when a fetus enters a stage of mental awareness and physical completeness that would identify it as another individual of free will.
Regardless of the controversy that continues to exist within libertarian circles, Paul’s view on abortion has been consistent — even if such views have led to criticism and his being labeled a “selective libertarian.” In 1981 he said, “Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the ‘right’ of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the ‘property rights’ of slave masters in their slaves. Moreover, by this method, the State achieves a goal common to all totalitarian regimes: it sets us against each other, so that our energies are spent in the struggle between State-created classes, rather than in freeing all individuals from the State. Unlike Nazi Germany, which forcibly sent millions to gas chambers (as well as forcing abortion and sterilization upon many more), the new regime has enlisted the assistance of millions of people to act as its agents in carrying out a program of mass murder.”
Paul has also written two books arguing for the necessity of an anti-abortion rights libertarianism — Abortion and Liberty (1983) and Challenge to Liberty: Coming to grips with the abortion issue (1990).
His 2011 ad offering is also very similar to an ad he ran in Iowa during August 2007, just before that year’s straw poll. In the previous ad Paul said, “I find it difficult not to defend life a minute before birth, just as I would defend life a minute after birth. To me, it’s recognizing the importance of life.” An announcer’s voice followed: “There’s hope for America. Be a part of it.”
Although the new and previous ads espouse on the same topic, the earlier offering was more direct with text on the screen reading, “Dr. Paul is an OB/GYN; Ron Paul = Pro-Life.”
Paul’s latest ad is embedded below: