Republican Senator Rand Paul boldly declared last week when he introduced the Life at Conception Act that “human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection.”
However, during an interview on Tuesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Kentucky senator seemed to soften his tone when asked about abortion in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.
“Just to be precise, if you believe life begins at conception, which I suspect you do, you would have no exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. Is that right?” Blitzer asked.
“What I would say is that there are thousands of exceptions. I’m a physician and every individual case is going to be different,” Sen. Paul responded. “Everything is going to be particular to that individual case and what is going on that mother and the medical circumstances of that mother.”
I would say that, after birth, we’ve decided that when life begins, we have decided that we don’t have exceptions for one-day-olds or a six-month-olds. We don’t ask where they came from or how they came into being.
But it is more complicated, because the rest of it depends on the definition of when life comes in. So I don’t think it’s as simple as checking a box and saying, “Exceptions” or “No exceptions.”
I’ve been there at the beginning of life. I’ve held one pound babies in my hand that I examined their eyes. I’ve been there at the end of life. There are a lot of decisions made privately by families and their doctors that really won’t, the law won’t apply to. But I think it is important that we not be flippant one way or the other and pigeonhole and say, “Oh, this person doesn’t believe in any sort of discussion between family.”
“I don’t know if there’s a simple way to put me in any category on any of that,” he concluded.
“Well, it sounds like you believe in some exceptions,” Blitzer pressed.
“Well, there is going to be, like I say, thousands of extraneous situations where the life of the mother is involved and other things that are involved,” the senator responded.
“I would say that each individual case would have to be addressed and even if there were eventually a change in the law, let’s say people came more to my way of thinking,” he continued, “there would still be a lot of complicated things the law may not ultimately be able to address in the early stages of pregnancy that would have to be part of what occurs between the physician and the woman and the family.”
What I don’t believe that I can compromise on is that I think that there is something special about life and that all of the rights that we spend time up here discussing … all of these things stem from a sort of a primordial right to your life and how you use it.
Watch the senator’s comments here:
Sen. Paul announced the Life at Conception Act last Friday.
“The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans,” he said. “I plan to ensure this is upheld.”
The bill’s 15 Republican cosponsors include Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Daniel Coats (Ind.), Thomas Coburn (Okla.), Michael Enzi (Wyo.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Charles “Chuck” Grassley (Iowa), John Hoeven (N.D.), James “Jim” Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), James Risch (Idaho), John Thune (S.D.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.)
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