Rand Paul: Ask the Other Side ‘When Does Life Begin?’

It’s time for pro-lifers to go on the offense, or so Sen. Rand Paul suggests.

On April 16, Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) addressed the pro-life movement at the Susan B. Anthony Campaign for Life Summit in Washington, D.C. Referencing his back-and-forth with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the 2016 presidential candidate stressed that the pro-life movement must ask the other side, “When does life begin?” That question, he suggested, will keep the media from placing pro-lifers “neatly” in a “box.”

From the beginning, Paul spoke about his work in the neonatal nursery as a physician in ophthalmology.

“I see these little babies. I mean, really tiny babies, 600 grams, a little over a pound, sometimes 500 grams, that survive,” he said. “When I see these little babies, and I put them in the palm of my hand, I think, ‘Well, gosh, this baby certainly has rights.’“ 

“We do have a debate: when does life begin?” he pressed. 

Rather than playing defense, Sen. Paul recommended pro-lifers move to the offense. 

“[N]o one’s talking about, ‘Well, gosh, shouldn’t the other side have to justify why this baby didn’t have any rights?” he began. “Shouldn’t the other side have to decide when do rights begin? Are they really okay – is the whole country okay with saying your rights begin after birth and then the baby has no rights when it’s [a] 7-, 8- pound baby?’

Those comments referenced a back-and-forth between Sen. Paul and Rep. Wasserman Schultz. When a New Hampshire journalist asked Sen. Paul about abortion April 8, Sen. Paul responded, “You go back and you ask [Rep.] Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a seven-pound baby that is just not yet born yet.” 

Exposing a media double-standard, Sen. Paul continued, “When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.” That probe has haunted her since.

At the event, Sen. Paul also highlighted how “babies bigger in the womb” than 1-lb babies outside it “have no rights.”

By not demanding the media talk about these issues and that they ask the other side hard, honest questions about them, “I think we allow ourselves to be put in boxes,” he said. “[W]e’ve been put in a box [by the media], instead of saying to the other side, ‘Do you really think there’s nothing special about life?’

At another point, Sen. Paul addressed pro-choice critics who point out his libertarian leaning. 

“One of the main roles that government has is to restrict you from harming another individual,” he said. “I’m in fact one of the biggest believers in choice, in liberty, he continued, “[b]ut you can’t have liberty if you don’t protect where your liberty originates from, and that’s your right to life.”

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