Senator Paul clarifies his pro-life position

A follow-up to yesterday’s story about Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) somewhat muddled defense of the very clear pro-life positioned in his Life at Conception Act, which declares the full protection of the Fourteenth Amendment should apply to unborn humans from the moment of conception:

LifeSiteNews headlines a post on Thursday as “Senator Rand Paul Clarifies Remarks On Abortion, Confirms He Is 100% Pro-Life,” but that’s not entirely accurate.  It was actually the Senator’s spokesman and chief of staff, Doug Stafford, who sallied forth to do the clarifying.

Declaring that Senator Paul “believes life begins at conception” and introduced the Life at Conception Act because “he is pro-life,” Stafford responded to a piece in the Atlantic Wire headlined “Rand Paul Isn’t 100% Pro-Life Anymore.”

Paul “was speaking medically,” Stafford said.

By “thousands of exceptions,” Stafford told, Paul meant that a singular exception to save the life of the mother would likely cover thousands of individual cases – for example, ectopic pregnancies or others that directly threaten the mother’s life.

The senator is not in favor of the more nebulous “health of the mother” exception that pro-life advocates argue can be applied to any woman facing an unwanted pregnancy.

But what about Paul’s statement that the Life at Conception Act may not be able to address early abortions? That, too, was a misunderstanding, according to Stafford. He said the senator was talking about things like emergency contraception pills, which may cause very early abortions, but since they contain the exact same drugs used in standard birth control pills, the senator believes they will be nearly impossible to ban.

Senator Paul “has always said it is not practically possible to legislate things like the morning after pill or other emergency contraception,” Stafford said. “It simply isn’t possible to do so. The law will likely never be able to reach that.”

“You can legislate abortifacients like RU-486, and he would,” he said. “But you can’t legislatively ban artificial estrogen and progesterone.”

This goes back to problem I had with the CNN interview that launched this controversy.  Such details cannot be left to spokesmen for delayed delivery as “clarifications,” particularly when the topic of discussion is pro-life legislation.  It’s a tough standard for a busy politician giving tons of interviews to meet.

But Senator Paul, and every other Republican, had better be ready to meet it nonetheless, especially if they introduce or support any legislation pertaining to abortion.  They’re going to get the “rape and life of the mother” question, from people who would dearly love to knock down another leading Republican with an “Akin moment.”  They’re going to be asked questions designed to irk pro-life supporters, by people who would love to set off another Herman Cain-style implosion.  (Follow the link if you’re not sure which of the several Herman Cain implosions I’m referring to.)  And they will be expected to list, with great conviction and precision, exactly what they want to outlaw.