Daily Caller: Ron Paul courts the pro-life vote

This article first appeared online at The Daily Caller on October 14, 2011.

Ron Paul courts the pro-life vote
by Caroline May

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has largely been defined by his calls to “audit the fed,” but the Paul campaign on Friday began running an ad showing another side of his political identity.

The advertisement focuses on the Texas congressman’s pro-life position and personal history as an OB-GYN. The ads are airing on cable television in the key primary state of Iowa and on radio in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

“The whole notion of life not being valuable is something I am not able to accept,” Paul says in the ad, which highlights the fact that he has delivered over 4,000 babies.

In the video Paul recalls a story about witnessing the juxtaposition of a late-term abortion, in which a living child was discarded in a bucket, and the delivery of a premature baby who received urgent medical care.

“Who are we to decide that we pick and throw one away, and pick up and struggle to save the other one,” Paul said, concluding with his core message of freedom. “Unless we resolve this and understand that life is precious and we must protect life, we can’t protect liberty.”

Paul has signed the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List’s pledge to nominate judges and appoint cabinet members who oppose abortion, end all taxpayer funding of abortion in international and domestic spending, and sign legislation to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain from abortion.

Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who now works as the director for SBA List’s Votes Have Consequences Project, told The Daily Caller that while most do not immediately think social issues when they consider Paul, he was one of the group’s first pledge signers. (RELATED: Paul wins Values Voter straw poll)

“It is a very powerful ad with regard to the life issue,” Musgrave said.

“It is amazing what we see in this campaign is a competition between the candidates over who can be the most pro-life,” she added. “Even candidates who have not signed the pledge send a very strong pro-life message to the voters. It’s very apparent that if these candidates are going to win and be the nominee for the most pro-abortion president ever you they are going to have to secure the pro-life vote.”

The shift to social issues has indeed pleased the pro-life movement and while many remain undecided, the renewed focus to them is exciting, especially for a libertarian to be so forcefully in favor of abortion restrictions.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, told TheDC that while his organization will not be making any endorsements, Paul’s message is an important one.

“The overall message of the ad is a beautiful reminder that as a society, we should consider all our children valuable, worthy of our protection,” she wrote in an emailed statement.

Reinforcing the fact that the pro-life vote is still very much in play, Penny Nance, CEO & president of Concerned Women for America pointed out that while the pro-life message is important, Paul’s ad actually left her with questions.

“While Ron Paul’s ad demonstrates the crucial importance of social issues to the 2012 elections, pro-lifers are still looking for their candidate so it’s anyone’s game,” she told TheDC. “However, after watching the ad, I did not think of Paul’s proclaimed pro-life position but rather what he did, if anything, to save the baby who was thrown in the bucket after surviving an abortion.”

The Paul campaign did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment about Nance’s concern.

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