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MILFORD, NH, April 9, 2015 ( – Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, has been a presidential candidate for less than 48 hours, but he's already making waves and winning plaudits from pro-life leaders over a clever response to a reporter’s question on abortion exceptions.

“We always seem to have the debate way over here on what are the exact details of exceptions or when [life] starts,” he said at a press conference in Milford, New Hampshire. “Why don't we ask the DNC, 'Is it okay to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus?”

“You go back and ask [DNC Chairwoman] Debbie Wasserman-Schultz if she's okay with killing a seven-pound baby that is not just born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when she's willing to protect life.” 

“When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me,” said the senator.


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Wasserman-Schultz did respond, but only confirmed Paul’s point. “Here's an answer. I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story. Now your turn, Senator Paul,” she said. “We know you want to allow government officials like yourself to make this decision for women — but do you stand by your opposition to any exceptions, even when it comes to rape, incest, or life of the mother? Or do we just have different definitions of 'personal liberty?'”

Wasserman-Schultz's response drew criticism and questions from a number of commentators and reporters. CNN's Chris Moody asked “Is the party united on this?” on Twitter. Hot Air's Allahpundit wrote, “The great majority of Americans oppose late-term abortion; the vast majority, maybe a unanimous majority at this point, of Democratic leaders support it without restriction. They are, without exaggeration, absolute fanatics on this subject. And proudly so.”

Paul’s response at the press conference came after an interview on abortion exceptions earlier in the day with the Associated Press. While Paul appeared to evade the AP's question about whether he supports exceptions to allow abortions, he did say, “I think the most important thing is the general concept of: Do you support the sanctity of life? Do you think there's something special about life? So you think when we're born that a human baby is different than an animal, that there's something special that is imbued into human life? And I think there is.”

Paul also said, “I've supported both bills with and without (exceptions), you know. In general, I am pro-life. So I will support legislation that advances and shows that life is special and deserves protection.”

Paul, who has sponsored numerous pro-life bills, including one that would legally define that life begins at conception, was being pressed on whether he would support exceptions for the legality of abortion when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

The spat comes as a YouGov poll finds 66 percent of Americans “believe that fetuses in the womb are people,” and 52 percent of Americans believe life begins at conception. Other polls have shown that overwhelming majorities of Americans believe that late-term abortions should be illegal — a position the Democratic Party and President Obama do not hold.

Scientific data shows that human life begins at conception. Many abortion supporters dispute this, while others say the autonomy of the mother — and thus her choice to abort her child — is a higher priority than the life of the child.


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