Ron Paul, Contraceptives & Abortion

Of the four(4) GOP primary candidates still standing, the only one I can even come close to listening to with a serious ear is libertarian Ron Paul.  Now before everyone jumps all over the comments section with the “Ron Paul is no friend of progressives!!” stuff, yeah yeah, I get that, but I don’t have to agree with 100% of his ideas for some of them to make sense to me.  (I also give him enthusiastic props  for being stubbornly contrarian on issues like goofy sabre-rattling and war-mongering and drug prohibition, even though his positions on these issues almost invariably provoke boos, jeers and hoots of derision from stupidly doctrinaire GOP primary audiences.)

But as much as I find some of Dr.Paul’s ideas interesting and even commendable, I’ve always been distressed and confused by his brainlessly retrograde position on reproductive rights …even contraception.  On last night’s show, Lawrence O’Donnell took Dr. Paul to task for marketing himself as a libertarian while espousing such decidedly UN-libertarian views on Womens’ Health:

Can’t say I disagree. Too bad this guy dropped out of the race.

7 Responses to “Ron Paul, Contraceptives & Abortion”


  1. 1 cityprole Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Saw that last night, and sorry, but Ron Paul looked like what he is..a senile old goof…
    As I pointed out to someone else who had a certain enthusiasm for Ron Paul, a country cannot be run on a two-issue platform, and for someone who was once a trusted, practicing doctor to come out with the troglodyte philosophy regarding women’s rights that Paul has completely disenfranchises him from the human race, never mind as a viable candidate for office..
    The only positive thing about all these teabagger (and so-called libertarians in tb rat drag) rants is that it will hopefully ignite the women of the US (and Canada, ultimately) to open their eyes and see where the Right is going…as far as I’m concerned, this is enough to make me fight in any way necessary, and I’m too damn old for most of it to matter..but regressive policies sneaking back into so -called democratic institutions is something that eternally has to be guarded against..especially when you are a woman.
    And don’t forget, I still like you….

    • 2 JJ Friday, February 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      I agree, not a good night for Dr.P.

      Don’t mistake my interest in Ron Paul for blind enthusiastic support: I agree with some of his ideas, probably the same ones you’d agree with, but others I find repugnant. In any event, I’ve always found his input to be a positive influence on the tone of the GOP debate, which is generally a social conservative clown show on wheels. I just find it puzzling and disappointing that his ideas about reproductive rights are as retrograde as Rick Santorum’s.

  2. 3 fhg1893 Friday, February 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I just find it puzzling and disappointing that his ideas about reproductive rights are as retrograde as Rick Santorum’s.

    Ron Paul is NOT a fake libertarian as Lawrence O’Donnell asserts. And his tirade is a huge disservice.

    For one thing, the quote is extremely out of context. Now, I didn’t watch the GOP debate last night, or whenever, but, I’m sure that Dr. Paul’s position is more nuanced than what Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out. Simply pointing out that indiscriminate sexual behavior is unethical does not make one less of a libertarian, as long as the GOVERNMENT stops short of legislating that MORALITY.

    Second, much information is beginning to emerge about the effects of the birth-control pill that cast serious doubts about whether or not it can be used ethically. The science is suggesting that the pill actually leads women to choose partners whom they would not choose when not on the pill!

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/29/using-birth-control-pills-alters-womens-mate-preferences.aspx

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124358.htm

    http://www.physorg.com/news174140457.html

    My wife and I got together before she started birth control, and, introducing the pill seemed to cause a lot of friction between us. She went off the pill shortly after starting it, and we haven’t gone back. But our situation is atypical, when most people get together, the woman is already on birth control, and if they ever want to have children, well, obviously, the pill has to be interrupted for quite some time. This may result in a significant increase in the risk of divorce for modern people. There’s no question that divorce harms the vast majority of children who get caught in a divorce, so the proper response is to warn people of both genders about what could happen as a result of using the pill. If people choose to continue using it, that’s fine. But if it’s borne out that it could be a major contributing factor to the possibility of divorce, I would want to know that for sure!

    Third, the “We The People Act” is a bill that’s more about state’s rights than it is about trying to destroy abortion by stealth. While it’s true that it would render Roe v. Wade invalid so to speak, it would ALSO prohibit a US-wide ban on abortion at the Federal level. Abortion decisions would be left up to the individual states, and the Federal government would be prohibited from interfering in whatever decision was rendered by the individual state. Even the pro-lifers agree to this, http://prolifeprofiles.com/ron-paul-abortion. MotherJones in this case has actually mis-characterized the issue, and what’s worse, because there’s no explicit right to privacy in the American bill of rights, Roe v. Wade is actually weaker than it seems. Canada’s equivalent is actually quite a bit stronger than Roe v. Wade. It is actually possible under US law to ban abortion by statute, at the federal level, and there are a few mechanisms to do so. Ron Paul is no lover of abortion, but, the “We the People Act,” would strip the federal government of the power to make that decision. Right or wrong, it would decentralize federal power, which is in keeping with Libertarian ideals, as it prevents the federal government from becoming a panacea for legislating morality.

    In other words, Ron Paul is being quite consistent and Lawrence O’Donnell is a damned liar. I won’t ask you, or anybody to like it. :D

    • 4 JJ Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Your points are well-taken.
      Ron Paul has never come across as socially conservative, so I’ve always suspected that his position on abortion is based more on the federal law governing it than any self-righteous moral position. (I have also seen libertarian arguments against abortion on the forums at iFeminists — basically, the unborn fetus, as a separate entity, owns its own life, just like an individual person does, so it’s wrong for anyone to take it. I don’t concur with this, but it’s an interesting philosophical argument and I suppose Ron Paul might be from that school of thought.)

      Dr.Paul’s ideas about contraception I find a little weird. I can see why he’d have negative feelings about the pill because back when he practiced it was indeed a harsh little hormonal cocktail that had a lot of bad side effects. But it’s been improved since then.

      Maybe this is just another one of those examples of words that don’t sound good out of context. It’s always dangerous to start using words that imply making moral judgements on others, because they’re easily misinterpreted.

      • 5 fhg1893 Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        Well, I think he leans so-con. But each and every single thing that the so-cons want are prohibitively expensive, and sometimes, outright wrong, and Dr. Paul knows this – he knows this very well! A state that embraces liberty will find its-self prosperous, whereas a state that goes too far to the right trying to legislate morality will quickly find its self bankrupt and abandoned. This applies to the left as well of course. So Dr. Paul’s approach is to get the federal government out and let the states learn their lessons the hard way. They’ve got to try it, and keep at it, until they get exactly what they want. They’ll quickly realize just what a disaster that can be! One of my most favorite sayings: “Careful what you wish, careful what you say. Careful what you wish, you may regret it. Careful what you wish, you just might get it.” Can you imagine if the socons had their socon paradise? The same goes for leftist socialist paradises, but they tend to be a little slower to develop.

        LOL. Socon paradise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAGP24eq_0o&ob=av3n

        When you want it all, and you don’t care how, the price may be a lot more than you’d ever pay otherwise…

        But it’s been improved since then.

        It’s better yes. How many children have grown up in broken homes because of the pill? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the pill, but if there’s any truth to this possibility that it makes women choose differently when they’re on it, then we really need to stress the risks associated with it.

        Maybe this is just another one of those examples of words that don’t sound good out of context. It’s always dangerous to start using words that imply making moral judgements on others, because they’re easily misinterpreted.

        Well, I kept waiting for a longer sound-byte, something more straight from Ron Paul’s lips. But O’Donnell just kept talking, implying that libertarians shouldn’t make ethical assertions, which is nonsense. I think about ethics all the time! On the other hand, I refuse to LEGISLATE morality onto other people, and there’s a big difference between the two. Pity Lawrence O’Donnell doesn’t understand that part of the equation. He’s in good company though, most people can’t quite grasp that, and think that the government SHOULD tell people what to do. You know. Like… Rick Santorum. :D

        • 6 JJ Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

          I think he leans so-con.

          :shock: :shock: :shock:

          Libertarian and socon, what a weird amalgam. I generally think of those things as mutually exclusive states of mind.

          • 7 fhg1893 Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 11:50 pm

            I should have phrased that a little more clearly. Isn’t it possible a person has a sense of ethics that dictates that the way that they live their life in a way that a social conservative would approve, yet not want to legislate morality?

            I think that a libertarian is free to organize their own life around whatever morality they choose, and that would include upholding values normally associated with social conservatism. They could eschew drugs and alcohol, believe in objective morality and reject abortion. As long as they practiced that in their own lives, but maintained that the government shouldn’t get involved in their lives, or in the lives of other people, wouldn’t that fit with libertarian ideas? I suspect that Ron Paul is this kind of libertarian. He leans this way in his personal life. You’d never catch him doing drugs, they’re wrong for him, but he would find it even more wrong for the state to abuse its power to institute nation-wide drug-prohibition. Hence, leaning a bit socon, if that makes sense.

            I wonder if that’s exactly what terrifies the establishment. I don’t think Ron Paul has any major skeletons in his closet, unlike the rest of the clown-show on wheels. How many male conservative GOP politicians have been married to the same woman for 55 years, apparently without engaging in marital infidelity? That sort of thing just doesn’t happen in today’s GOP…


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