The Ongoing Reinvention Of Rand Paul: Lying About Birth Control

Rand Paul’s ultra-right wing bona fides cannot be questioned when it comes to women’s health. After all, Rand Paul introduced the Senate personhood bill that could ban common forms of birth control. He’s even bragged about his crusade to restrict women’s health options, including his support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. Clearly this was all a point of pride for Senator Paul.

But in case you haven’t heard, now he wants to be president. And it turns out that denying women access to birth control isn’t particularly popular. So just like he’s done on Israel, and on ISIS, and on civil rights, and so on and so on, he’s doing what he does best: simply lying to voters.

Paul was asked today in South Carolina about his position on the morning-after pill, and he affirmed his support for it. Which is all good and well, except that he brags about introducing personhood legislation that could make it illegal. He’s consistently been one of the most extreme politicians in Washington when it comes to women’s issues. Just check out this video that he recently scrubbed from his YouTube account.

Now Rand Paul thinks he can lie his way to the middle and twist himself into a candidate with broad appeal. It seems every week, you wake up and Rand Paul is selling a new version of Rand Paul.

There’s only one problem: people are watching.

Background:

Personhood

Paul Believed Life Began At Conception. According to the 2010 Rand Paul for U.S. Senate website, Paul wrote: “I would support legislation, a Sanctity of Life Amendment, establishing the principle that life begins at conception. This legislation would define life at conception in law, as a scientific statement.” [Rand Paul for U.S. Senate – Issues: Abortion, 2010]

American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: “Oral Contraceptives, Intrauterine Devices (Iuds), And Other Forms Of FDA-Approved Hormonal Contraceptives Could Be Banned” Under Personhood Laws.  According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is unequivocally opposed to the so-called ‘personhood’ laws or amendments being considered in several states. These measures erode women’s basic rights to privacy and bodily integrity; deny women access to the full spectrum of preventive health care including contraception; and undermine the doctor-patient relationship. ACOG firmly believes that science must be at the core of public health policies and medical decision-making that affect the health and life of women…. Thus, some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives could be banned in states that adopt “personhood” measures. ” [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2/10/12]

Contraception

Paul On Hobby Lobby Ruling: “It’s About Whether A Business Should Be Able To Choose What Sort Of Insurance They Buy.” According to Des Moines Register, “He said the Hobby Lobby case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court was about religious freedom, not birth control. ‘It’s about whether a business should be able to choose what sort of insurance they buy,’ he said.” [Des Moines Register, 8/6/14]

Paul: “There May Be Various Opinions In Here But I Think Almost Nobody In Here Wants To Ban Birth Control. I Don’t Know Any Republican Politician Who Does.” According to Des Moines Register, “Paul, R-Kentucky, dismissed the idea of a GOP war on women as a Democratic narrative. ‘For the past several years, they’ve been characterizing us as somehow, we’re some troglodytes who really are against birth control,’ he said. ‘There may be various opinions in here but I think almost nobody in here wants to ban birth control. I don’t know any Republican politician who does.’” [Des Moines Register, 8/6/14]

Paul Praised The Supreme Court’s Decision To Strike Down The ACA Contraception Mandate. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, “Paul issued a statement saying the court ‘ruled in favor of religious freedom.’ ‘Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment,’ the senator, who is contemplating a run for president in 2016, said. ‘Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty.’” [Louisville Courier-Journal, 6/30/14]

Paul Attacked The AC Contraception Mandate, Saying “No Government Should Make Anyone Choose Between Their Faith And Their Livelihood.” According to National Journal, “Paul isn’t an obvious choice for religious-values voters—Bachmann and Santorum have proven to be a lot more outspoken on religious issues. But he doesn’t shy away from the issues either. ‘No government should make anyone choose between their faith and their livelihood,’ he said of the pending Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.” [National Journal, 6/20/14]

Paul Said Obama Should Apologize To Pope Francis For The Contraception Mandate. According to Salon, “Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul offered some advice to President Obama in regards to his upcoming meeting with Pope Francis. ‘He ought to explain to the pope why he is telling businesses in America they can’t remain true to their faith and stay in business,’ Paul said. ‘The ‘Hobby Lobby’ case is being discussed [at the Supreme Court] today,’ Paul continued, ‘and I think it’s important that he tell the leader of the Catholic Church why he thinks that businesses owned by Catholics can’t make their own decisions with regard to health care.’” [Salon, 3/25/14]

20-Week Abortion Bans

Paul Supported Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks. According to a letter signed by Rand Paul and fellow Republican Senators, “It is time that we in Congress act to bring the United States out of the fringe and closer to international norms on late abortions. […] The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670) – introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and co-sponsored by 40 senators – would protect unborn children beginning at 20 weeks. Scientific evidence tells us that these developing babies are capable of feeling excruciating pain from abortion procedures, and studies also show that abortions this late in pregnancy are dangerous to a mother’s health. […] We ask that you join us in calling on Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670) up for an immediate floor vote.” [United States Senate Letter – Signed by Rand Paul, 4/29/14]

Anti-Choice

Paul Opposed Abortion

Paul Released A Statement On The Anniversary Of Roe V. Wade, Asking “Can A Civilization Long Endure If It Does Not Respect Life?” According to The Global Dispatch, “While thousands of pro-life advocates braved the freezing cold weather of Washington, DC today for the annual “March for Life”, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul released a statement to honor the annual event held every January on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. ‘Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, 55 million abortions have taken place in America. The question remains, can a civilization long endure if it does not respect Life? It is the government’s duty to protect life, liberty, and property, but primarily and most importantly, a government must protect Life,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘In order to protect the unborn from the very moment Life begins, I introduced the Life at Conception Act. Today, our nation wavers and our moral compass is adrift. Only when America chooses, remembers and restores her respect for life will we re-discover our moral bearings and truly find our way.’” [The Global Dispatch, 1/22/14]

Paul Promised To “Stand Up For Unborn Children.” According to the Washington Post, “Paul emphasized his opposition to abortion, pledging to ‘stand up for unborn children’ as long as he is in office. Weighing in on foreign policy, Paul reiterated his oft-repeated caution against an overly interventionist foreign policy.” [Washington Post, 6/20/14]

Paul: “I Believe We May Be Able To Save Millions Of Lives In The Near Future By Allowing States To Pass Their Own Anti-Abortion Laws.” According to the Rand Paul for U.S. Senate 2010 campaign website, “In addition, I believe we may be able to save millions of lives in the near future by allowing states to pass their own anti-abortion laws. If states were able to do so, I sincerely believe many – including Kentucky – would do sotomorrow, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.” [Rand Paul for U.S. Senate – Issues – Abortion, 2010]