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March 22nd, 2013

Iowa Personhood Supporters Confused by Rand Paul’s Comments

Iowa’s most prominent supporters of Personhood legislation applaud the Life at Conception bill Rand Paul introduced in the U.S. Senate last week. However, they feel the possible presidential contender undermined his own legislation during a CNN interview earlier this week.

“That’s exactly how I see it,” said State Rep. Tom Shaw (R-Laurens).

Shaw has introduced a Personhood bill in the Iowa House, which defines life beginning at conception and provides equal protection to all human beings, including babies in the womb. Rand Paul’s bill does the same. However, during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, Paul repeatedly talked about exceptions to his legislation.

“What I would say is that there are thousands of exceptions,” Paul said. “You know, I’m a physician and every individual case is going to be different, and everything is going to be particular to that individual case and what’s going on with that mother and the medical circumstances of that mother.”

Tom Shaw believes equal protection for all leaves no room for exceptions.

 “It’s a little disconcerting to see Rand Paul make the statement that there can be thousands of exceptions,” Shaw said. “Personhood is the belief that at the moment of conception, there is a distinct individual. You can’t claim Personhood and then go on and say that there are times that you can go on and kill that person.”

Rep. Shaw is thrilled that Personhood is being discussed on the federal level, but disappointed that Senator Paul did not offer a better defense of his own bill. Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of The Family Leader, concurs.

“I think he would’ve liked to have stated it better. I think it’s something Rand Paul’s got to clear up,” Vander Plaats said. “I’ll take the written word over the spoken. I’m not a big fan of pledges, but I’ll take the Life at Conception Act as his pledge and I’ll let him work out his words.”

For Rand Paul to win the Iowa Caucus, he will need to build a coalition of libertarians and social conservatives. Vander Plaats notes that Rand Paul is being treated like a legitimate GOP presidential contender, so every word he says will be scrutinized. Interviews like the one he gave on CNN will hurt Paul among the social conservative crowd.

“What we’re seeing with Rand is a little bit of people are taking him serious when sometimes they didn’t take his dad all that serious,” Vander Plaats said. “They’re definitely treating him like he’s top tier potential for 2016.”

Cindy Anders is the executive director of Iowa Pro-Life Action, a group that adamantly supports Personhood legislation. She criticized Senator Paul on Facebook.

“God did not give the sword to the parents or individuals. He gave it to the state and for the sole purpose of punishing crime,” Anders wrote. “Senator Paul, I hope we get an opportunity to talk about this in Cedar Rapids because I’m beginning to think that D.C. has corrupted you. You are beginning to think you are God. I believe you are treading on very dangerous grounds and as a principled voter with a conscience bound only by my Savior, I could not give you my vote if the election were today. I wonder what your father thinks about this interview, but then again, it is true, you are certainly not your father for he understands the Constitution and the issue of murder.”

Rand Paul’s spokesman Doug Stafford told LifeSiteNews that the Kentucky senator’s words were misunderstood. Paul will headline the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner on May 10 in Cedar Rapids.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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