“[Ron Paul] has an outstanding chance of winning in Iowa,” according to Bob Vander Plaats, who served as Mike Huckabee’s 2008 state campaign chairman. “There’s a lot about Ron Paul that people like,” Vander Plaats says, pointing to Paul’s “almost prophetic” vision of our economic problems and his commitment to do away with “politics as usual.”
But Paul could face trouble with values voters in Iowa, where 60 percent of GOP caucusgoers are evangelical Christians. Vander Plaats says his socially conservative umbrella organization, the Family Leader, has ruled out endorsing Paul because “sometimes [Paul's] libertarian views trump his moral compass.”
“On abortion, [Paul] believes that’s a states’ rights issue, we believe that’s a morality issue,” says Vander Plaats. In a post-Roe v. Wade world, “We don’t believe abortion should be legal in Maine and illegal in Iowa.” (Paul voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003, but expressed deep reservations about voting for a federal law on abortion.)
“We’re very concerned” about Paul’s position that the government shouldn’t recognize civil marriage, Vander Plaats continues. The group also balks at some of Paul’s foreign policy views. ”Even though we may agree with him that we’re not called to be the policeman of the world, we do believe we’re called to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel,” says Vander Plaats. “And we do believe [a nuclear-armed] Iran is a definite threat not only to Israel, but to our freedom as well.”
[...]Vander Plaats says he doesn’t think very many Iowa voters are aware that Paul thinks it should be up to states to decide whether or not to protect human life. But now that Paul leading in the Iowa polls, his positions may come under greater scrutiny.
Here’s a 2006 USA Today article listing the states that would make abortion legal under Ron Paul’s plan.
•Twenty-two state legislatures are likely to impose significant new restrictions on abortion. They include nearly every state in the South and a swath of big states across the industrial Rust Belt, from Pennsylvania to Ohio and Michigan. These states have enacted most of the abortion restrictions now allowed.
•Sixteen state legislatures are likely to continue current access to abortion. They include every state on the West Coast and almost every state in the Northeast. A half-dozen already have passed laws that specifically protect abortion rights. Most of the states in this group have enacted fewer than half of the abortion restrictions now available to states.
•Twelve states fall into a middle ground between those two categories. About half are in the Midwest, the rest scattered from Arizona to Rhode Island.
[...]The 22 states likely to enact new restrictions include 50% of the U.S. population and accounted for 37% of the abortions performed in 2000, the latest year for which complete data were available.
The 16 states likely to protect access to abortion include 35% of the U.S. population and accounted for 48% of the abortions performed.
So Ron Paul, far from being pro-life, would allow abortion on demand in 16 to 28 states, many of them the most populous states in the union – like California and New York. I understand that he calls allowing abortion in 16 to 28 states “pro-life”, but voters have to think and decide – is that really pro-life? Is it really pro-life when the number of abortions per year will drop from 1.1 million to 550,000? Is that pro-life? (Assuming that the people in the pro-life states don’t just cross the border to get an abortion elsewhere – which is false, of course). Paul’s position is that he is personally pro-life, but he thinks that other people should be allowed to decide if an unborn baby can be killed or not, at the state level. Isn’t that pro-choice though?
Similarly, Paul would allow states to redefine marriage to be anything they want it to be, since he thinks that the definition of marriage is an issue that states should decide. That’s his view. Is that pro-marriage? Does that position take seriously the need for children to be raised by a mother and a father?