One of the very interesting parts of last night’s debate was the question of birth control. In a previous debate George Stephanopoulos asked about the role of the Federal government in the regulation of birth control and no one knew why it was asked, only to find out later it was because of the President’s initiative to mandate that religious organizations be forced to supply contraceptives to their employees as part of their health coverage.
The question asked last night,”Since birth control is the latest hot topic, which candidates believe in birth control and if not, why?” In the video below you can pick up this section of the debate at 42:15.
Ron Paul was not for either the promotion of abstinence via a government program and tax dollars, nor was he for the promotion of birth control (abortifacients) or abortion via government programs and tax dollars.
Rick Santorum made the comment that “Just because I’m talking about it (single parent homes, kids born out of wedlock, contraception, etc.), doesn’t mean I want a government plan to fix it. That’s what they do (the left). That’s not what we do.”
Paul followed up and stated that it isn’t the pills that create the immorality and the problems, it’s the other way around. The immorality and the problems end up making demands for the pill. He even used the famous line that “It’s not guns that kill, criminals kill.”
Newt Gingrich chimed in and went so far as to agree with Paul saying that is what Paul has been stating for a generation. He said, “When you have government as the central provider of services, you inevitably move towards tyranny. Because the government has the power of force.”
Gingrich also suggested, “For almost all of us who’ve been at this for any length of time, we’re now looking at an abyss that forces you to change what you may once have thought. And I suspect all four of us are much more worried today about the power of the state than we would have been, with the possible exception of Congressman Paul, at any point in the past 25 years.”
Wow! That’s quite an endorsement! This is telling about how the other men think. It is telling that up until now apparently they have not really taken into account the power of the state, even when they were the ones in power.
The most interesting part though took place just after this and we see the confusion of the politician versus the straight forwardness of the Constitutionalist.
Paul brought up the fact that there really is no difference between birth control and the “morning after” pill. They are both the same hormones, just one is stronger than the other and does the same thing. He then said Santorum voted for the bill that funded Planned Parenthood, so in essence he voted for birth control and abortions because they could not be separated out.
Of course Santorum wanted to say that he only voted for the bill because it supported other “important” things, and then contradicts his own statement previously by saying he proposed Title 20 which was a government program that promoted abstinence! Congressman Paul smirked and made funny faces as Santorum responded because it was apparent that the former Senator was speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
Paul was brilliant and simply responded, “This demonstrates the problem I’m talking about, there’s always an excuse to do this.” Paul is right, the Constitution gives no authority to promote either one of the programs via the federal government.
With that said, I firmly believe a candidate, a Congressman, a Senator and a President do not give up their 1st Amendment rights to religion and free speech when they seek or take office and as such they are free to voice their conscience. This doesn’t cost taxpayers one dime. Whether we like it or not they do lead the nation. In fact they represent us. They represent us as a people. I might go so far as to say that in many respects they mirror the society.
This one issue was good for pointing out that one must be strong Constitutionally and strong in character to stand up and say no to government programs and spending, even when things they would like to see implemented are bundled with things that have no business being funded by the federal government. Santorum showed he is willing to cave on this issue that he claims is a moral one and fund Planned Parenthood, though he claims he is pro-life, despite his being thrilled at assassinations, even of Americans, and Dr. Paul demonstrates that there are still men who will stand for principle rather than political expediency.
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