Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul told Piers Morgan on Friday that he would only support a woman's right to an abortion in cases of honest rape, although he stayed clear of completely defining which instances of rape qualify as honest.
During an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan pressed Paul about his stance against abortion, asking the popular nominee if he would be able to look one of his daughters or granddaughters in the eye and tell them they could not terminate a pregnancy in the unlikely situation that one of them was raped.
In response Paul, a doctor who has reportedly delivered more than 4,000 babies, said he would not oppose the procedure in cases of an honest rape. He implied that only applies to women who go to an emergency room immediately after the rape occurs, saying that in that instance he would give a woman a shot of estrogen to prevent pregnancy.
It is absolutely in limbo, because an hour after intercourse or a day afterwards, there is no legal or medical problem, Paul said. He implied that allowing a woman to undergo an abortion after that period of time could allow some women to lie about the experience in order to terminate their pregnancies.
If you talk about somebody coming in and they say, well, I was raped and I'm seven months pregnant and I don't want to have anything to do with it, it's a little bit different story, Paul said.
Paul said allowing a woman to have an abortion even weeks after a rape occurs is equivalent to giving them the right to abort a nine-pound baby, even though Roe v. Wade specifies a pregnancy cannot be terminated if the fetus is viable.
Moreover, 90 percent of all abortions in the U.S. take place during the first trimester, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
On the campaign trail, Paul has said the years he spent as a physician shaped his opinion on abortion. As a medical student, he claims he observed the delivery of a two-and-half pound baby that was discarded in a bucket, saying the lack of respect for life had a profound effect on him.
However Paul, as a staunch libertarian, typically balks against federal restrictions that restrict individual freedoms. When Morgan pointed that out, Paul said he did not believe his position on abortion is inconsistent with his political beliefs, simply stating that an unborn child has the same rights as any other human being.
To me, the one minute before birth and one minute after birth isn't a whole lot different, he said.