CNN’s In the Arena has published an excerpt of Ron Paul’s Liberty Defined, in which he explains how he’s reconciled his pro-life stance with his libertarian philosophy. Paul begins with a harrowing personal recollection:
On one occasion in the 1960s when abortion was still illegal, I witnessed, while visiting a surgical suite as an OB/GYN resident, the abortion of a fetus that weighed approximately two pounds.
It was placed in a bucket, crying and struggling to breathe, and the medical personnel pretended not to notice.
Soon the crying stopped. This harrowing event forced me to think more seriously about this important issue.
That same day in the OB suite, an early delivery occurred and the infant born was only slightly larger than the one that was just aborted.
But in this room everybody did everything conceivable to save this child’s life. My conclusion that day was that we were overstepping the bounds of morality by picking and choosing who should live and who should die.
Essentially, Paul’s position is that an unborn child is entitled to all the constitutional protections that anyone else would be, and accordingly opposition to legalized abortion doesn’t conflict with libertarian politics. Paul details those constitutional protections. His position is fairly nuanced, and as a result, he explains, he gets in trouble with both the pro-life and the pro-choice factions.
I recommend reading the whole excerpt.