The Life at Conception Act would endow fetuses with due process and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment, which was enacted during Reconstruction to protect the citizenship of newly freed slaves. Paul's office said the bill "does not amend or interpret the Constitution," but rather relies on existing language.
In a statement, Paul said that the measure "legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known -- that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward." He implored lawmakers to fulfill their "constitutional duty" by passing the measure.
Critics argued that the proposed framework is unworkable and would directly clash with legal precedent (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/15).
CPAC Panel Addresses Abortion Rights
In related news, a panel -- called "The Pro Life Fight" -- last Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference discussed the future of the antiabortion-rights movement, including its strategy to reverse the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, Salon reports (Rayfield, Salon, 3/15).
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser argued that Republicans lost the recent election because "We allowed the left to define women's health as abortion."
Ann Wagner, a freshman Republican representative from Missouri, lauded states' progress in chipping away at Roe and said it is important to inform women of alternatives to abortion and warn them about potential mental and physical side effects of the procedure (Dickson, Daily Beast, 3/15).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership