This week Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul sat down with David Axerold at the University of Chicago to discuss his positions on various political issues. The segment on abortion (clip above) has generated a lot of controversy, because it seemed to indicate that a President Paul would be reluctant to push pro-life legislation. He spoke of “two extremes” dominating the abortion conversation and the possibilities of “in between solutions.” Then he closed with a suggestion that most regulation would be inappropriate until public opinion moves decisively in one direction or the other.The American people largely reside in the mushy middle on the abortion wars—they are okay with some regulations and restrictions, but not with a total ban. Neither party represents this moderate view very well. Democrats oppose any and all restrictions, including informed consent laws, third trimester bans, parental notification, and even clinic safety measures. Many social conservatives, on the other hand, continue to push the GOP to maintain a strong pro-ban line.There is room for a politician to capture that middle ground, making a principled stand for the restrictions a majority currently supports while not pushing federal law past the consensus on this issue. It’s not clear yet if Paul intends to stake out that space—this clip seems to put him to the Left of it while earlier remarks he’s given seemed to put him to the Right. Either way, the American electorate would probably welcome a presidential nominee who speaks for the middle ground on this issue.
Abortion in AmericaIs Rand Paul Staking Out a Middle Ground in the Abortion Wars?
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