Ron Paul’s Voting Record Examined

Orcinus has accumulated an impressive list of bills supported by Ron Paul. These will probably be defended by his supporters but also demonstrate why there is a low ceiling on Paul’s potential support. As long as he remains the lone Republican who is making sense on some issues such as Iraq he will receive some favorable attention, but this will never translate into a meaningful number of votes.

In reviewing Paul’s record there is some ambiguity as he has reportedly introduced some bills to make a point and then voted against them. This makes any review based upon his voting record alone subject to misinterpretation, but I’ve also noted in previous posts that there are areas where Paul’s philosophy is contrary to supporting freedom as most would use the word.

Paul’s record can be summarized with a few trends. Many of his votes involve his support for the gold standard, abolition of the Federal Reserve and his opposition to virtually every program of the federal government. While this platform will never achieve widespread support, there’s not any real news here. It comes as no surprise, and is consistent with his public statements, to see that Paul opposes environmental laws, anti-trust laws, and agencies such as OSHA.

Paul’s writings, as are the comments of his supporters throughout the blogosphere, are full of conspiracy theories involving the United Nations, Jews, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Therefore his votes against membership in the United Nations come as no surprise.

Where Paul betrays his claims to being a libertarian is in his views on separation of church and state and abortion rights. I’ve discussed Paul’s promotion of right wing revisionist history on separation of church and state in several previous posts, along with his opposition to secularism and his claims that the Founding Fathers intended to create a Christian nation. Paul’s support for the federal ban on so-called partial birth abortions also contradicts his usual support for leaving matters to the states. His use of the erroneous term “partial birth abortion” along with his support for legislation to eliminate the legal distinction between a zygote and a fully developed human are particularly surprising considering his training as an Obstetrician.

The other aspect of Paul’s voting record which contradicts his rhetoric is his support for pork to support his own district as described by The Wall Street Journal:

After reporters started asking questions, the Congressman disclosed his requests this year for about $400 million worth of federal funding for no fewer than 65 earmarks. They include such urgent national wartime priorities as an $8 million request for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to fund shrimp-fishing research.

The listing at Orcinus does not include many of these earmarks but does list several of his bills to support the shrimp industry. The list also is intended to show areas where the author disagrees with Paul and therefore does exclude areas where Paul does deserve credit. These include his opposition to the Iraq war (along with extending it to Iran), his opposition to the restrictions on civil liberties and increase in power of the Executive Branch under George Bush, and his opposition to the drug war.

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34 Comments

  1. 1
    RonPaul33 says:

    Ron Paul’s Voting Record Examined. Ornicus has accumulated an impressive list of bills supported by be. http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=2371

  2. 2
    ronpaul33 says:

    Ron Paul’s Voting Record Examined. Ornicus has accumulated an impressive list of bills supported by be. http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=2371

  3. 3
    Steve says:

    I think Ron Paul is a great politician.

  4. 4
    PK says:

    The earmark issue has been addressed by Dr. Paul. He forwards all requests for earmarks on any bill from his constituents to Washington. He then votes against the spending bill. If the bill passes, despite his vote against it, then his constituents can at least make a case that they should get some of the money that has already been set aside to be spent.

  5. 5
    brody says:

    The Conspiracy theory smear is baseless and infantile, so I guess that’s nothing new from this blog. Libertarians are split on abortion, but they do agree that it should be a state issue as does Ron Paul. I’m assuming “Separation of Church and State” is what you would call the first amendment, since I can’t find any references to that phrase in the Constitution. In that case, Ron Paul is the strongest supporter of the 1st amendment among all candidates. The pork smear is old, and has been debunked 100 times over. He always votes against the appropriations bills that contain his earmarks, so he doesn’t support pork as you incorrectly claim here. If the appropriations bill is going to pass anyway and funds wasted, might as well return money to the district.

    http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/.....061807.htm

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Brody,

    “The Conspiracy theory smear is baseless and infantile,”

    I love how Paul’s supporters just write off serious problems in this manner. People want someone rational to be President, not someone who believes in all the conspiracy theories he supports.

    The phrase separation or church and state does not appear in the Constitution but this was intended by the secular nature of the document. This is supported both by the writings of the founding fathers and in mutliple court decisions. Paul defends the First Amendment with respect to the parts he agrees with, but does not support it with regards to separation of church and state.

    Your rationalization of Paul’s support for pork again shows how Paul’s supporters are so willing to overlook the problems.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    When Paul introduces pork for his district and then votes against it he is just trying to have it both ways. He still gets the money for his district but pretends to be clean by voting against it. He still contributes to federal spending when his proposals lead to increased spending for his district regardless of how he votes.

    It would be far more honest to propose the measures and go on the record and vote for them than to play it as he does.

  8. 8
    badmedia says:

    The amount of money spent doesn’t change, the only thing that changes is who the money goes to. He says he is only returning the money back to the people he represents the best he can by simply putting their requests into bills. He then votes against the bills, but is he not just representing his people when he adds them? How is that a bad thing? I hope my congressman does that, now that I think about it, maybe I should contact them and let them know. It’s a great idea during these times.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    “The amount of money spent doesn’t change, the only thing that changes is who the money goes to.”

    Incorrect. Congressmen pushing for such pork puts pressure to increase overall spending.

    “He says he is only returning the money back to the people he represents the best he can by simply putting their requests into bills.”

    This makes him no different from all the other Congressmen who raise taxes and spend other people’s ideas. So now we’ve established further that Paul’s no libertarian.

    “He then votes against the bills”

    Yes, he plays it both ways. He pushes for more federal spending and then pretends to be a libertarian by voting against the bills.

  10. 10
    rhys says:

    I am a Libertarian registered as a Republican. There is nothing un-Libertarian about Ron Paul’s in his views on separation of church and state or abortion rights. As a Libertarian, I don’t think that there is any mandate requiring politicians to be atheist, and there certainly is no ethical mandate requiring politicians to not vote based upon Christian ideals as long – as it is in accord with the letter of the law, which for a Federal level legislator entails strict constructionism. In other words, if you are going to follow the letter of the law to the best of your ability, I don’t care if your a Christian, Jew, or Bhuddist. Also, I would not be so quick to play the church/State card since it is God given inalienable Rights that constitute the legal foundation upon which our Republic is based.

    As far as abortion, the problem for a Libertarian is that Libertarians cannot allow government policy which condones one human to aggress against another. Yet abortion, like child abandonment, seem to be some form of aggression. I am not claiming that zygotes have full protection of the law, but I know for a fact that fetus’ do have are considered legal entities before they are given full protection of the laws from aggression by their mothers. This is at least an inconsistency, which should be ironed out. I don’t see it as inconsistent that human life or person-hood begin at conception since I can’t think of a better point during gestation that entails the legal protection for fetus’ that already exists as well as provides a principled point of Right aquisition by the new life. But, I support Congressan Paul’s efforts to move regulation of abortion from Federal Jurisdiction to State Jurisdiction since it is such a contentious issue, and there is no clear case for the issue to fall outside of the Tenth Amendment.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    “There is nothing un-Libertarian about Ron Paul’s in his views on separation of church and state or abortion rights.”

    The consequence of Paul’s views on these matters would be to have increased restrictions on the rights of individuals, which is the opposite of what libertarianism used to stand for.

    “I don’t think that there is any mandate requiring politicians to be atheist,”

    Nobody is saying there is. Separation of church and state has absolutely nothing to do with choosing atheism over Christianity. Historically it was Christian leaders who were often the strongest supporters of separation of church and state. It is a recent event that the religious right has chosen to deny this fundamental principle.

    “Also, I would not be so quick to play the church/State card since it is God given inalienable Rights that constitute the legal foundation upon which our Republic is based.”

    God given inalienable rights comes from the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers specifically excluded such language from the Constitution due to their recognition of the importance of separation of church and state.

    “I don’t see it as inconsistent that human life or person-hood begin at conception”

    This is a bogus question. Formation of life is a continuum, and the fetus is distinct from a fully developed human living on their own.

    “I support Congressan Paul’s efforts to move regulation of abortion from Federal Jurisdiction to State Jurisdiction ”

    But that is not what Paul has done as he has supported federal legislation which infringes upon abortion rights and is not leaving this to the states.

  12. 12
    b-psycho says:

    WTF @ the legislation for seizing back the Panama Canal…

    Now that’s a huge contradiction.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    B-psycho,

    Remember, deep down these are right wingers, not libertarians.

  14. 14
    b-psycho says:

    One question though: yes, we all know that there are people who think the UN is part of some sort of plot by marxists/jews/giant lizards/etcetera. Those people are stupid and shouldn’t be taken seriously. However, what would you say in its defense?

    On that one, I agree with pulling out. The UN is built on a falsehood, namely that it is ever possible for nation-states to put aside their own interests. They just use it as cover for what they wanted to do anyway, since there inherently cannot be an independent enforcement arm for any conclusions reached. International law itself is impossible.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Maybe it is a hopeless dream, but in the nuclear age I think that any efforts to attempt to prevent war are worthwhile.

    Giant lizards? I hadn’t heard of that conspiracy yet. Does it have anything to do with the old TV miniseries and series, V?

  16. 16
    b-psycho says:

    Giant lizards? I hadn’t heard of that conspiracy yet.

    David Icke peddles that garbage. Saw some dude on a hiphop message board mentioning it awhile back.

  17. 17
    TJS says:

    I see that Chuid eliminated a couple of my posts. Well since this is his private blog he has the right to.

    I am a Christian Libertarian (it is not a contradiction) and I think that is what Ron Paul is. I do believe in separation of church and state, but not a solid wall. Both institutions are under the rule of God – religion is inescapable since man is incurably religious. The state is not to rule over the church and the church is not to rule over the state. The church is to teach the law of God and the state is the minister of wrath punishing evil doers.

    The Constitution by itself is a secular document. But what public religion drives it? It can’t be nothing. Today it is Secularism and it is declared a religion by the Supreme Court.

    Life is an inalienable right in the Declaration of Independence. Whose God gives that right? It is the Christian God since that was the mindset of the founding fathers. Abortion is wrong according to the Christian God.

    On the subject of UN. The UN destroys national sovereignty. The UN has been a dismal failure. In spite of the UN there has been more wars and more lives lost in the world during the history of UN. It is impossible to have world peace by the effort of man getting together from various religious background. All religions are at war against Christianity and against each other.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    TJS,

    “I am a Christian Libertarian (it is not a contradiction)”

    Nobody says that is a contradiction. Again you confuse secularism with absence of religion or opposition to religion.

    “Today it is Secularism and it is declared a religion by the Supreme Court.”

    No, secularism is not a religion. Under secularism individuals may believe in any religion, or no religion at all.

    “Life is an inalienable right in the Declaration of Independence. Whose God gives that right? It is the Christian God since that was the mindset of the founding fathers.”

    Incorrect. Many of the founding fathers were Deists who rejected traditional Christian beliefs. The founding fathers specifically and intentionally did not refer to the Christian God or any other God in the Constitution due to their belief in separation of church and state.

    “Abortion is wrong according to the Christian God.”

    There is some controversy over that with different Christians having different interpretations. Even if this was true, applying such a belief of a specific religion to law is unconstitutional.

    You can be a Christian Libertarian and personally believe abortion is wrong. It is a contradiction with libertarianism if you use the powers of the state to enforce your religious beliefs upon others.

    “On the subject of UN. The UN destroys national sovereignty.”

    No. Just as individuals can freely associate without losing their identities as individuals, nations can also associate with each other without losing their sovereignty.

    “It is impossible to have world peace by the effort of man getting together from various religious background. All religions are at war against Christianity and against each other.”

    Nonsense. Some in some religions are at war against those with other religions but there is no general state of war between Christianity and other religions. There is a much stronger argument that the UN has been a tremendous success than a dismal failure. Comparing the warfare of the first half of the 20th century to the second, after the UN was formed, the wars were much more limited and less devastating globally despite the development of nuclear weapons.

  19. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    B-psycho,

    After doing a Google search on the topic I see that such claims really are out there. Conspiracy theories involving the Illuminati are bad enough (unless done humorously such as by Robert Anton Wilson). I see that Icke really does claim that the Illuminati is a reptilian race.

    This race includes George Bush. Is that why Bush failed to have that National Guard physical? :)

  20. 20
    Pecosbill says:

    “Formation of life is a continuum, and the fetus is distinct from a fully developed human living on their own.”

    But whose opinion is that? Yes, it may be yours, or from a gaggle of scientists, but nonetheless it is just an opinion.

    I have thought long and hard, and struggled with the abortion question, and, as a Christian, have decided to let my faith guide me.

    All persons have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” under the Constitution. So therefore, federal law should exist to protect that right to life. But the question then becomes to whom does that right extend?

    Obviously it would include those of us who are out of the womb. But what about those still in the womb? Jesus said, “I knew you when you were in the womb.” He didn’t say “after the second trimester when you had achieved viability.” We just don’t have the answer. And in the absence of a definitive answer we should choose to err on the side of caution and include all fetuses.

    With this you may or may not agree. But if Ron Paul is guided by a similiar philosophy, why would you fault him for it?

    Ron Paul has faults, just like the rest of us. But I have longed for a political leader who would put the Constitution ahead of those fairly new “rights” that have been manufactured in Congress and the courts. The emphasis on maximizing the freedom of the individual rings true for anyone who spent time on campus during the 60’s, as did I.

    We must be on guard against both the radical leftist who would strip you of your rights if need be to enforce his/her social agenda, as well as the neo-con who would just as soon sell your mind, body and soul to the corporate boardroom if it meant putting a dollar in his/her pocket.

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    “But whose opinion is that? Yes, it may be yours, or from a gaggle of scientists, but nonetheless it is just an opinion.”

    No, the science of embryology is well established. You may wish to reject modern science, but you do not have the right to impose this on others.

    “With this you may or may not agree. But if Ron Paul is guided by a similiar philosophy, why would you fault him for it?”

    Ron Paul may personally choose any philosophy. He does not have the right to impose these views on others. This is also a violation of the Constitution which Paul falsely claims to be a strict follower of.

    “But I have longed for a political leader who would put the Constitution ahead of those fairly new “rights” that have been manufactured in Congress and the courts.”

    In some areas Paul deserves credit for defending Constitutional liberties, but he also subscribes to an extremist view of the Constitution which is contrary to the intent of the founding fathers and which denies liberty where it differs from his personal religious views.

  22. 22
    GC says:

    Ron Paul has currently 85k in his House election coffers…His closest rival 6k. He has been reelected everytime with out defeat…10 times. No defeats!
    If America does not want him, we do!
    Ron is loved here in Galveston by everyone, just about…He is the truth.
    He is honesty we have been missing.
    We love him and we are proud of him.
    He has united Galveston and has united our will to get off government subsidies…We now know the more power you give government, the more they demand. We do not need government money…We can do it on our own..We do not want to be controlled by our federal government that knows nothing of our district…They give us money, then demand decision making control.
    No thanks…
    We have secured 60 million in private loans for when the next hurricane hits to keep local government functioning fopr a year…We will secure another 100 million next year…Wait for FEMA we will not!

    Ron will unite this nation, like he has Galveston and no one has anything to be afraid of except the truth.
    That is what we need. The truth.
    Ron, we love you.

  23. 23
    GC says:

    BTW:

    One can not deny THIS voting record compared to Hillary Clintons.

    MILITARY COMMISSIONS. RP NO…..HC YES
    PATRIOT ACT 1.. RP NO ……….HC YES
    PATRIOT ACT 2. .RP NO ……….HC YES.
    IRAQ WAR.. .RP NO………HC YES
    WAR WITH IRAN. .RP NO………HC YES.
    WIRETAPPING. .RP NO………HC YES
    INCREASED AID TO ISRAEL. RP NO…..HC. YES
    EMINENT DOMAIN..RP..NO………HC.. NV
    NAFTA………RP..NO………..HC..YES
    CAFTA………RP..NO………..HC..YES
    IMF………..RP..NO………..HC..YES
    WORLD BANK….RP..NO………..HC..YES
    WTO………..RP..NO………..HC..YES
    NORTH AMERICAN UNION..RP..NO…HC..?
    NATIONAL ID….RP..NO……….HC..YES
    IMMIGRANT DRIVERS LICENSE..RP..NO..HC..YES

  24. 24
    Ancient Sea says:

    From what I read Ron Paul does not oppose abortion because of a religious belief.  The story is something along the lines of his experience, as a obgyn he witnessed a partial birth abortion,  the child was left in a bucket,  his conscious could not condone abortion.

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    Regardless of whether this is based upon his religious views or any other personal whim of his, he has no right to impose his views on the matter onto others.

    As a Gynecologist, Paul should know that medically there is no such thing as a “partial birth abortion.” It is a term invented for political impact. I assume he is speaking of a late term abortion. Such abortions are very rare in this country, generally only done when the mother’s life is in danger. Even if he objects to late term abortions and is willing to endanger the mother (a choice he has no right to make) this has no bearing on the vast majority of abortions.

  26. 26
    Mindy Gregersen. says:

    And don't forget http://bit.ly/lrOzNy ☺ RT @OCWeekly: 10 Reasons To Love Ron Paul 2012 http://bit.ly/jYPjhj

  27. 27
    randombyter says:

    @GC, I don’t know who your sources are but mine say different things about his voting record, in regards to the Patriot act, according to his own website he supported it, so wtf are you claiming

  28. 28
    randombyter says:

    doesn’t anyone remember when Ron said he’s “always been a republican”

  29. 29
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ron Paul might have his faults, but he has been consistently against the Patriot Act, both when first passed and on votes to reenact it.

  30. 30
    MCA says:

    “Historically it was Christian leaders who were often the strongest supporters of separation of church and state. It is a recent event that the religious right has chosen to deny this fundamental principle.”

    You are absolutely correct Ron, but for the wrong reasons.  In a post previous to the quoted post, you claim the writings of the founding fathers make it clear what separation of church and state means.  Again, you are correct, but for the wrong reasons.  The only accurate statement regarding this is your comment about the court system supporting separation of church and state.

    The reason you are wrong is because  the original intent has been twisted far beyond what is factual.  Separation of church and state was to keep govt from putting one religion over another.  At the time of the founding fathers, religion was not an all encompassing term like it is today.

    At that time, there were many, and still are, separate Christian religions.  You have your Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Mormons, etc.  All are Christian.  However, at the time of the writing of our Constitution, there was contention between Catholics and Protestants.

    The idea of separation of church and state was to keep the govt from doing what the King of England had done, tell everyone if you’re going to be Christian, then you had to be Catholic, or Lutheran, etc.  This is spelled out quite clearly in the written reply to Baptists on what separation meant.  It clearly states that govt cannot make laws giving 1 religion priority over another.  In other words, govt is to stay out of the people’s religion, but no where does it say that religion has to stay out of govt!  That’s a very important point when considering the words of the Constitution and the words of correspondence from our founding fathers.  

    Also, once the courts decided to twist the 1st amendment, they stated separation OF church and state, not separation FROM church and state.  Proponents of this twisted view of the separation issue claim that’s playing semantics.  Just as you stated about Ron Paul wanting it both ways, the same applies here.  There is a difference between the words of and from.  

    The whole idea of the 1st amendment and religion, was to keep govt out of people’s personal preference.  That’s it!  No where does it say our govt must deny any public bldg from having any form of religious gathering or statements.  No where does it state that atheists get precedence over anyone religious.  And yet it happens every year, with each year becoming worse than the previous.

    Yes, atheists get precedence over any matter that involves religion, all thanks to our liberal courts.  Atheism, in its own right, is a form of religion.  The definition of religion is “a body of people adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.”  Atheism fits right into that definition. 

    How and why the 1st amendment became so twisted is anyone’s guess.  It clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”  How can that possibly be twisted to cause laws being written that if an atheist is uncomfortable walking by a courthouse that displays the 10 commandments, then the 10 commandments must be removed?  How does that equate to people no longer being able to erect manger scenes on the same spot they had done so for 50 years, simply because 1 citizen said they didn’t like it?  Or Congress passing a law that if churches discuss politics, then they lose their tax exempt status?  

    This comment of yours, “It is a recent event that the religious right has chosen to deny this fundamental principle.” is completely inaccurate.  It isn’t the Christians that have changed, it’s the govt and the push of atheism onto our citizens.  Religious groups are not denying anyone the right to worship as they choose.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  What has changed are the number of laws that have been written, unconstitutionally, to limit religion and place restrictions on them, based SOLELY on court cases filed by atheists!

    Religious people have been tolerant of others and their religious beliefs for many years, 2 centuries now.  It’s the atheists who have become intolerant of religious people.  There was a time when a high school would say a quick prayer before sporting events.  Atheists would sit quietly for the 1 minute it took.  Today there is zero tolerance towards people who pray and atheists are not happy unless they can force their personal issues onto others.  

    To clarify, I should state some atheists, not all.  Between the intolerant atheists, the twisted 1st amendment, and the liberal courts, religious people are once again getting the short end and the blame for things they haven’t done.  

    What you have seen as a recent event, is nothing more than people of faith fighting back to regain the rights that have been taken from them.  That’s a huge difference between what is actual and what is fodder.  

  31. 31
    Ron Chusid says:

    Your are correct in saying I was correct but you misunderstand the reasons when you claim it was for the wrong reasons. You miss the main point here. Separation of church and state is of value for both believers and non-believers as long as their goal is to practice their beliefs in freedom. That is why early religious leaders supported this important concept, which is essential in order to have freedom of religion.

    People on the religious right have not lost any real rights. There are no restrictions on your freedom to practice your religion. You are just upset because the views of the founding fathers on separation of church and state and freedom of religion prevent you from using government to impose your views upon others. This is a bogus “right” which you might be fighting for, but which you are not entitled to.

  32. 32
    Jhay Dee says:

     
    The question has to be asked, why would you want to put something that is considered sacred (representations of God, Jesus, the 10 Commandments, manger scene,etc, etc, etc) in places associated, for various reasons, with people and institutions that are widely believed to be immoral, corrupt and unscrupulous. I am a Christian Libertarian as well, and I think that a religious display is more well intended if it is done in a private manner, for instance, a monument to the 10 Commandments , would to me, mean more if done on private property with private money. Is the Foundation of this country in part  built on Judeo-Christian principles, yes. But I do not believe that is to the exclusion of all others. I have read Jefferson’s correspondence with the Danbury Baptist Association, and it is obvious to me that it is a correspondence of a cordial nature. I think the hostility that is shown by Jefferson, if not other Founders is not so much against religion, as it is against the purveyors of those beliefs who use them against the liberty and freedom of the people. Correct me if I am wrong, but have not read any statement by the Founding Fathers wherein they expressed that under the religious liberty protected by the Constitution that elected leaders of any kind are prohibited from voting their conscience, granted I would be remiss if I did not add that those same politicians took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, so in that respect I believe that there are things they shouldn’t vote for or vote for
     
    As far as my position on abortion is concerned, I believe that abortion should be legal for medical purposes, if for no other reason than the interest of the mother’s life in any given medical situation wherein the mothers life is in danger. The simple fact of the matter is that such a heart rending decision should be made by one or both of the biological parents. As far as rape and incest are concerned, one must ask if there are other options outside of an abortion to deal with these issues. Having not researched that aspect, I must say that my initial assumption would be, yes.  To me it ultimately comes down to one of two things. A fertilized egg either is life at conception, or at conception has the potential of life once birthed in to the world. As far as the issue of responsibility between consenting adults, I believe it is hard to have a debate on the obligations of that consensual sex due to a toxic debate atmosphere, primarily politically.
     

  33. 33
    Jhay Dee says:

    I should amend my statement above….Concerning the aspect of abortion I was speaking to…..It should read the following: A fertilized is life at conception or at the moment of conception there is the potential of life once that is achieved once birthed into the world.
     
     
     
    Jhay

  34. 34
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is an important amendment. We are dealing with a continuum of development here. A fertilized cell is a form of life but that does not mean it is the same form of life as a more developed human or entitled to the same types of rights. Debate over this is futile as it is not going to lead to those on different sides of this issue changing their minds, but I believe that the rights of a woman to own and control her own body trump any rights which a fertilized egg might have.

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