From a page on Ron Paul's website that I got to from a link in a Matthew Yglesias post titled "Ron Paul's Strange Freedom." Yglesias says:
[I]f it weren’t for his loud fanbase of self-proclaimed libertarians you wouldn’t really think [Ron Paul is] a libertarian. He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies...Would Ron Paul punish women who get abortions as criminals? His website says he "will continue to fight for the same pro-life solutions he has upheld in Congress, including..."
* Immediately saving lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.”Does either of those proposals represent a plan — "loudly trumpet[ed]" or not — to prosecute women who have abortions? It seems to me that both of these bills are about cutting federal jurisdiction, which would leave the matter of abortion to state courts. Those courts would still be bound by Supreme Court precedent, by the way, although they'd be left to their own devices about following that precedent.
* Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.”
Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism. He shouldn't shoot his credibility to hell with statements like "He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies."
UPDATE: Yglesias responds to this post:
Ann Althouse chooses for some reason to dispute that Ron “respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn” Paul wants to ban abortion.No. I dispute that he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. Those are your words, Matt, and it is quite dishonest to change the language as you embark on your attempt to discredit me.
Since she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines of such proposals as “Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a Sanctity of Life Act’” she might be interesting [sic] in some other quotations from Congressman Paul such as....Well, the fact is, Matt, I really am interesting. I'm so interesting that you ought to pay attention to the precise words that I use in disputing you. Pay attention to the text before you embark on your flights of interpretation that you gratuitously insult me for supposedly lacking the capacity to perform. Pay attention to my text and to your own text (which needs editing). You ought to learn to read and be honest about what you have read.
Yglesias goes on to quote something Ron Paul said about the fetus being a person. I'm well aware, as my post clearly shows, that Paul believes the fetus is a person who deserves rights. The issue, however is whether he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. He has not done that.
Ron Paul's proposals are about diverting the matter to the state courts, as I clearly describe in my post. Now, if you want to say that voters who care about preserving abortion rights should not trust Ron Paul, then I agree with you. But you should agree with me that he most certainly did not "loudly trumpet[ a] plan to impose criminal penalties." Why can't you just fix your misstatement? Why this pointless pigheadedness? You're doing yourself no favors, Matt, and insulting my intelligence — "she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines" — is — as they say — incivil.