By Jack Brammer – firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky are debating who is the most opposed to abortion.
Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul said Thursday he is “100 percent pro-life” and favors allowing individual states “to protect life” while the country awaits enough votes on the U.S. Supreme Court to ban abortion or a constitutional amendment is approved to protect life.
Paul said in a statement that “a bill allowing states to act to end abortion — much like a repeal of Roe v. Wade — could come much sooner than any true federal ban.”
He also said his chief rival, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, has “declined to support legislation that would stop the federal government from forcing California- and New York-style abortion on demand on the people of Kentucky.”
Paul’s comments came after Grayson and another GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate — Todd County businessman Bill Johnson — took the unusual step of issuing a joint statement Wednesday in response to claims contained in a radio ad by Paul on abortion.
Paul said he would vote for any law to help end abortion, but Grayson and Johnson noted that Paul has previously said he “probably” would have supported a federal ban on partial birth abortion.
“There’s no ‘probably’ when it comes to the issue of partial birth abortion among Kentucky pro-life activists,” said Grayson in the joint release.
“Whether it’s Bill Johnson or myself, Kentuckians deserve to know who can be counted on to protect life and stand up for our conservative values in the race for U.S. Senate.”
Johnson said: “While Rand Paul claims to be pro-life, he has in the past voiced support for allowing states to decide the issue and has opposed federal regulation of abortion.”
Paul called the joint statement “yet another desperate attempt” by Grayson “to prop up a campaign being rejected by the grass-roots conservatives of Kentucky.”
He said he made his first public statements condemning abortion before his church when he was 17 and that he refused to participate in abortion “training” in medical school.
Paul also said he has been a member for 20 years of The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, an organization that has a pro-life stance and seeks a legal definition of life as beginning at conception.
Grayson, who picked up the endorsement last week of the Kentucky Right to Life Association, started airing a radio ad Wednesday about the issue.
Here’s the ad: