Since officially launching his 2016 White House bid on Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has been dogged by requests to clarify his position on abortion.
As a presidential candidate, Paul has been vague about the specifics of his abortion policy, but when he was running for Senate in 2010, he seemed to be far clearer about where he stands.
As part of his Senate campaign, Paul filled out and signed a questionnaire issued by the anti-abortion Kentucky Right to Life Association. On this sheet, he checked off boxes detailing his positions on very specific aspects of abortion policy including questions about whether he supports a Human Life Amendment to the US Constitution and whether he opposes “abortion in cases of rape and incest.”
On the 2010 questionnaire, Paul checked “yes” to indicate he does oppose “abortion in cases of rape and incest.” However, i
n media interviews this week, Paul has repeatedly ducked questions about this same issue and declined to say whether he believes an abortion ban should include these exceptions.
“I’ve supported both bills with and without [exceptions], you know. In general, I am pro-life. So I will support legislation that advances and shows that life is special and deserves protection,” Paul told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
The libertarian-minded senator gave a similar statement in a Wednesday interview on CNN, where he argued that both liberals and conservatives can broadly agree that late-term abortion should be banned.
“There will be extenuating circumstances,” Paul said when asked about pregnancies from rape and incest. “And I’ve supported legislation both with exceptions and without exceptions. Basically, my point of view has been that anything that puts forward and develops and says, ‘You know what? There is something special about life and there’s a role for government,’ I’ve supported.”
Paul has previously offered similar answers when pressed on whether there should be exemptions. In 2013, for example, he told CNN, “I don’t think it’s a simple as checking box and saying exceptions or no exceptions.” But checking a box was exactly what he did when he filled out the 2010 questionnaire.
Paul’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment from Business Insider asking whether the questionnaire still reflects his views.
View parts of the questionnaire below:
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