By Andy Barr
Ron Paul on Monday created some distance between himself and his fellow libertarians on abortion, telling a gathering of social conservatives in Iowa that protecting the unborn is integral to his philosophy.
Speaking for the Iowa Family Leader's presidential lecture series in Sioux City, Paul said that he is troubled when he hears libertarians advocate for abortion rights. Describing conversations with supporters, the Texas congressman and presidential hopeful said he often here a "libertarian type of argument" along the lines of "it's the woman's body. She can do whatever she wants. She can have an abortion."
"I don't like them to use that argument -- that believing in liberty means you can kill the unborn," Paul said.
Paul contended that libertarianism and opposing abortion are not separate philosophies, but rather stem from the same belief structure.
"Life comes from our creator, not our government. Liberty comes from our creator, not from government," he said. "Therefore, the purpose, if there is to be a purpose, for government is to protect life and liberty."
The lecture series being put on by The Family Leader is playing host to most of the leading presidential contenders over the next few months as the social conservative group tries to solidify its supporters as a key voting bloc ahead of next year's caucus.
Paul stuck to his basic message throughout the half-hour speech, hitting his consistent themes of dollar devaluation and decrying foreign intervention. But speaking to the crowd of social conservatives, Paul made a few slight adjustments to his delivery -- frequently citing Bible passages as the foundation of his libertarian beliefs.
The speech Monday made up for a prior planned speech to the Family Leader that was canceled in March due to heavy snow.