Paul introduces bill to give unborn children constitutional rights

Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat to watch for on Day 2 at the GOP convention Cyber squatters sitting on valuable VP web addresses Majority of GOP senators to attend Trump convention MORE (R-Ky.) is adding new fuel to the battle over abortion rights.

The presidential candidate has introduced legislation that would give unborn children equal protection under the law as part of the 14th Amendment, giving them the same rights as "born" individuals. 

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Paul said the legislation "declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known — that human life begins at the moment of conception." 

"Only when America chooses, remembers, and restores her respect for life will we rediscover our moral bearings and truly find our way," he said. 

Paul's legislation is expected to be placed on the Senate calendar next week, allowing it to skip over the committee process. The move could allow it to come up for a vote, though no floor time has been scheduled. 

Under the 14th Amendment, "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Republicans have pushed for decades to give unborn children constitutional protection, including the issue in their election-year platforms, though some have argued that such a move wouldn't necessarily mean a blanket ban on abortions. 

Paul's legislation wouldn't amend the Constitution and wouldn't "require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child" or ban the use of birth control. 

The proposal comes as thousands of conservative activists are gathering in Washington for the annual March for Life anti-abortion rally. 

Paul, separately, slammed his congressional colleagues, saying that they've refused "to recognize that the right to life is guaranteed to all Americans — born and unborn." 

"As president, I will fight to protect the unborn from the very moment life begins," he added in a statement about the rally. 

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