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Rand Paul: 'Not opposed to birth control'
00:23 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Rand Paul says he's not opposed to Plan B, an emergency contraception pill

Paul has previously introduced a bill that defines life at conception

Some social conservatives consider Plan B an abortion drug

Charleston, South Carolina CNN  — 

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he is not opposed to Plan B, the emergency contraception commonly known as the morning-after pill.

Paul, a likely Republican presidential candidate, sponsored an anti-abortion bill in 2013 that defines life as beginning at fertilization. Democrats say the so-called “Personhood” measure would outlaw Plan B and other emergency contraceptives.

Paul was asked about the matter during an appearance at the College of Charleston, one stop on a day-long college tour of South Carolina.

“If life starts at conception, should medicine that prevents conception like Plan B be legal?,” a woman asked him during a question-and-answer session here.

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Paul at first gave a terse answer: “I am not opposed to birth control,” he said.

After a pause, Paul elaborated. “That’s basically what Plan B is,” he said. “Plan B is taking two birth control pills in the morning and two in the evening, and I am not opposed to that.”

A number of prominent social conservatives have condemned the morning-after pill as on-demand abortion drugs, sometimes confusing the contraceptive with RU-486, which can be used to induce abortion.

Paul stood by his answer after the event, when asked about the exchange by reporters.

“Plan B is taking birth control,” he said. “I am not against birth control and I don’t know many Republicans who would be indicating that they are against birth control.”

Paul also visited the University of South Carolina in Columbia and also made a stop in Myrtle Beach to meet with local Republicans.