Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Friday introduced so-called "fetal personhood" legislation that would completely outlaw abortion in the United States.
The Life at Conception Act would declare that human life began at conception, providing fertilized eggs with the same legal status as born persons.
"The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known - that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward,” Paul said in a statement. "The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress."
In a fundraising video for the National Pro-Life Alliance last year, the Republican senator explained that the bill would outlaw abortion without contradicting the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Citing the ruling, Paul claimed Congress had the power to define when human life began under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
"The Court then admitted that if the personhood of an unborn baby is established, the right to abort 'collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the  Amendment,'" he said.
Pro-life activists have pushed to amend the constitutions of several states with "fetal personhood" language, but have so far been rejected by voters.
Paul introduced similar legislation last year along with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).