TSA Prevents Rand Paul From Speaking at March for Life

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 23, 2012   |   1:06PM   |   Nashville, TN

The Internet on Monday morning was abuzz about a dustup at the Nashville, Tennessee airport — where pro-life U.S. Sen. Ran Paul, a Kentucky Republican, was reportedly detailed by the Transportation Security Administration.

His Communications Director, Moira Bagley says Paul was detained when he refused a full-body pat-down, after the scanner went off. He reportedly lifted his pant-leg to show he had no metal, and asked to be re-screened but was denied that opportunity. Although TSA officials say he was not detained, his staff and several news reports have used that word.

Bagley told Politico, “I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely… The image scan went off, he refused patdown.”

“Senator Paul is being detained at the Nashville Airport by the TSA,” Sen. Rand Paul’s Facebook post read after the incident. “We will update you as the situation develops.”

CNN’s Dana Bash has reported that the TSA has responded, saying Paul walked away willingly.

“When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport,” TSA spokesman Greg Soule told CNN. “Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.”

The TSA told the news network that Paul was “not detained” and left the checkpoint willingly.

Paul was scheduled to speak to the March for Life today in Washington D.C., where hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates are gathering to solemnly mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that marks 39 years of virtually unlimited abortions resulting in the deaths of more than 54 million unborn children.

“Today I will speak to the March for Life in Washington DC. A nation cannot long endure without respect for the fundamental right to Life. Our Liberty depends on it,” he said on his Facebook page.