So Paul Ryan is the Republican nominee for vice president, and immediately the Democratic party began pointing out his plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system, an idea that is deeply divisive, particularly among seniors in swing states like Florida. But Paul Ryan’s plan concerning Medicare is not the most worrisome of the positions he brings to the Romney/Ryan ticket. No, the biggest albatross he hung around Mitt Romney’s neck is that of his stance on abortion. From The Hill:
One of the bills [Ryan] co-sponsored would define human life as beginning at the moment of fertilization — a far-reaching approach that could limit access to contraception and procedures like in vitro fertilization. It’s similar to the “personhood” approach, which voters in deeply conservative Mississippi rejected last November.
Read that last sentence – even the voters in the reddest state in the nation rejected the concept! One has to ask exactly what Mitt Romney was thinking when he chose Paul Ryan to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. But let’s take a closer look at Paul Ryan’s record concerning a woman’s right to choose:
- Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. (May 2011)
- Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
- Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
- Voted YES on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)
- Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
- Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)
- Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
- Voted YES on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
- Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
- Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
- Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
- Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
- Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
- Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance. (Dec 2006)
- Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion. (Jan 2008)
- Bar funding for abortion under federal Obamacare plans. (Jul 2010)
- Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)
- Congress shall protect life beginning with fertilization. (Jan 2011)
- Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. (Jan 2011)
- Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment. (Jan 2007)
Ah, but it gets better, or worse, depending on your particular view. There’s the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that was introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), and Paul Ryan was one of the 64 cosponsors (all of whom were Republican). The bill included an interesting (if unintended) consequence
The Sanctity of Human Life Act, which Ryan co-sponsored, would have enshrined the notion that life begins at fertilization in federal law, thus criminalizing in vitro fertilization—the process of creating an embryo outside of a woman’s womb. In IVF, doctors typically create multiple embryos and then only implant the healthiest ones in the woman. Some of them stick and become babies, and some don’t. The embryos that don’t make it to the womb are either frozen for later use or destroyed. The Sanctity of Human Life Act, if passed, would make all those embryos “people” in the legal sense, so if they aren’t used or don’t become babies after being implanted, they would essentially become murder victims under the law.
In the more than 30 years since the world’s first “test-tube baby,” IVF has become a fairly common procedure and a lifeline to many infertile couples, Democrat and Republican, despite some of the thorny moral issues involved in the process. Some 60,000 babies every year are born thanks to IVF. Infertility is thought to affect some 10 to 15 percent of all couples in the US—especially those upper-class professionals who delay childbearing until their late 30s and early 40s. Infertility, in fact, is such a bipartisan problem that no fewer than three of Mitt Romney’s own children have relied on the procedure to produce some of his 18 grandchildren.
So under the law that Ryan cosponsored, three of Mitt Romney’s sons would have been criminals! Again, one has to wonder just what the heck Romney was thinking, particularly since he once supported a woman’s right to choose, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.”
Bear in mind, now, that this isn’t just Paul Ryan’s idea, because the bill had sixty four Republican cosponsors. One can imagine what kind of support such legislation would get if, say, something unfortunate were to happen to Mitt Romney and Paul took residence in the White House.
So that’s the choice that has been laid before America’s conservatives, and it is up to them as to what they feel is more important: regaining their America from the Democrats and from the president they so despise, or preserving a woman’s right to choose. Of course most conservatives will choose the former, but if the decision by Mississippi, the reddest state in the nation, concerning embryonic personhood is any indication, more than a few conservatives will vote for someone other than the Romney/Ryan ticket in order to preserve a woman’s right to choose.