Paul Ryan has got a problem. He has been forced by Mitt Romney to condone what he truly believes to be murder.
The vice presidential nominee is not what anyone would have called wishy washy. He is not a flip flopper. You can’t blame Romney, who has been called those names, for what Ryan has done. Romney has gone from being pro-choice to pro-life since he was governor of Massachusetts. Now Ryan is doing far more than that.
His former position on abortion and his current position have changed so radically that it makes one doubt that he has any conscience of his convictions at all.
Ryan co-sponsored legislation along with Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, called “The Sanctity of Human Life Act,” which a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, the devout Catholic has cast 60 votes in the House against abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. The advocacy group said he has co-sponsored legislation that would ban “abortion care in almost all cases, including rape or incest.”
In the case of rape, Ryan has said, “I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that ... the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” He has also said, “I’m as pro-life as a person gets” and that he’s “never going to not vote pro-life.” And he backed a bill – some call it the “Protect Life Act” while others deem it the “Let Women Die Act” - that would allow hospitals to refuse abortion to a woman, regardless of whether her life was in danger.
He’s right about one thing. That’s about as pro-life as you can get.
Yet, Wednesday night he didn’t mention abortion in his passionate speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. That has to be because Romney feels the issue is a distraction.
“The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years,” he has said, “but this is a matter for the courts.”Romeny has also distanced himself from the Republican platform, which calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion and makes mention of no exceptions.
No wonder he doesn’t want abortion to surface now. The shadow of Todd Akin lies over this convention. It was just under the surface when Rick Santorum mentioned “all of God’s children, the born and the unborn” and got the loudest ovation of the evening.
Akin remarked in a recent interview, that women have certain mechanisms in their bodies that would prevent them getting pregnant during a “legitimate rape.” It was the way he said it and the fact that he said it publicly which had the Republicans in a rage as they felt it would hurt the party and called for him to drop out of the race. Romney was as critical as any of them and even had Ryan call Akin and ask him to drop out. But Akin is sticking to his guns. And why not? He’s telling the truth about the way he feels.
His position was supported in Missouri by many women supporters. According to a Washington Post piece by Stephanie McCrummen, Sharon Barnes, a local Republican committee woman, said that if a woman is raped and becomes pregnant then God has “blessed this person with a life” that should not be taken. Clarifying her remarks, she explained, “I didn’t mean a loving gift. The whole concept of rape is so violent, so horrific. I’m just trying to say – it’s just hard to express that the child should not be punished.”
This is, in fact, the “legitimate” view if one is opposed to abortion on the grounds that it is taking a human life. That’s called murder. Ryan believes that life begins at conception, therefore abortion is murder. As he has said, “The freedom to choose is pointless for someone who does not have the freedom to live. So the right of ‘choice’ of one human being cannot trump the right to ‘life’ of another.”
Romney believes that abortion is okay in the cases of rape or incest. Now, so does Ryan, or so he says.
“Look,” he remarked recently, “I’m proud of my record. But Mitt Romney is going to be the president; the president sets the policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction. I’ll leave it at that.”
So if it’s murder he’s comfortable with that? How do you get comfortable with murder just because the person you’re running with is comfortable with it? The honorable and logical position on abortion, if you believe it is taking a human life is, as Sharon Barnes says, how can you possibly condone killing a child simply because that child had the bad fortune to be conceived by rape or incest. Would it be okay to kill a child conceived by rape or murder after it is born? If not, what’s the difference?
I’d like to hear what Ryan has to say about that.
The fact that he has changed his mind, or says he has, over the single most important act of conscience a person can make, is not only unbelievable cynical but also immoral.
But then, that will have to be between him and his God.
Related links from On Faith:
Sally Quinn | Aug 30, 2012 4:01 PM