Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where does Paul Ryan stand on abortion, the right to life?

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is Mitt Romney's running mate, the Republican candidate for vice president in the Nov. 6 election. Where does he stand on the right to life?

Ryan is fully committed to respecting and protecting the dignity and right to life of every member of the human family, including the unborn. He told the Weekly Standard's John McCormack, "I'm as pro-life as a person gets." He wrote in a 2009 op-ed, "I remain committed to restoring the value of human life and fighting for the rights of the unborn. ... Most importantly, we must ensure that the most vulnerable among us—both unborn children and mothers struggling with unplanned pregnancies—are afforded the compassion and opportunities they need to choose life."

According to National Right to Life, Ryan has voted 78 times in favor of the pro-life position and zero times against it—a 100 percent pro-life voting record through his entire tenure in Congress. These include votes to prevent approval of the abortion drug RU486, ban partial-birth abortion, cut off federal funding to abortion giant Planned Parenthood, ban human cloning, prevent federal funding of embryo-destructive research, stop taxpayer funding of abortion, prevent abortion funding overseas, protect unborn children capable of experiencing pain, and repeal Obamacare.

Though he is known for his economic and budgetary expertise, Ryan has rejected Republican calls for a "truce" on "social issues" (such as abortion) in order to focus on economics: "You're not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they're unavoidable, and I'm never going to not vote pro-life."

Ryan has further explained:
Healthy debate should take place within the Republican Party on specific policies, but it is a false choice to ask which natural right we should discard: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is not a menu of options. All planks—economic liberty and limited government; keeping our nation secure; championing America's founding truths and the dignity of every human person—are rooted in same timeless principles, enshrined in our Founding and the cause of our exceptionalism.
Indeed, Ryan penned an article in 2010 titled "The Cause of Life Can't Be Severed from the Cause of Freedom," in which he wrote:
Now, after America has won the last century's hard-fought struggles against unequal human rights in the forms of totalitarianism abroad and segregation at home, I cannot believe any official or citizen can still defend the notion that an unborn human being has no rights that an older person is bound to respect. I do know that we cannot go on forever feigning agnosticism about who is human. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time." 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. How long can we sustain our commitment to freedom if we continue to deny the very foundation of freedom—life—for the most vulnerable human beings? ...

[G]overnment must uphold every person's right to make choices regarding their lives and ... every person's right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice. In the state of nature—the "law of the jungle"—the determination of who "qualifies" as a human being is left to private individuals or chosen groups. In a justly organized community, however, government exists to secure the right to life and the other human rights that follow from that primary right.
"The pro-life Romney-Ryan team stands in sharp contrast to the avowed pro-abortion administration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden," concludes National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. "With the election of a Romney-Ryan ticket, America, and her children, will be in good hands."