Ryan Refuses To Say Abortions Should Be Available To Women Who Are Raped

From left, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

This morning, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) revealed that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan urged him to drop out of his U.S. Senate race after Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments made him a liability to Republicans nationally. Yet Ryan’s attempt to stick a knife into the increasingly toxic senate candidate cannot be squared with Ryan’s long record of working with Akin to curtail reproductive freedom and redefine rape. Ryan and Akin cosponsored a “personhood” bill that would not only prohibit rape survivors from seeking an abortion, but would likely treat terminating a pregnancy that results from rape as a homicide crime. Similarly, Ryan and Akin partnered on a bill seeking to prevent Medicaid recipients who are raped from obtaining an abortion unless they are victims of “forcible rape.”

Nor is this a new position for Paul Ryan. The man Mitt Romney wants to be a heartbeat away from the presidency claimed that abortion should be illegal except for “cases in which a doctor deems an abortion necessary to save the mother’s life” as far back as his first House campaign in 1998. Throughout his career Ryan’s view has been consistent and unambiguous — rape survivors are out of luck.

In an interview with a local Pittsburgh television station yesterday, Ryan was given the opportunity to revise his position now that he is half of the Republican Party’s national ticket. He refused:

QUESTION: Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?

RYAN: Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.

Watch it:

Once again, Ryan’s “pro-life record in Congress” includes seeking to ban abortions in the case of rape.

Ryan did appear to distance himself from his “forcible rape” bill. Echoing President Obama, Ryan flip-flopped from his previous attempt to treat “forcible rape” survivors differently from other women who are raped. He now claims that “rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.” This concession means very little, however, in light of his blanket opposition to abortions for women who are raped.

Ryan’s position is that all pregnant rape survivors should be treated the same — the government should force them to carry their rapist’s baby to term.