During the Republican primary, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised to pick a running mate who is just as anti-abortion as he is, and he seems to have found that in Paul Ryan. “I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” Ryan, who is Roman Catholic, told the Weekly Standard in 2010.
The Republican from Wisconsin has cast 59 anti-choice votes on abortion and reproductive rights issues during his seven terms in Congress. From supporting restrictive limitations on abortion services to restricting military women’s access to abortion care, Ryan’s record firmly establishes him as an anti-choice politician. Here are five of his extreme positions everyone should know about:
1. Ryan co-sponsored a “personhood” amendment that would give legal rights to a fetus starting at conception. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, an anti-abortion measure declaring that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and in-vitro fertilization.
2. Ryan supports banning all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. In addition to his support of the personhood amendment, Ryan won his congressional seat in 1998 by emphasizing his opposition to all abortions without exceptions. But this puts him at odds with Mitt Romney, who has said he would allow exceptions in cases or rape and incest.
3. Ryan voted to ban abortion coverage from being included in the state health insurance exchanges. The Stupak amendment that Ryan backed would have prevented women from purchasing plans that cover abortion services through the exchanges set up under Obamacare — even when using their own funds.
4. Ryan compared Roe v. Wade to the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision. “Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court — charged with being the guardian of rights — has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it ‘disqualified’ a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results,” Ryan wrote in 2010. After the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford, “the second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973,” he added.
5. Ryan has supported defunding Planned Parenthood. In 2011, he voted for an amendment that would block Planned Parenthood and the health care organization’s affiliates from receiving any funds in a 2011 continuing appropriations bill.