Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a strong pro-life case against abortion during the Vice-Presidential debate on Thursday night.
During a debate marked by Vice President Joe Biden’s snark and interrupting, Ryan calmly and cooly laid out why he takes a pro-life position and how his Catholic faith has helped guide him to a place where he opposes abortion.
“I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life,” Ryan said. “Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.”
“You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now I believe that life begins at conception,” Ryan continued.
“That’s why — those are the reasons why I’m pro-life. Now I understand this is a difficult issue, and I respect people who don’t agree with me on this, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother,” Ryan said.
When it comes to abortion, Ryan said “the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized and wouldn’t second guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme.”
During his response, Vice President Biden essentially laid out the pro-life position of the Catholic Church, of which he is a member, and then he proceeded to talk about how he violates it.
“My religion defines who I am, and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who — who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to — with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a — what we call a (inaudible) doctrine. Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life,” Biden said.
“But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the — the congressman. I — I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that — women they can’t control their body,” Biden continued. “It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that.”
Later, Ryan laid out his pro-life views further.
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“We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination,” he said.
Biden talked about the closeness of the Supreme Court on the issue of abortion and knocked Governor Romney for having pro-life former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork as his judicial advisor.
“The court — the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for — for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw (inaudible) — outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen,” Biden said. “I guarantee you, that will not happen. We picked two people. We pick people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court.”