Pro-Life Democrats Group Cuts Squishy Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan From Board

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Democrats Group Cuts Squishy Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan From Board

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 15
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — There was once a time with Ohio congressman Tim Ryan was considered a rising star within pro-life circles. A rare pro-life Democrat and from the crucial battleground state of Ohio, Ryan was embraced by Right to Life groups and by Democrats for Life of America.

Ryan worked with the national organization for pro-life Democrats and eventually became a national advisory board member and a sponsor of its key legislative component.

However, as has chronicled, Ryan has increasingly backed away from the pro-life position and gone as far as attacking pro-life groups in public.

When he took DFLA’s legislation, the Pregnant Women Support Act, and compromised it by including taxpayer funding for the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, that was the last straw for the organization.

“DFLA gave Congressman Ryan ample opportunities to prove he’s committed to protecting life, but he has turned his back on the community at every turn,” Kristen Day, the group’s executive director, says.

Day said pro-life Democrats “have lost a promising, rising star to the pro-choice movement.

Ryan claims he still holds a pro-life position, but tells the Youngstown Vindicator newspaper that he can’t work with pro-life groups that refuse to support giving money to pro-abortion groups to promote contraception and birth control.

“We’re working in Congress with groups that agree with preventative options while [the DFLA] is getting left behind,” Ryan said. “I can’t figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception. Don’t be mad at me for wanting to solve the problem.”

Ryan, who backed Obama during the election, told the paper he tried to work with DFLA but got the axe when he wouldn’t stop lobbying for more money for Planned Parenthood.

“They asked me to leave; I got booted,” Ryan said and now he is attacking the organization, calling it a "fringe group."

Democrats for Life is not the only pro-life group to notice that Ryan has gone astray from his original pro-life position.

“He’s been less and less with us over the years,” Ohio Right to Life director Mike Gonidakis told the paper. “We scratch our heads at what has happened to Tim Ryan. Maybe going to D.C. changes people. We’d like to bring Tim Ryan back into the fold.”

Ryan’s departure from the pro-life position can be tracked in his voting record, as compiled by the National Right to Life Committee, which gave him a zero rating for the 2007-08 congressional session.

He most recently came under fire for supporting the Financial Services Appropriation bill that includes language overturning the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in the nation’s capital. Ryan had formerly supported the ban and pro-life groups call his vote a change of position.

Ryan defended his vote saying whether the Washington city government pays for abortions is "not the federal government’s concern." That goes to the heart of the DFLA decision.

Related web sites:
Democrats For Life of America –

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