Paul Ryan: I’m Proud of My Pro-Life Record on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2012   |   1:02PM   |   Washington, DC

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is not backing down on his pro-life position in face of attacks from the media and abortion activists who want to tie him to the controversial remarks made by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.

Media outlets have been attempting to paint Ryan and presidential candidate Mitt Romney as extremists on the issue of abortion because of the remarks Akin made about women, rape and abortion. But Ryan is standing his ground on his pro-life position.

The Los Angeles Times asked him about a bill he voted for that would ban taxpayer funding for abortions that included exemptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest in order to get enough votes to be approved. The language of the bill included the FBI definition of “forcible rape” but was dropped after pro-abortion groups complained.

Ryan stood up for his vote to ban taxpayer funding of abortions, saying, “It was bipartisan…. I think we had 251 votes, 16 Democrats. I’m proud of my pro-life record

The media also attempted to divide Romney and Ryan, who differ on the question of abortion in those very rare cases. But Ryan wouldn’t give into the liberal line of questioning — seeking to show how the two agree on opposing abortion in the 99% of cases that don’t involve rape.

Look, I’m proud of my record…. Mitt Romney is going to be the president; the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction. I’ll leave it at that.”

During the 2010 elections, Ryan told The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, “I’m as pro-life as a person gets.”

Ryan said he is equally adamant about both his conservative fiscal views as well as his position that every unborn child has the right to live.

“I write as an unswerving proponent of both free market choice and the natural right to life,” Ryan wrote in a Heritage Foundation piece called “The Cause of Life Can’t be Severed from the Cause of Freedom.” “It is unfortunate that ‘life’ and ‘choice’ were ever separated and viewed as alternatives.”

Ryan continued:  “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?”

“All conservatives should find it easy to agree that government must uphold every person’s right to make choices regarding their lives and that every person’s right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice,” he said then.



The National Right to Life Committee, in tracking the votes Ryan has cast in Congress on important pro-life issues, has crafted a perfect 100% pro-life voting record.

This year, Ryan is 10 for 10 in pro-life voting — voting to repeal Obamacare, cut off taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood repeatedly, stopping taxpayer funding for abortions in various instances, banning sex-selection abortions, providing for pro-life conscience protections for medical professionals, and banning abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy in the nation’s capital.

In fact, in 78 votes NRLC has tracked where Ryan voted on key pro-life issues, he never voted against pro-life interests during his career in the House of Representatives. Ryan has voted to prevent taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research and to ban the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion.

Ryan has taken a tough pro-life position against the Obama HHS mandate, saying, “This is much, much bigger than about contraception. This is about religious freedom, First Amendment rights, and how this progressive philosophy of fungible rights of a living breathing constitution really clashes and collides with these core rights that we built our society and country around.”