Catholic Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan Flip-Flops From Pro-Life to Pro-Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2015   |   3:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Catholic Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has officially changed his position on abortion and now says he supports legalized abortion after listening to women who have had abortions share their stories. But the state’s leading political group says Ryan’s decision has less to do with listening to women and more to do with listening to his political ambition to run for higher office.

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.

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

Since 2009, Ryan hasn’t cast a single pro-life vote and has a 0% pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. Even before then, his “pro-life” voting record was spotty and included votes for abortion funding in some cases.

Now, despite ignoring the millions of women who profoundly regret their abortions, Ryan says women’s stories converted him to the pro-abortion position.

Ryan wrote about his decision to back abortion:

I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation and heard them talk about their varying experiences: abusive relationships, financial hardship, health scares, rape and incest. There are endless stories about women in troubling situations — the woman who became pregnant and has a violent spouse; the woman who lost her job and is unable to afford another child; or the underage girl worried she’ll be thrown out of her house if she reveals her pregnancy.

These are just a few of the many stories I have heard. Each of these women lived through difficult and personal situations with few options and no clear path to take. This is why there is no easy answer.

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These women gave me a better understanding of how complex and difficult certain situations can become. And while there are people of good conscience on both sides of this argument, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families.

But Mike Gonidakis of Ohio Right to Life tells he seesn Ryan’s flip-flop differently.

“Congressman Ryan’s flip-flop on abortion clearly demonstrates his opportunistic and self centered approach in seeking higher office.  By callously and carelessly tossing aside his so-called strong Catholic upbringing and pro-life beliefs to now support abortion, sadly proves yet again that politicians will say anything and do anything to get elected or climb the political ladder.  It is no wonder why Congress has the lowest approval rating in our nation’s history,” he said.

He continued: “Of course, Ryan was proudly “pro-life” while easily getting re-elected in an otherwise gerrymandered district.  But now as he seeks higher office, which we assume will be a challenge to pro-life Senator Rob Portman, he chooses to abandon those who helped him get elected in the first place.  Most alarming to all Ohioans, both pro-life and pro-choice, is that if he is willing to easily flip-flop on the fundamental issue of a baby’s life, what would he do with every other issue which faces our nation.”

Gonidakis said: “Congressman Ryan’s so-called conversion should be a wake-up call to voters in his current district as well as the rest of Ohio that he is nothing more than a political opportunist who will say anything to get elected.  Thankfully Ohioans have rejected this type of politics and Congressman Ryan, I suspect, will soon learn of these consequences if he chooses to run for the US Senate.”

When he took Democrat’s for Life’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, who backed Obama during the election,has been flop-floopping on abortion for some time. Now it’s official.