The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to install pro-life Republican Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as its new speaker, replacing Speaker John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who announced is retirement last month.
Republicans put up a majority of at least 218 House votes to elect Ryan over pro-abortion Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and pro-life Republican Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida.
Ryan has been a strong pro-life advocate during his time in Congress and holds a 100% pro-life voting record. Most recently, Congressman Ryan voted for the House measure that would de-fund Planned Parenthood and the companion bill to ensure the continuing resolution would de-fund Planned Parenthood. He voted a third time this past week to de-fund Planned Parenthood via the reconciliation bill.
After his election, pro-life groups immediately congratulated Ryan and expressed an interest in working with the pro-life advocate to push for more pro-life legislation and de-funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
North Dakota Right to Life, an affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, sent the following tweet:
Congratulations to Congressman Paul Ryan on being elected US House Speaker! Speaker Ryan has a strong pro-life voting record.
— ND Right to Life (@NDRTL) October 29, 2015
Meanwhile, Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest congratulated Ryan on his election to Speaker of the House, calling him “a pro-life leader who understands that common sense legislation respecting life is an essential part of the work of Congress.”
She told LifeNews: “Speaker Ryan is well-known for his consistent pro-life values exhibited in important votes for life. His record includes voting to support the Mexico City Policy that prevents U.S. tax dollars from paying for abortions in other countries; to protect young girls by prohibiting people from taking them across state lines to obtain abortions; to ban human cloning; to repeal the landmark anti-life law known as Obamacare; to protect unborn children from abortion at 5 months of pregnancy when they can feel pain and may be able to live outside the womb; to redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s leading abortionist chain Planned Parenthood toward true, full-service health care facilities; and in support of banning the gruesome partial-birth abortions dangerous to women and their unborn children.”
“Abortion is dangerous for women and destroys their unborn children,” noted Yoest. “And we look forward to working with the Speaker on laws that protect women and children from abortion industry abuses, on laws that show respect for people’s Constitutional freedom of conscience, and on the investigations of Planned Parenthood, the abortion giant that is growing rich off taxpayer dollars while cutting back on real healthcare that respects life.”
“Each of the House committees investigating Planned Parenthood’s gruesome business model must be equipped to finish their analysis given the taxpayer dollars and lives at stake,” said Dr. Yoest. “AUL looks forward to supporting this critical work by presenting continued analysis of the nation’s number one abortionist federation.”
Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, says her group has known Ryan for decades and known him to be solidly pro-life.
“Wisconsin Right to Life congratulates one of Wisconsin’s own, Congressman Paul Ryan, for his election as the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives,” stated Weininger. “Since Wisconsin Right to Life first met him when he was running for Congress in 1998, Speaker Ryan has been nothing but fiercely pro-life, amiable, principled, honest, and a true leader. We wish him all the best as he continues his excellent work defending the most vulnerable in our nation.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, also told LifeNbews.com she’s happy about Ryan becoming speaker.
“Paul Ryan is one of the best communicators we have in the fight to defend life. His clarity, compassion and thoughtfulness on this issue will serve him well as he takes on the challenge of Speakership,” said Dannenfelser. “Moreover, Ryan’s selection of David Hoppe as Chief of Staff is early evidence that Ryan’s policy team is committed, as he is, to protecting women and unborn children from the horrors of abortion as well as defending conscience rights. Personnel is policy and we are encouraged to see Speaker Ryan surround himself with strong pro-life advocates.”
“We look forward to working with Speaker Ryan and his team to carry on the unprecedented level of pro-life activity overseen in the House by Speaker Boehner,” she said.
Ryan plans to name a longtime pro-life advocate as his chief of staff. The move adds to Ryan’s lengthy pro-life voting record and will reassure pro-life groups that he will work closely with them on pro-life objectives such as de-funding Planned Parenthood and banning abortions after 20 weeks.
Ryan will name David Hoppe as his chief of staff as Speaker of the House. Hoppe has served on the staffs of pro-life lawmakers, including then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and then-Majority Whip Jon Kyl — both of whom were strongly pro-life.
“Dave has been a foot soldier in the conservative movement, and he is a good friend,” Ryan said in a statement Sunday. “His decades of experience fighting for the cause and his passionate commitment to conservative principles are just what I’m looking for to create a new kind of speakership.”
Ryan was very outspoken about pro-life issues when he ran for vice-president in 2012.
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“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 during the 2012 presidential debate. “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.”
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.”
“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.
During the Republican vote to nominate Ryan as their candidate for speaker, South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House’s select committee on Benghazi, delivered the nominating speech for Ryan and urged Republicans to unify behind Ryan.
After the vote, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “The selection of Paul Ryan as our next Speaker marks an important step toward unifying our Conference.”
“Having worked closely with Paul for over a decade, I know firsthand the energy and determination that he brings to every endeavor he takes on. He has worked tirelessly to help build our majority, shape our principles, and articulate our vision. Paul’s mission in life has always been about the greater good—to better the lives of every person, and not just the select few,” he added. “The challenges we face as a nation call for leaders with the skill set and values that Paul has demonstrated all his life. It gives me great pride to congratulate my friend who will help lead our Conference, this House, and our country forward.”