August 22nd, 2012
06:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan proud of 'pro-life record'

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) – Vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan said Wednesday he is "comfortable" supporting Mitt Romney's less conservative stance on abortion after a Republican congressman revived the policy debate and defied conservatives like Ryan.

"I'm proud of my record," Ryan said. "Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."

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His remarks suggest that despite his conservative voting record, the vice presidential candidate accepts the fact that he is running on the policies of the person at the top of the Republican ticket.

After Rep. Todd Akin claimed in an interview Sunday with KTVI that "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy, Ryan joined a chorus of other Republican voices and called Akin personally to urge him to drop out of the Missouri senate race.

The seven-term congressman told Pittsburgh station KDKA that Akin's statements were "outrageous, over the pale."

The Romney campaign released a statement Sunday saying, "A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in the instances of rape." But the statement did not reflect his running mate's conservative voting record in Congress.

The Romney-Ryan campaign says the Wisconsin lawmaker has long personally maintained an opposition to abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is at risk. However, Ryan has supported legislation that would allow exceptions for pregnancy in the case of rape, incest, or when a mother's life is at risk.

Ryan defended a bill he co-sponsored last year with Akin and other House Republicans that bestowed "personhood" rights on fertilized embryos, which would allow states or Congress to determine the legality of abortions.

"That bill passed I think by 251 votes. It was bi-partisan. I think HR-3 is the one you are talking about. I think we had 251 votes, 16 democrats, I am proud of the pro-life record I have," Ryan told reporters Wednesday.

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Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Mitt Romney • North Carolina • Paul Ryan
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Natalie

    "Personhood" rights for embryos. What are they drinking? That is as crazy as making corporations "human". The GOP is a mess.

    August 22, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Maria

    Cruel, vicious, Liar that is you Paul Ryan. Like MItt you will contradict your previous stands just to win. Stop taking discerning and intelligent American people for a ride. but wait.....you can spew hate to other Obama haters like yourself.

    August 22, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. Bob

    How about Etch-A-Sketch?

    Is HE proud of his "record"?

    He supports choice, he doesn't, he does, he doesn't..........

    Either way, both of them can keep their noses ot of my wifes pantyhose, thanks all the same.

    Subjugate your OWN wives, mine believes in FREEDOM.

    August 22, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. BBear

    Basically, Mr.Aikin, Mr. Ryan, and the RNC platform are substantively identical. Mr. Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Mr. Aikin which contained the phrase "forcible rape". Now, Mr. Ryan declines that provision. Mr. Romney supports "personhood legislation" which, on its face, allows for no abortion exceptions. Yet, on Sunday he says he would allow rape, incest, and life endangerment exceptions. So basically, both Romney and Romney have flip-flopped since Sunday. As reprehensible as Mr. Aikins comments were, he did manage to expose the Romney/Ryan positions.

    August 22, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    So he doesn't agree with Akin, he just has the same voting record. Actually he doesn't agree with Akin's stupid rationalization, but he does agree on the no-exceptions policy. So tell us Mr. Ryan, why do you believe there should be no exceptions? And while we're at it, where are you on contraception?

    August 22, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    LIAR!!! His policy (the flip flopper) is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction." He now doesn't remember his own bill or the vote on the bill???? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!! He only believe in abortion if the mother's life is at risk. Period, that's it, nothing more, nothing less. What a slimeball! He believes that if you are raped you keep the child regardless of your age or the torment the woman endured or the life that poor child will endure as the result of being born from rape.
    That is NOT what he believes. He and akin are soulmates/two peas in a pod when it comes to taking women's right to choose whether it's a "legitimate" rape which he and akin changed on H.R. 3 to read forcible rape. Even if a child is raped and ends up pregnant (even if akin thinks the body somehow shuts down) the child will NOT get federal aid thanks to these two old fashioned righteous cretins!

    August 22, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. California Gary

    Romney has changed his position on this several times........Ryan co-wrote legislation taking the harshest line possible......and the GOP platform takes a hard line – no exceptions. So we are just supposed to trust that these guys won't go there? I don't think so.......

    August 22, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Pander Bear

    He's a pandering flip flopper, just like his boss.

    August 22, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Darryl

    Lets see just how proud of that record when ELECTION time comes Mr. Ryan. You and the rest of you !

    August 22, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    After your November loss you won't be so proud of your atkins Ryan teabag record,for people that want less government,mind your own business and stop telling woman what they can do with their bodies ,you Ryan atkins as a government representative ,Gop losers ,Ryan atkins romney the tax cheat!!!!

    August 22, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. incredulous

    If Ryan is so concerned about abortions why isn't he doing everything he can to promote birth control?

    August 22, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    Ryan = Akin, they are buddies in policy

    August 22, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Pete

    Ryan,record of what butt head.Now you've flipped again saying you're for abortion if the womans life depends on it.Before no exceptions,make up your minds,oop mind,thinking of Romneys alter ego,my bad!!

    August 22, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. BlkPwr817

    He'll more than likely go against this policy once we get deeper & deeper into the race...Typ. GOP back & forth MumboJumbo...

    August 22, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. Ryan/Romney Kill Medicare Team 2012

    Throw yo' grandma off medicare Paul Ryan can't hide from his and Todd Akin sick "Forcible Rape Bill".

    August 22, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I am proud of the pro-life record I have," Ryan told reporters Wednesday."

    Indeed he is. His pro-life "record" goes all the way back to the Terry Schiavo right to life debacle when Mr. Ryan and other Republican Congress members to saw fit to step into the fray of what should ONLY be considered a private family affair much in the same way they are doing now with their anti-abortion crusade.

    August 22, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. 2020

    Ryan add-on makes this election AN REFERRANDUM OF THE DO NOTHING CONGRESS.

    What is its poll number? 18? that is high, too high.

    Ryan ibudger like a nerd, numbers means nothings to human.

    No one deny life, but Ryan is an extreme fanatic. He plays God.

    No, it is wrong, Ryan.

    August 22, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Bootstomper

    This guy is no different than that insane Congressman Akin,for gods sake they wrote a bill together.Obama Biden 2012!

    August 22, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. bcrunner

    Yes, he is proud that co-sponsored a bill with Akin that basically says the same thing that Akin said. But instead of using the words "ligitimate rape", it used the words of "forcable rape".. I don't know what the difference is between those two... Do you? He supports the "personhood" amendment which means pretty much that Romney's sons could not have had their babies because it prohibits in-vitro fertilization.

    August 22, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. drake mallard

    ryan is not pro life people

    I voted for the Iraq War" because it was the right thing to do.

    4,487 US Soldiers Killed, 32,223 Seriously Wounded

    Casualties of the Iraq War Civilian deaths

    Year Civilian deaths
    2003 12,087
    2004 11,152
    2005 15,491
    2006 28,225
    2007 25,063
    2008 9,385
    2009 4,713
    2010 4,045
    2011 4,087

    August 22, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    so I guess what is "good for the goose is NOT always good for gander" Ryan and Akin are step in step in their beliefs on abortion but since Akin had the nerve to voice his view in public and got very BAD response now Ryan wants him to drop out. This is the kind of junk that makes me glad I was not raised either Republican or Democrat but allowed to make my own choices.

    August 22, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    "A step in the right direction"???

    The GOP is hell-bent on controlling a woman's uterus. And they have the audacity to claim the war on women is all made up??? Shame on any self-respecting woman who would vote for any Republican.

    August 22, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Don't believe Mittens for a minute. He's trying to be "moderate," but we all know that he'll do exactly what he's told by the GOP, just like he flip-flopped from a supporter of Planned Parenthood to his current stance to get the GOP nomination.

    Munster is the wink and nod to the anti-choice base that if Mittens gets in, they'll do everything they can to reverse Roe v Wade.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = Unless you want to turn back the clock 100 years

    August 22, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Mike

    Paul Ryan is against abortion and wants to fix the American economy yet a lot families wouldn't be able to afford another child making there financial situation even worse...Logic>Paul Ryan.

    August 22, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Ryan proud of 'pro-life record'◄
    He says that NOW because he's attached by a umbiblcal cord
    to Romney and he thinks it's okay to FLIP a little BIT
    and hoping IF they get elected he would then SINK Romney's SHIP!!

    The ticket should read RyanRomneyHood – Romney is the PEN and Ryan and the far-Right will tell him JUST SIGN IT!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 22, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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