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article imageOp-Ed: Romney, Ryan support personhood, from conception to birth

By Bill Schmalfeldt     Aug 20, 2012 in Politics
GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees in waiting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want you to believe -- now -- that they would support a woman's right to end a pregnancy caused by rape or incest.
They didn't always feel that way. In fact, until very recently both Romney and Ryan adopted the Republican platform plank that a person is a person from the moment the sperm hits the egg, all the way until the baby comes out of the womb.
Then, you're on your own. Once you're born, you're not their problem any more. That would be "socialism."
Last October, Romney told Fox News host Mike Huckabee that he would support an amendment to his state’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception, which would outlaw abortion and potentially many forms of contraception as well. Noting that the state supreme court forced the inclusion of abortion coverage in Romney’s universal health care law, the GOP presidential front-runner said the only way to undo the decision would be a constitutional amendment. Asked if he would support such a move, Romney replied, “absolutely”.
Oh, you betcha! Think Progress goes on to define what a personhood amendment, such as the kind Romney supported, would mean in other areas.
"...laws that give legal rights to fertilized eggs go much farther than merely outlawing abortions. As ThinkProgress’ Marie Diamond noted, they could also have the effect of outlawing common forms of birth control, since contraceptives like the pill and IUDs can prevent fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood amendments consider these types of birth control a form of abortion, and could potentially even treat them the same as homicide. If these amendments make terminating pregnancy a criminal act, they would also deter doctors from saving the lives of women with abnormal pregnancies because any doctor performing an abortion could risk prosecution."
How does he feel about the personhood amendment in mid-2012?
We can find no record of him changing his mind on the subject.
Paul Ryan worked with Todd Akin on a bill that would redefine the kind of "rape" that a woman could claim to justify an abortion as "forcible rape" -- which has no legal definition and could be taken to mean that unless you fought back with a knife at your throat and a gun at your head and were still taken against your will, even though you fought like a tiger, it's not a rape and you gotta have the baby. Thank goodness they lost on the effort.
Still, Ryan is on the record -- until today -- as opposing a rape exception to the anti-abortion laws he would like to see in force.
Ryan, a seven-term congressman from Wisconsin and chairman of the House budget Committee, has taken a stronger anti-abortion stand than Romney. He won the seat for the first time in 1998, while opposing abortion in all cases except where the life of the mother was threatened. Last year he was co-sponsor of a bill defining human life as beginning with fertilization and affirming the rights of persons to human embryos.
Today, both Romney and Ryan seem to have "found religion" on the pro-choice issue where rape is concerned, and one can clearly see a Romney-shaped and Ryan-shaped hole in the water near the sinking SS Akin.
"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement," Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg wrote in a statement quickly issued by the campaign. "A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."
What would this do to the personhood amendment that would protect the rights of the fertilized embryo to the point of outlawing in vitro fertilization?
They won't say. They can't say. If they did say, they'd have to contradict themselves.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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