Paul Ryan Was An Original Cosponsor Of H.R.5939 Which Initially Contained Language Specifying Only Victims Of “Forcible Rapes” Could Receive Public Assistance For An Abortion.
Ryan was an original co-sponsor of H.R.5939, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, signing on as a co-sponsor on July 29, 2010 the day it was introduced. According to The Hill, “The original version of the measure banned all federally funded abortions, except in cases of ‘an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.’ After an outcry from women’s groups and Democrats, the ‘forcible rape’ language was dropped from the bill… Federal funding of abortions is banned by the Hyde Amendment, which Congress has renewed annually since the 1970s. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would effectively make those rules permanent.” H.R.5939 passed in the House but failed in the Senate. [H.R.5939, 7/29/2010; The Hill, 8/22/12]
In 2009, Ryan Backed “Limitations On Abortion Mandates” Amendment To Prevent Abortion Coverage Under Health Care Legislation Except In Cases Of Risk To Life Of The Mother, Forcible Rape Or Incest.
According to NBC, “Three years ago, the then-39-year-old congressman co-sponsored an abortion-related amendment called ‘Limitations on Abortion Mandates.’ That proposed amendment was blocked in what was a Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan and only one co-sponsor, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, proposed a change to health-care legislation that would have required health insurance cover abortion services. The Ryan-Johnson failed amendment did specify limited exceptions, permitting abortion coverage including when the life of the mother is at stake and in line 16 of the proposed text ‘… unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape or incest.’ … The amendment was proposed by and carried the name of a more senior Republican colleague, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas. Ryan joined Johnson in offering the amendment.” [NBC News, 8/22/12]
Ryan Refused To Explain What He Thought “Forcible” Rape Meant.
According to The Hill, “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday wouldn’t discuss his co-sponsorship of a bill that initially had language limiting federally funded abortions to cases of ‘forcible rape.’ Pressed by an interviewer on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill he co-sponsored that initially denied funding for abortions except in specific cases, such as ‘forcible rape,’ Ryan demurred. ‘Rape is rape,’ Ryan told KDKA in Pittsburgh. ‘Rape is rape, period. End of story.’ ‘So that ‘forcible rape’ language meant nothing to you at the time?’ KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano asked him. ‘Rape is rape, and there’s no splitting hairs over rape,’ Ryan responded.” [The Hill, 8/22/12]
On Rape Exception To Abortion, Ryan Said He Believed “The Method Of Conception Doesn’t Change The Definition Of Life.”
According to CBS Affiliate WJHL, during an interview, Ryan was asked by reporter Josh Smith: “Specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped?” Ryan replied “I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life…But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy…And the president, in this case the future President Mitt Romney, has exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, which is a vast improvement of where we are right now.” [WJHL, 8/23/12]