VP hopeful Ryan softens abortion stance

2012-10-12 10:00
Paul Ryan (File, AP)

Paul Ryan (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Danville - US vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan clashed with incumbent Joe Biden on abortion on Thursday but softened his own stance on the issue to match that of party flag-bearer Mitt Romney.

Ryan has been on record opposing abortion in all circumstances, but in his televised election debate with Biden he said that a Romney administration would support exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

The fiery debate - staged less than a month before polling day - took a more personal turn when Ryan and Biden, both Catholics, were asked to describe their positions on an issue that starkly divides American voters.

"I believe life begins at conception," Ryan said, as he recounted going to the hospital 10 years ago with his pregnant wife for a seven-week ultrasound to see the beating heart of "our little baby."

"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 with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother."

Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, has co-sponsored several pieces of anti-abortion legislation, including some that allowed no exceptions for rape or incest and one that controversially tried to redefine the crime of rape.

Romney's own position on abortion has shifted over the years as he has tried to find a home in a Republican Party with an increasingly socially conservative base, but he is campaigning as a "pro-life" candidate.

Biden pounced on Ryan's comments. "I guess he accepts governor Romney's position now," he said, sensing a contradiction in Ryan's words.

Threat to life

"In the past ... he's argued that in the case of rape or incest, it was still - it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion," the vice president said. "I fundamentally disagree with my friend."

Biden said that, as a practicing Catholic, "I accept my church's position on abortion", but added that he would refuse to impose its rules on those of other faiths or beliefs.

"Unlike my friend here, the congressman, I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women, they can't control their body."

Romney now has a pro-life position, but when he served as governor of liberal Massachusetts he supported a pro-choice agenda.

His current presidential platform supports overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision that upheld a woman's right to an abortion, and letting states decide on the legality of the practice.

But Romney has stressed he would not oppose abortion in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother.

Romney caused a stir Tuesday when he appeared to moderate his position, telling the Des Moines Register newspaper "there's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda."

Those remarks were interpreted as a tack to the political center, after he enjoyed a dramatic bump in the polls this past week following his strong performance in his debate against President Barack Obama on 3 October.

A day later, however, Romney said: "I'm a pro-life candidate and I'll be a pro-life president."

Read more on:    joe biden  |  mitt romeny  |  paul ryan  |  us  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.