I have written a number of posts for the Turley blog about The GOP’s war on women and proposed extreme anti-woman legislation which has been sponsored by members of the Republican party (here, here, here, here, here, and here). In a piece for Mother Jones, Stephanie Mencimer said that Paul Ryan has a “long history as a culture warrior”—and that people are taking “a fresh look” at it since Mitt Romney named Ryan as his running mate. I thought I’d do some investigating of my own to find out more about the Wisconsin “culture warrior’s” position on women’s issues.
According to Laura Bassett, Rep. Ryan “voted to defund federal family planning programs, authored a budget that dismantles Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, all of which disproportionately aid and employ women, and voted multiple times to prevent women in the military from using their own money to pay for abortions at military hospitals.”
Sylvia Casablanca, a medical doctor and holistic psychotherapist, wonders if Ryan will now “head the conservative war on women.” Casablanca wrote in a VOXXI article that Ryan “sounds, thinks, acts, so much like Rick Santorum!” She added that both men have spent much of their public lives “battling the things that matter most to women.” She continued, “He [Ryan] has been opposing contraception, eulogizing women who quit successful careers to be stay-at-home moms (like their own wives have done), and vowing to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act. And, Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
Casablanca feels that Ryan’s stance on the issues mentioned above are “zilch” compared to his “support of a federal ban on abortion in all circumstances, including incest and rape.”
In her Mother Jones article, Mencimer also wrote the following:
What isn’t so well known about Ryan’s record, though, is that one piece of legislation he supported is so extreme that it would have turned Romney’s children into criminals.
The Sanctity of Human Life Act, which Ryan co-sponsored, would have enshrined the notion that life begins at fertilization in federal law, thus criminalizing in vitro fertilization—the process of creating an embryo outside of a woman’s womb. In IVF, doctors typically create multiple embryos and then only implant the healthiest ones in the woman. Some of them stick and become babies, and some don’t. The embryos that don’t make it to the womb are either frozen for later use or destroyed. The Sanctity of Human Life Act, if passed, would make all those embryos “people” in the legal sense, so if they aren’t used or don’t become babies after being implanted, they would essentially become murder victims under the law.
H.R. 212: Sanctity of Human Life/Personhood Bill
Sponsor’s Summary: To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.
Excerpt from the text of H. R. 212:
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
For purposes of this Act:
(1) FERTILIZATION- The term ‘fertilization’ means the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.
(2) CLONING- The term ‘cloning’ means the process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, that combines an enucleated egg and the nucleus of a somatic cell to make a human embryo.
(3) HUMAN; HUMAN BEING- The terms ‘human’ and ‘human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, beginning with the earliest stage of development, created by the process of fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent.
Link to MSNBC Hardball Video: Revisiting Ryan’s extreme pro-life positions: Chris Matthews talks with Kate Michaelman, former head of NARAL, and Politico’s Maggie Haberman about Paul Ryan’s extreme pro-life stance, and his support for a federal ‘personhood’ law.
In addition, Rep. Ryan is a cosponsor of some other “extreme” anti-woman legislation that has been introduced in Congress. To wit:
H.R. 3805: Ultrasound Informed Consent Act
Sponsor’s Summary: To ensure that women seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound and the opportunity to review the ultrasound before giving informed consent to receive an abortion.
H.R. 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
Open Congress Summary: This bill would make permanent and expand the Hyde amendment restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions. It seeks to prohibit even indirect funding streams that may potentially come in contact with abortion services. For example, it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies or medical cost tax deductions, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds. Women who use tax-free Medical Savings Accounts would have to pay taxes on the costs of abortions.
H.R. 358: Protect Life Act aka “Let Women Die” Bill
Open Congress Summary: Amends the new health care law so that no federal money could be applied to health insurance plans that cover elective abortions, even if the abortion coverage is paid for entirely with private funds. It also states that a federal agency can not force a health care provider that accepts Medicare or Medicaid to provide abortion services, even in cases when the mother’s life is endangered.
From Human Rights Watch:
Bill Would Permit Hospitals to Let Women in Need of Care Die
(Washington, DC) – The United States House of Representatives approved a bill on October 13, 2011, that would put women’s lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, if it becomes law, would reverse longstanding federal policy requiring hospitals to provide life-saving care regardless of expense, Human Rights Watch said.
The Protect Life Act, HR 358, would amend the healthcare reform law to grant hospitals far-reaching powers to deny patients abortion care, without any exception for emergency situations. US law currently requires hospitals receiving federal funds to provide emergency care to anyone in need up to the point at which they can be stabilized or transferred, if the original hospital is incapable of providing the care they need.
“The misnamed Protect Life Act is about allowing women to die if they need an emergency abortion,” said Meghan Rhoad, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is a vicious attack on women’s rights and on the most basic right to life.”
The Paul Ryan Vision: Ban Abortion, Defund Contraception, Outlaw In Vitro Fertilization
What do you think about Paul Ryan’s position on women’s issues?
Paul Ryan: the ‘Personhood’ Crocodile? (Huffington Post)
Paul Ryan Sponsored Fetal Personhood Bill, Opposes Family Planning Funds (Huffington Post)
Rep. Paul Ryan Supported the “Let Women Die” Bill (Blog for Choice)
How Did Your Representative Vote on the “Let Women Die” Bill? (Blog for Choice)
See How Your Lawmaker Voted on the “Let Women Die” Bill, H.R.358 (Prochoice America)
Sandra Fluke: Paul Ryan on women’s issues — so bad it’s unbelievable … but true (Lean Forward/MSNBC)
Five Reasons Why Paul Ryan Is Bad For Women’s Health (Think Progress)
List of Bills Sponsored and Cosponsored by Paul Ryan (Open Congress)