Romney VP Pick Paul Ryan Cosponsored Personhood, Ultrasound, and “Let Women Die” Legislation

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

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:


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:

US: House Vote Puts Women at Risk

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)

Paul Ryan, new head of the Republican war on women? (VOXXI)

Bill Press: The Paul Ryan-Mitt Romney ticket: trouble for GOP (Newsday)

Sandra Fluke: 8 Points on Ryan’s Voting Record on Women’s Issues (Politic365)

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)

Ryan Sponsored Abortion Bill That Would Make Romney’s Kids Criminals: The VP candidate pushed an anti-abortion bill that would outlaw IVF—which Mitt Romney’s children used (Mother Jones)

The Paul Ryan Vision of America: Ban Abortion, Defund Contraception, Outlaw In Vitro Fertilization (Democracy Now)

List of Bills Sponsored and Cosponsored by Paul Ryan (Open Congress)

403 thoughts on “Romney VP Pick Paul Ryan Cosponsored Personhood, Ultrasound, and “Let Women Die” Legislation”

  1. Act like a troll, get treated like a troll, nick. And your ability to read people sucks. Out loud. If you think the “people reading ability” you’ve displayed here “LITERALLY saved [your] life” then you must be totally unfamiliar with the concept of luck. But if it helps you with your self-image? You keep telling yourself about your manifestly absent skills.

    This is also why you are having such dismal results in your trolling here. This forum in the past has been attacked by professional paid political trolls and those attacks all ended up in a severe case of troll frustration. Some of Brietbart’s group even came out of hiding and offered one of the regulars here a job because of the beating his trolls were taking in this forum.

    That being the case, whether you are a troll by vocation or avocation is irrelevant to you being a troll in action – someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. Trolls have a rough ride around here. Maybe you should try an easier room like over at Huffington Post.

  2. Mike, As stated previously I will control my language. I am the one being pidgeonhold currently. I was just called a “right winger” in a shoot from the hip comment. I support abortion being legal and I have never voted for a Republican for prez. In fact, for the first time in my life I donated money to a pol..Obama in 2008. I read people, I don’t pidgeonhole them. My ability to read people has LITERALLY saved my life. Come on have the same people reading skills as I do. I read people in the street, you in an office. That’s the only difference.

  3. Paul Ryan pretends he doesn’t agree with every ‘outrageous’ thing Todd Akin said
    by Kaili Joy Gray
    Wed Aug 22, 2012

    Poor Paul Ryan. As one of the most fervent anti-woman Republicans in the House, he must be aching to come to the defense of his bestest bud Todd Akin. After all, they’ve voted together 93 percent of the time, so they see eye-to-eye on pretty much everything—including whether there are different types of rape that are not as bad as real rape and whether it’s ever okay for women to have abortions. (Spoiler alert: Yes and no.)

    But because Ryan is now Mitt Romney’s running mate, he has to keep a lid on the crazy. The campaign even forced Ryan to sit down for an interview to disavow Akin’s claims and pretend that he’s shocked and offended by Akin articulating exactly what Ryan also believes.

    Just look what they made Ryan say:

    His statements were outrageous, over the pail. I don’t know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape period, end of story.
    Really, Ryan? You don’t know anyone who would agree that there are different kinds of rape? Legitimate rape, forcible rape, rape-rape, not-really rape. No one comes to mind, eh? Not even this guy?

    Paul Ryan also co-sponsored HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill in which Republicans tried to redefine rape so that it only applied to “forcible” rape so those fake rape victims would stop exploiting loopholes to cash in on fabulous gifts and prizes. Republicans pulled that part out of the bill so everyone would stop criticizing them, and then they tried to sneak it back in anyway.

  4. Women should not be allowed to inherit money from their mothers; if their fathers want to leave them money, that’s OK.

    If a mother should die and leave money to her daughter, the daughter should be allowed to choose a charity to donate the money to.


    Do you know how many people need help and cannot get it? Don’t you understand how bad it is to be starving and have no charitable assistance? Do you want everyone to go without a Thanksgiving meal?

  5. The sycophants have arrived. What have I or idealist said here that would make us “right wing” Please counselor..edify us! At some point you will need to come up w/ some other default meme. Do right wingers say they believe adoption should be legal? Do your homework, barrister. Did you read this thread or just give a knee jerk, circle the wagons comment? We all know it’s the former. This homework would not be billable..or @ least it should not be.

  6. Paul Ryan’s Top 10 Falsehoods and Outrages… from Just His First Week on the Campaign Trail
    Ryan’s early roll-out for campaign 2012 has been quite the disaster.
    By Juan Cole
    August 22, 2012 |

    1. Ryan’s position opposing abortion even in cases of rape, and his attempts to define cytoblasts as legal ‘persons’ (which would outlaw all termination of pregnancies and some forms of birth control) came under scrutiny when Republican Todd Akin, running for the Senate in Missouri, provoked a furor. Akin said he opposed abortion even in cases of rape because in ‘legitimate rape’ the woman’s body rejects fertilization. Akin’s insensitivity to a situation that affects a third of a million American women every decade, plus his ignorance of Biology 101, drew widespread condemnation. Mitt Romney put out a statement that both he and Ryan believed abortion was permitted in case of rape. Problem: Ryan has repeatedly opposed that position and appears to agree with Akin more than with his running mate.

  7. idealist, I show up and post whatever I feel like posting. I do not run with the herd. You and nick keep whining on and on off topic and making false accusations and finally I am saying just cut it out. No one attacked either of you. Nick finally apologized after much hemming and hawing. good. the end.

  8. Ryan, Akin, and a Religious War
    Posted by Amy Davidson
    August 22, 2012

    “So that forcible-rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” Jon Delano, of KDKA in Pittsburgh, asked Congressman Paul Ryan. “Rape is rape. And there’s no splitting hairs about rape. If a woman is raped, she’s raped,” replied Ryan, who, as Delano noted, had co-sponsored a bill that split hairs about rape by adding the modifier “forcible.” The uncut version of the interview, on KDKA’s Web site, offers a view of just how ingratiatingly Ryan ignored certain questions, from how Packers fans would react to the sight of him wielding a Steelers Terrible Towel at a campaign event (he called Pittsburgh’s towel-waving crowds “intimidating”) to the definition of rape, and the availability of abortion.

    Those last questions were occasioned by the controversy over Todd Akin, whose odd biological views (he said in an interview that “legitimate rape” rarely resulted in pregnancy) brought attention to policy positions that he largely shares with Ryan. (Details over at Daily Comment and from Hendrik Hertzberg.) Here is Ryan trying to elide that reality:

    Delano: Is rape rape?

    Ryan: Of course it is. Come on! You’re talking about Congressman Akin. His statements were outrageous, over the pale. I don’t know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape period, end of story.

    Delano: Should abortions be available to women who are raped?

    Ryan: Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration. And the policy of the Romney Administration is that abortion exceptions will exist for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

    He does not answer the question: the answer is that he has not supported an exception for rape. Does that mean that Ryan would not be proud if he had Romney’s record? (That assumes, of course, that he could sort out which of Romney’s records was the current one.) One would also like to know, given the reason we have a Vice-President, what a Ryan Administration’s policy should be. Beyond that, it should give one pause to note how far to the margins the rise of the religious right in the Republican Party has pushed this debate.

  9. “When individuals or groups are in deep emotional stress, fighting for supremacy of power, they turn to fictional and mythic constructs that they present as fact. (Just look at the Aryan myths of the Mein Kampf.) These mistruths, however macabre and bizarre, are used to justify their clinging to power.

    In an age when women have been emancipated, to some degree, to pursue positions of power and privilege historically preserved for men (although this too has its glass ceilings), white men who have ruled American in almost every field, including corporations and government, are threatened in their guts about power sharing.

    As far as the violent crime of rape, there is no greater gender control than to dehumanize a woman into a receptacle for a man’s sexual urges, and to force her to accept the semen of any man if it leads to fertilization.

    But more than that, Akin symbolizes the entire white male assault on the notion of equality in a democracy. All of the “others” are a threat: women who seek to have careers; blacks who take positions formally only held by white males; non-Christians who believe in other values besides money; the poor who seek a share of the economic pie; the elderly who seek to stay out of poverty in their senior years – and of course a black president of the United States.

    The list goes on and on, but the fear of the white male is fundamentally one of power sharing and sense of potency. For most Republicans, the goal is to use any means possible – including openly acknowledged voter suppression – to maintain a white male Christian power structure.

    Robert Koehler, whose commentaries appear on BuzzFlash, just wrote: “A patriarchal, dominance-obsessed sexuality permeates the most deeply entrenched institutions of American society. Values are changing, but opposition to it is fierce, because for many of those committed to the fixed beliefs of the past, change — which includes women’s rights, indeed, their full humanity — is a loss of raw power. For some, the unconscious metaphor for this is emasculation.”

    Democracy in the United States was born of a revolution to create a new form of government, as Abraham Lincoln declared, “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

    Todd Akin’s ante-diluvian notions represent a broader assault than just against the rights, safety and well-being of women; they are a raw insight into the thinking of those who seek to rule the United States, unvarnished, in Akin’s case, by the lies necessary to attract votes from a public whose vast majority believes in the notion of one person/one vote.

    Akin’s provided one service: he revealed through his shocking pronouncement that this election is not about what is best for America; it is about what is necessary to restore full power to the white Christian male.”

  10. Paul Ryan Is ‘Very Proud’ Of ‘Forcible Rape’ Bill He Co-Sponsored With Todd Akin (video)
    by Tommy Christopher
    August 23rd, 2012

    Even as vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan tries to escape his bonds with “legitimate rape” Congressman Todd Akin by doing his best Barack Obama impersonation, he can’t quite bring himself to denounce his “forcible rape” bill. While he told one interviewer, on Wednesday, that “rape is rape,” when reporters aboard his campaign plane asked him about the Ryan/Akin-sponsored “forcible rape” bill, he responded that he’s “very proud” of his “pro-life record.”

    It’s a clear contradiction, one that’s easy to explain. Ryan wants to take credit for being the most extreme anti-choice (including most birth control) candidate, but he doesn’t want to explain what, exactly, he meant by “forcible rape.”

    The not-so-secret dirty little secret is that, whatever he meant by “forcible rape,” Paul Ryan doesn’t actually care why, how, and if you were raped, forcibly, legitimately, or whatever, his objective is to force you to carry that rapist’s baby to term.

  11. idealist,

    Once again, you misread what I wrote.

    “I encountered children in elementary school who were much like Nick and idealist.”

    I said nothing about YOUR school experience.

  12. Mitt Romney Campaign Attacks Military Cuts Paul Ryan Supported
    By Michael McAuliff

    Mitt Romney’s campaign Thursday criticized President Barack Obama for military budget cuts that Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) voted for, and implied that government spending is a useful economic stimulus — at least if it’s defense spending.

    The attack was launched in a press release that coincided with Ryan speaking at a roundtable discussion on defense in Fayetteville, N.C.

    “President Obama’s devastating defense cuts are set to have a massive impact on Fayetteville and the rest of North Carolina,” said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul in the statement. “Because of the President’s lack of leadership, North Carolina could be hit hard with thousands of job losses and millions of dollars in lost economic activity. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will restore our military’s strength and ensure our armed forces have the resources they need.”

    But what the statement leaves out is Ryan’s leading role in crafting those cuts as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He also voted for the Budget Control Act that allowed the nation to raise its debt limit. Part of the deal was creating the “sequester” that requires $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts, including more than $500 billion from defense over 10 years.

    Speaking at the roundtable, Ryan also blamed Obama for the sequester despite his own vote for it.

  13. Elaine,

    You are pitiful too. How do you know anything about my or Nick’s school experience? You don’t. Far less than I do about your mistake in attacking Nick from the beginning. His words are there to read. As are yours. And mine too. Where I attempted to mediate and ask you all to re-read the discussion from 5 lines before you got angry.

    You never ever addressed my request. You only diverted attention to the words I used.
    And that is a favo tactic used by the gang. Never ever answer the question or respond to a valid point made. Divert, divert and attack on another word.

    Great debate technique. I don’t do debates.
    Useless use of time.

    Now if you would quote what Nick said against abortion, then I might be interested. Otherwise, NO.

  14. Wow! Elaine takes umbrage about being told teachers have certain traits, as do all professions. Now she just wrote a comment tantamount to an admission of guilt, comparing us to her troublemakers in school. You can’t make this up! Maybe you can call in our parents and suggest we get on ritalin or adderall.

  15. Mike,

    Don’t pop Nick’s ego bubble by telling him I’ve written posts that got many more than 300 comments.

    Vanity, thy name is Nick!

Comments are closed.