VP nominee Paul Ryan is personhood advocateAugust 11th, 2012 | Posted by in Legislation
Today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that he has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Unfortunately, Rep. Ryan is a well-known supporter of personhood.
In 2011, Rep. Ryan co-sponsored HR 212, the “Sanctity of Human Life Act”, whose text specifies that “all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood” apply to embryos beginning at fertilization.
In an article on his congressional website, Rep. Ryan reiterates his support for personhood:
Now, after America has won the last century’s hard-fought struggles against unequal human rights in the forms of totalitarianism abroad and segregation at home, I cannot believe any official or citizen can still defend the notion that an unborn human being has no rights that an older person is bound to respect. I do know that we cannot go on forever feigning agnosticism about who is human… Conservatives can bridge the gap on issues of life and choice by building on the solid rock of natural rights, which belong, not just to some, but to all human beings.
From a personhood perspective, the Ryan pick is a curious choice for Mitt Romney. Romney’s past statements on personhood have been somewhat inconsistent, and he was one of only two GOP candidates who refused to sign the Personhood USA Pledge or appear at their candidate forums.
By choosing a personhood advocate as his vice-presidential candidate, Mitt Romney is supporting a philosophy which would deny infertile couples the right to build their families through medical care — the same rright employed by Romney’s own children. Romney has grandchildren thanks to IVF with gestational surrogacy, which would become unavailable if his running mate’s bill were to pass.
The Ryan selection is also perhaps an unwise move for a GOP candidate who hopes to win swing state Colorado, where congressional candidates are busily disavowing their past support for personhood. Recent Colorado polling results on personhood indicate that not only is personhood projected to lose by a heavy margin, but that voters are ready to punish candidates who support it.
While we don’t take positions on party politics, we strongly oppose the choice of personhood advocate Paul Ryan as the GOP nominee.