Pro-choice groups have wasted no time in launching vicious–and false–attacks against Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) after Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney selected him as his running mate for the November election. In a NARAL press release being circulated by Democrats and women’s groups, the Catholic, pro-life Ryan is accused of “extreme” anti-abortion views. NARAL isn’t simply content to disagree with Ryan’s views; it resorts to lying about Ryan–and about much else besides.
For example, one of the lies told by Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is that Ryan “supported the ‘Let Women Die Bill,’ which would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she could die without it.” It goes without saying that there was never any such piece of legislation.
The actual bill to which Keenan is referring was called the “Protect Life Act,” H.R. 358, and it is about protecting religious freedom, not banning abortion. The act was passed in response to concerns that the Obama administration would force Catholic hospitals (and others) to provide abortions. Keenan makes it seem as though Ryan had voted to ban abortion at all hospitals, even if the mother’s life was in mortal danger. He did not.
(Update: It is worth noting–since Keenan does not–what Ryan’s position on abortion actually is: he has always opposed it, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger–precisely what Keenan tries to lie about. The Associated Press noted as far back as 1998, during Ryan’s first run for Congress, that “Republican nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has opposed abortion in general except to save a woman’s life.”)
She continues with a torrent of lies, such as that Ryan’s record includes “Repeatedly voting to deny women in the military – who defend our freedom overseas – the right to use their own, private funds for abortion care at military hospitals.” Again, what Keenan leaves out is critical: no U.S. military hospitals provide abortions to begin with.
And the culmination of Keenan’s diatribe: “Romney has pledged that taking away women’s rights will be a priority for him and his choice of Ryan amplifies that promise to the extreme anti-choice backers of this ticket.” He has done no such thing–any more than Barack Obama has vowed to slaughter millions of innocent babies, though that is the least charitable way of putting his position.
Pro-choice advocates are apparently so afraid of dissent that they must demonize their opponents as woman-haters. And the mainstream media–such as Politico, which quoted Keenan’s press release uncritically, lies and all–enables their smears. If you want to understand Ryan’s strong pro-life views, you can read them for yourself, and decide. But pro-choice groups would rather smear than debate.