Democrat Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio has finally fessed up to what pro-lifers have known for years: he is no longer pro-life.
In a letter printed this week at Ohio.com, Congressman Ryan says over 14 years in Congress he has “…gained a deeper understanding of the complexities and emotions that accompany the difficult decisions that women and families make when confronted with these situations.”
Ryan says he is no longer pro-life because of all the hardship cases he has heard over the years including women who have been raped, victims of incest, and pregnancies from an abusive spouse. He says, “…the heavy hand of government must not make this choice for women and families.”
Ryan says he was raised Catholic and believes in all the Church’s “principles,” chief among them “thou shalt not judge.” He says the solution to unwanted pregnancies is more sex-ed and more contraception but that the decision to abort is exclusively up to the mother.
His confession is something that does not surprise pro-lifers who have accused him of duplicity on this issue for years.
In 2009 Ryan took to an Ohio publication to defend himself against charges he was no longer pro-life then made by Kristan Day of Democrats for Life. Calling himself a “conscientious pro-life member of Congress”, he accused Day of making misleading statements and of distorting his record. Ryan said he was “seeking common” ground when he voted to fund abortions in the District of Columbia. Democrats for Life kicked him off of their advisory board.
Day was not the only one upset with Ryan back then.
Douglas Johnson, Congressional liaison for the National Right to Life Committee said Ryan was “masquerading as a pro-lifer.”
Johnson said, “When Tim Ryan calls for ‘common ground’, you know he has a memo from Planned Parenthood in his pocket,” and that “…on every single pro-life issue that has come to a vote in the House of Representatives during 2001, 2008, and 2009, Ryan has voted against the pro-life position.”
Johnson accused Ryan of maintaining a façade of being pro-life “in order to better advance policies that please his new friends at groups such as Planned Parenthood.” Johnson said Ryan was “a front man.”
What brought the issue to a boil for Ryan in 2009 was the debate over abortion in Obamacare. Pro-life lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worked feverishly to ensure abortion would not be paid for in the new plan. Johnson said, “…Ryan has actively and energetically worked to undermine pro-life efforts.”
In an interview with the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, Ryan was asked when life begins. He said, “That answer’s above my pay grade. That’s for God to determine.” When pressed he would not answer for any point during gestation.
Ryan entitled his confession this week, “Why I changed my thinking on abortion.” Pro-lifers would say he hasn’t changed his mind at all and that none of them are surprised.