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Ryan Joined Akin in Sponsoring Tough Anti-Abortion Bill

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is trying to distance himself from strict anti-abortion legislation he co-sponsored with embattled Missouri Republican Todd Akin. The bill Ryan supported would have banned federal funding for abortions except in cases of so-called forcible rape. It was reintroduced last year with the word “forcible” removed from the bill’s language.

When asked in an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh television station KDKA to define “forcible rape,” Ryan backpedaled, saying: “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”

But there is ample evidence that Republicans continually do split hairs over the definition of rape, regardless of what they say after the fact. Rep. Akin is under fire from women’s rights advocates and members of his own party for his creative categorization, suggesting last weekend that women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Ryan has in the past taken a stricter view on abortion than Mr. Romney, who believes abortion should be allowed for rape victims. But Mr. Ryan has generally favored allowing exceptions only in cases where the life of the woman is in jeopardy. While in Congress, [Ryan] cosponsored – along with Mr. Akin and 171 others – a bill that would ban federal funding for abortion with a rape exception only in cases of “forcible rape.”

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