Paul Ryan's anti-abortion rights record a target for Obama camp
(CBS News) To cap off his three-day trip to the key state of Iowa, President Obama on Wednesday will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama on the campaign trail for the first time in over 3 months, as he continues his effort to appeal to swing-state women voters. In his effort, Mr. Obama has regularly stressed his support for issues like reproductive rights -- an issue that may come more sharply into focus now that Rep. Paul Ryan has joined Mitt Romney on the GOP ticket.
Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, is primarily known for his very conservative budget plan, but his views on social issues like abortion are just as heartening for conservatives as his economic policies.
"I'm as pro-life as a person gets," Ryan, a Roman Catholic, told the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard in 2010. As the vice presidential candidate, Ryan's positions on issues like abortion rights will, of course, take a backseat to Romney's. The positions of the Romney administration would be Mitt Romney's positions. Still, Ryan's strong views on this issue serve as a rallying point for conservatives and as a tool for the Obama campaign to mobilize abortion rights supporters.
Ryan's anti-abortion rights credentials -- unlike Romney's -- are indeed impeccable. The National Right to Life Committee, a nationwide federation opposed to abortion rights, has given Ryan a 100 percent "pro-life" voting record -- in other words, for every vote he's taken on abortion-related issues since joining the House of Representatives in 1999, Ryan has voted on the anti-abortion side.
His record includes voting to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood in 2011, and in 2006, voting against allowing servicewomen overseas to obtain an abortion in U.S. military medical facilities, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Additionally in 2006, Ryan voted for a bill requiring women obtaining abortions to hear about the pain their unborn child may experience.
Ryan was one of several dozen Republicans to co-sponsor a particularly controversial bill last year that never made it to the House floor called the Sanctity of Human Life Act. The measure stated that the "life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent... at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood."
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