Here's a timeline of their various positions:
We all know that back in 2011, Rep. Ryan co-authored with Rep. Akin the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which allowed for taxpayers funds to be used for abortion only in the case of "forcible" (read: "legitimate") rape.
A few months later, as Mississippi was preparing to vote on their personhood amendment, Mike Huckabee asked Romney if he would have supported one in Massachusetts. The answer: "Absolutely."
After the amendment failed even in deep-red Mississippi, Mitt had some 'splainin to do.
Romney's current position? He supports, per spokeswoman Gail Gitcho, "a Human Life Amendment that overturns Roe vs. Wade and sends the issue back to the states" — which sounds like something short of a federal abortion ban.Sounds like he does support a personhood amendment and just wants to overturn Roe v. Wade to allow states to implement them.
"Mitt Romney is pro-life, and as he has said previously, he is supportive of efforts to ensure recognition that life begins at conception. He believes these matters should be left up to states to decide," she said.
This is all important in this context because the advocates for personhood amendments are very clear that if embryos are considered to be persons from the moment of conception, abortion would always be illegal - even in the case of rape and incest.
It is interesting to note that the organization Personhood USA was thrilled when Romney chose Ryan as his running mate.
Personhood USA, the pro-life organization that earlier this year suggested GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a dubious record on abortion, has now come out to praise his recently announced running mate Paul Ryan as being a defender of human life...And then came the whole Akin mess followed by the almost simultaneous inclusion of personhood language in the GOP platform.
"In supporting Personhood, Congressman Ryan has taken a consistent pro-life position, one that is called for by the Republican Party's own platform," added Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Legal Analyst for Personhood USA, in a statement.
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” said the draft platform language approved Tuesday, which was first reported by CNN. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”The Romney campaign watched the outrage at Akin and issued a statement.
"Governor Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.As for Ryan, when pressed he backtracked on the idea of "forcible" rape but didn't address the issue of access to abortion.
Ryan said that Akin’s “statements were outrageous, over the pail. I don’t know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape period, end of story.”That kind of waffling has certain elements of their base in an uproar.
“Personhood USA does not endorse political candidates, but we had hoped that Congressman Ryan would be a good influence on Governor Romney, considering Romney’s liberal abortion record,” explained Jennifer Mason, Communications Director for Personhood USA. “Reading today that babies conceived in rape should suffer the death penalty under a Romney-Ryan administration is extremely concerning, and indicates that Congressman Ryan’s pro-woman and pro-baby positions would have little influence if he wins the office of Vice President of the United States.”Due to that, I don't expect we'll hear much more clarity from Romney/Ryan on this issue. They'll have to avoid it as much as possible - just like everything else their campaign is based on (other than "Obama bad"). So once again, voters will be asked to simply "trust us" when it comes to what Romney/Ryan would do.
Ain't gonna happen.