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Ryan’s support for bill poorly envisioned

Published: Monday, January 14, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 00:01


Here’s to hoping Paul Ryan’s latest bill disappears just as quickly as his five minutes of fame in the national spotlight did. 

Ryan, who will likely be the trusty steed upon which the Republican party will ride in 2016, has brought back the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which was shot down in Congress last year. 

The bill grants full legal rights of personhood to a fetus from the moment of “fertilization, cloning or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect or stage of biological development.”

Furthermore the bill states “the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.”

The bill thus allows states the rights to make abortion illegal in any or all cases, including cases of rape and incest. It also allows states to ban some forms of in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is interesting considering his former running mate Mitt Romney has grandchildren conceived through this very process. 

According to, a website on women’s issues, the bill would theoretically allow a rapist to successfully sue his victim if she tried to abort a fetus that was the product of rape. 

While the scenario is one that is highly unlikely, perhaps what is more astonishing is Ryan’s track record. Though he has long been an advocate of banning abortions, he has not been one to fund systems in place for the products of unwanted pregnancies, largely found in poorer socioeconomic
demographics. He proposed to slash many social support systems including food stamps, heath care and welfare, stating it “dissolves the common good of society, and it dishonors the dignity of the human person,” according to the Washington Post. 

While both sides of the abortion debate can agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies is ideal, this cannot happen overnight
without intentional initiatives to provide the communities in which the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies occur with adequate resources to prevent them. 

As admirable as Ryan’s morals may be, they lack
practicality and common sense. The bill is likely to meet the same fate it did last year, but the lessons that come with it should not be forgotten before 2016. 

Divya Kumar is a junior majoring in mass communications and economics. 

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