Paul Ryan on Abortion

Last Updated : Aug 11, 2012

Summary

Congressman Ryan is strongly pro-life. He believes that life begins at conception and that the right to life is one of the fundamental priorities in a free society. His voting record and legislative history reflect this view.

During Congressman Ryan's time in office, there have been several votes related to abortion. Some of these votes were related to the transportation of minors across state lines for the purposes of an abortion without the consent of the parents of that minor. In each case, Congress Ryan voted in favor of legislation to make the action illegal. This legislation included the Child Custody Protection Act (three times), and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Congressman Ryan has also co-sponsored these pieces of legislation several times.

A second section of law that has been voted on several times is legislation to make it a separate to intentionally harm a fetus when the mother is attacked. Known as the Unborn Victim's of Violence Act, Congressman Ryan has voted in favor of that legislation twice. He also voted in favor of it when it was known as "Laci and Connor's law" after the mother and son who were murdered before Connor was born.

Congressman Ryan has also voted in favor of making partial-birth abortions illegal, in favor of removing funds from Planned Parenthood, and in support of what is known as the "Mexico City Policy." This policy, which was enacted under the Bush administration, prevented money from going to groups that promoted abortion as a family planning.

A final section of legislation that Congressman Ryan has voted on includes the Unborn Pain Awareness Act. Known by several names, the legislation seeks to inform the mother that the fetus may experience pain during an abortion in an effort to ensure that the mother receiving the abortion is aware of the actions she is about to undertake. Congressman Ryan has voted in favor of this legislation and been a co-sponsor to it several times.

In addition to his voting record, Congressman Ryan has a strong record of co-sponsoring pro-life legislation. This includes the Right to Life Act, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, and the Protect Life Act. These pieces of legislation seek to establish that life begins at conception and that all people have a right to life. Congressman Ryan has also co-sponsored legislation to prevent the use of government funds for abortions.

In February of 2009, Congressman Ryan weighed in on a controversy at the University of Wisconsin regarding the use of government funds to provide for abortions. In that article, he asserts his view that life begins at conception, that no person should be forced to pay for abortions through taxation if they are opposed to it, and that no health care provider should be forced to provide abortion services if they are morally opposed to it. 

In a 2010 article originally written for the Heritage Foundation, Congressman Ryan discusses the definition of a human being and who qualifies for protection under the law. He notes that courts initially declared slaves as less than people and compares that decision to the modern day equivalent of seeing a fetus as less than human.

 

Response to Child Interstate Act

In April of 2005, Congressman Ryan issued a statement in support of the passage of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. That legislation prevents the transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of an abortion.

 

No Retreat in Defense of Life

In February of 2009, Congressman Ryan wrote an article discussing his support for the right to life for all people. In that article, he states that he supports the rights of the unborn child and that he believes that life begins at conception. The article addresses a debate at 

 

The Heritage Foundation - Life and Freedom

In February of 2010, Congressman Ryan wrote an article for the Heritage Foundation's publication - Indivisible, that discussed the view that the right each person has to freedom cannot be separated from the rights of any given person to life.

 

Voting Record

Amendment - Planned Parenthood Funds

In February of 2011, the House passed an amendment to prevent the use of funds by Planned Parenthood. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the amendment to prevent funds from going to planned parenthood.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the amendment to prevent funds from going to planned parenthood.

Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act

In December of 2006, the house attempted to pass the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006. The act sought to require an abortion provider who knowingly performs an abortion of a child who has reached 20 weeks or more to inform the woman of (among other things) the probable age of the child, and obtain the woman\'s signature on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form. Despite the support of most of the Republicans and 40 Democrats, the measure failed to pass in roll call 526. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006 created a set of requirements for a doctor performing an abortion. These requirements included informing the mother as to the age of the child and informing the mother that the child could experience pain during the procedure. The measure failed 250-162. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006

Child Custody Protection Act

In September of 2006, the House passed the Child Custody Protection Act 264-153 and sent the measure back to the Senate. The CCPA was slightly different than the Senate version and did not pass the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

In April of 2005, the house passed the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. The measure sought to amend the federal criminal code to prohibit transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion.The measure passed the house in roll call 144, but no vote was taken in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

Laci and Connors Law

The unborn victims of violence law was also called Laci and Connor\'s law. The law stated that anyone who harmed a fetus in utero was guilty of a seperate offense, provided they knew the victim was pregnant and intended to harm the unborn child. The bill was supported by most Republicans and oppossed by most Democrats in a 254-163 vote. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Law.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Law.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

In October of 2003, the House passed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 281-142 vote. In this particular vote, the House agreed to the conference report from the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Partial Birth Abortion

In June of 2003, the House passed the partial birth abortion ban act. The legislation sought to to prohibit any physician or other individual from knowingly performing a partial-birth abortion, except when necessary to save the life of a mother that is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. Although it passed in the house, it was not brought to a vote in the Senate. Paul Ryan cast a "No Vote"

Child Custody Protection Act

The Child Custody Protection Act amended the Federal criminal code to prohibit transporting an individual under age 18 across a State line to obtain an abortion. The Act passed the House in a 260-161 vote, but did this particular bill did not come up for a vote in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002

In September of 2002, the House passed the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002 229-189. This legislation prohibited the Federal Government, and any State or local government that receives Federal financial assistance, from discriminating against any health care entity because the entity refuses to provide coverage of, or pay for, induced abortions. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

In April of 2001, the House voted on the Unborn victims of violence act to enact punishment for federal crimes committed against a mother and her fetus. The measure passed the House 252-172 but was not voted on in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Mexico City Policy

The amendment in question sought to preserve the "Mexico City" policy which prohibited funds to foreign organizations that promote abortions. A vote in favor of the amendment was a vote to preserve the rule. A vote against the amendment was a vote to abolish the policy. The Amendment had a 218-210 vote. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Mexico City Policy Amendment.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Mexico City Policy Amendment.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000

In April of 2000, the House passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000 287-141. The legislation made it a crime to perform a partial-birth abortion. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

In September of 1999, the House voted on the Unborn victims of violence act to enact punishment for federal crimes committed against a mother and her fetus. The measure passed the House 254-172 but was not voted on in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Child Custody Protection Act

In June of 1999, the House passed the Child Custody Protection Act 270-159. The legislation sought to prohibit transporting an individual under age 18 across a State line to obtain an abortion. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1063; Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor. Prohibits the prosecution of the doctor if he: (1) reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place; or (2) was presented with documentation showing that a court waived parental notification requirements or authorized the minor's abortion.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3442; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Requires an abortion provider who knowingly performs an abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (defined as 20 weeks) to first: (1) inform the woman of the probable age of the child; (2) provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt); (3) provide information that pain medicine administered to the mother may not prevent pain in the child, but in some cases anesthesia or pain-reducing drugs can be administered directly to the child; (4) give the woman the provider's best medical judgment of the risks and costs of such anesthesia or analgesic; and (5) obtain the woman's signature on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child. Creates an exception to save the life of the mother.

Session-109; Bill Number-H R 6099; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

Requires an abortion provider who knowingly performs an abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (defined as 20 weeks), to first: inform the woman of the probable age of the child provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt) provide information that pain medicine administered to the mother may not prevent pain in the child, but in some cases anesthesia or pain-reducing drugs can be administered directly to the child give the woman the provider's best medical judgment of the risks and costs of such anesthesia or analgesic obtain the woman's signature on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure that includes a statement that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain and that the mother has the option of having pain-reducing drugs administered directly to the child. Creates an exception for certified medical emergencies. Establishes civil penalties for willfully failing to comply with this Act.

Session-107; Bill Number-H R 2175; Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 - Cosponsor

Directs that in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various U.S. administrative bureaus and agencies, the words "person," "human being," "child," and "individual" shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive (as defined in this Act) at any stage of development.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 3; No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits the expenditure of funds authorized or appropriated by federal law or funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law (federal funds) for any abortion. Prohibits federal funds from being used for any health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.) Disallows any tax benefits for amounts paid or incurred for an abortion or for a health benefits plan that includes coverage of abortion, including any medical deduction for such amounts or any credit for such an employer-sponsored plan. Prohibits the inclusion of abortion in any health care service furnished by a federal or District of Columbia health care facility or by any physician or other individual employed by the federal government or the District. Provides that such prohibitions shall not apply to an abortion if: (1) the pregnancy is the result of forcible rape or, if the pregnant woman is a minor, incest; or (2) the woman suffers from a physical disorder, injury, or illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would place her in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, as certified by a physician.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 212; Sanctity of Human Life Act - Cosponsor

Declares that: (1) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human and is the person's paramount and most fundamental right; (2) each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, at which time every human has all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and (3) Congress, each state, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have the authority to protect all human lives.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 217; Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Public Health Service Act to prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) from providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion. Excludes an abortion where: (1) the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or an act of incest against a minor; or (2) a physician certifies that the woman suffered from a physical disorder, injury, or illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy. Excludes hospitals from such requirement so long as the hospital does not provide funds to any non-hospital entity that performs an abortion. Requires the Secretary to annually provide Congress: (1) information on grantees who performed abortions under the exceptions; and (2) a list of entities to which grant funds are made available.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 358; Protect Life Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.) Requires any qualified health benefit plan offered through an Exchange that includes coverage for abortions to also offer a qualified health benefit plan through the Exchange that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions. Prohibits a federal agency or program and any state or local government that receives federal financial assistance under PPACA from requiring any health plan created or regulated under PPACA to discriminate against any institutional or individual health care entity based on the entity's refusal to undergo training in the performance of induced abortions, require or provide such training, or refer for such training. Creates a cause of action for any violations of the abortion provisions of PPACA. Gives federal courts jurisdiction to prevent and redress actual or threatened violations of such provisions by issuing any form of legal or equitable relief, including injunctions and orders preventing the disbursement of all or a portion of federal financial assistance until the prohibited conduct has ceased. Gives standing to institute an action to affected health care entities and the Attorney General. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to designate the Director of the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to receive and investigate complaints alleging a violation of PPACA abortion provisions. Requires the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to ensure that no multistate qualified health plan offered in an Exchange provides coverage of abortion services.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 5939; No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits: (1) the expenditure of funds authorized or appropriated by federal law or funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law for any abortion or for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion; (2) any tax benefits for amounts paid or incurred for an abortion or for a health benefits plan (including premium assistance) that includes coverage of abortion; and (3) the inclusion of abortion in any health care service furnished by a federal health care facility or by any physician or other individual employed by the federal government.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 634; Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Cosponsor

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 5276; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require an abortion provider who knowingly performs an abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (defined as an unborn child who has reached a probable stage of development of 20 weeks or more after fertilization), to first: (1) inform the woman of the probable age of the child; (2) provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt); (3) provide information that pain medicine administered to the mother may not prevent pain in the child, but in some cases anesthesia or pain-reducing drugs can be administered directly to the child; (4) give the woman the provider's best medical judgment of the risks and costs of such anesthesia or analgesic; and (5) obtain the woman's signature on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure that includes a statement that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain and that the mother has the option of having pain-reducing drugs administered directly to the child. Creates an exception to save the life of the mother. Establishes civil penalties for willfully failing to comply with this Act. Authorizes: (1) the U.S. Attorney General to bring a civil action under this Act; and (2) private rights of action for violations of this Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 614; Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act - Cosponsor

To amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions, and for other purposes.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 227; Sanctity of Human Life Act - Cosponsor

Declares that: (1) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human and is the person's paramount and most fundamental right; (2) each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, at which time every human has all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and (3) Congress, each state, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have the authority to protect all human lives.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1063; Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Cosponsor

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3442; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 618; Right to Life Act - Cosponsor

To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 4133; Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act - Cosponsor

To amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions, and for other purposes.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 708; Abortion and Foreign Organizations - Cosponsor

To restrict assistance to foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortions.

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