We’ve all read numerous reports on Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan’s radical fiscal conservatism. Somewhat lesser known is his stance on reproductive rights in which standard methods of birth control could be made illegal, abortion would become a criminal act and women who suffer miscarriages would be murder suspects.
Ryan compares Roe v Wade to Dred Scott v Sandford, in which the Supreme Court denied the rights of blacks. He argues that the Supreme Court made a serious mistake in Dred Scott that was repeated in Roe v Wade. One can only draw the conclusion here that a woman’s right to her own body is as serious a wrongdoing as denying someone their rights based on their skin color. The irony of this stance seems to elude Ryan.
Ryan is also named as a co-sponsor on H.R. 212, known as the Sanctity of Human Life Act. The act seeks to define a fertilized (or cloned) egg as a person from the moment the sperm enters the ovum. This would not only make abortion illegal, but would criminalize many forms of popular birth control, as well as miscarriages. (The text of this bill can be found here)
If a fertilized egg is considered a human being, not allowing one to come to term would be considered murder — therefore, Intra Uterine Devices, or IUDs, which work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine wall would be considered illegal. The birth control pill, which does the same job as a copper IUD except with hormones would also be made illegal if this bill passes.
Additionally, since an unexplained death requires investigation, this would give the police and federal agents license to investigate every miscarriage to determine whether it qualifies as murder, or accidental death. Not only do women lose the right to make their own decisions, they lose the ability to mourn the loss of a wanted pregnancy, and gain the fear that they may find themselves incarcerated for having a miscarriage.
Not only will this approach drag us back into the dark ages, it shows a clear belief that women are incapable of making decisions for themselves, thereby presenting a path that allows women to be stripped not only of reproductive rights, but the right to vote, to raise our children, and to an education — after all, how can we be expected to make decisions for our children or for our country if we are incapable of making decisions for ourselves?