5 Things You Need To Know About Paul Ryan’s Stance On Women’s Issues

Romney’s new pro-life running mate opposes federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act, and abortions in cases of rape and incest. posted on

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney in March. DARREN HAUCK / Reuters

1. He supports the “Sanctity of Human Life Act.”
Ryan was among the 62 representatives sponsoring the bill, introduced in January of last year and declaring that “life begins with fertilization.” The bill defines life as beginning at conception and give states the right to ban all abortions*, including in instances of rape and incest.

2. He wants to cut funding for Medicaid, which covers millions of low-income women, and to shift control over the money from the federal government to the states. This would hit some family planning services hard:
Planned Parenthood says that half of all visits to their clinics are paid for by Medicaid, while one in ten relies on the program for healthcare.

3. He voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
Ryan supported Indiana representative Mike Pence’s attempts to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

4. He opposes the Affordable Care Act.
In a statement on his website, Ryan says the ACA “may irrevocably impair the American identity.” Republicans central objection to the legislation is that it is too expensive, but it also includes specific benefits for women, including copay-free birth control for insured women and increased access to preventative healthcare services, including cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and birth control. The act also forbids insurance companies from charging women more for coverage than men.

5. He supports a bill that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage based on personal beliefs.
Ryan co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act of 2012, introduced by fellow Republican pro-life Wisconsin representative James Sensenbrenner in July. The bill would allow employers in public and private sectors to deny women birth control coverage if they had a moral or religious objection to contraception. It seeks to undermine the compromise Obama reached with religious groups on this issue, allowing them to opt out of contraception coverage in favor of insurance companies providing it instead.

*Correction: The Sanctity of Human Life Act gives states the right to ban abortions, without exception; it does not ban abortions, as a previous version of this item stated.

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