Paul Ryan Insults Women Voters, Calls Forcible Rape a ‘Side Issue’


Paul Ryan gave his first interview in Pennsylvania to CBS Pittsburgh, in which he alleged that women won’t fall for the President’s attempt to distract the voters with “side issues” regarding Ryan’s positions on rape, which align closely with Republican Representative Todd Akin’s views.

Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano interviewed Ryan. Watch here:


Transcript from CBS local (my commentary and fact-checking in italics):

Delano: “Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?”
Ryan: “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”

(That would be a non-answer; translation: yes, if up to Ryan, per his legislative record, abortion would not be available to a woman who was raped unless she were “forcibly raped”, as opposed to voluntarily raped?)

Delano: “You sponsored legislation that has the language ‘forcible rape.’ What is forcible rape as opposed…”

(Ah, the follow up gold, thank you Delano)

Ryan: “Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story.”

(Well, it’s not the “end of the story” according to the legislation Paul Ryan co-sponsored with Todd Akin, who believes women can’t get pregnant from rape.)

Delano: “So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?”
Ryan: “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”

(Then why did Ryan and Akin start splitting hairs by making a huge production out of changing the language in a pre-existing bill to read “forcible rape” as opposed to “rape”?)

As for the president’s claim that Romney-Ryan will restrict birth control, Ryan calls that ridiculous.
“Nobody is proposing to deny birth control to anybody,” says Ryan.

(That’s not true. Paul Ryan proposed denying birth control, criminalizing in vitro fertilization and allowing medical facilities to deny emergency help to women needing an abortion to save their life.

Not only has the Republican legislation attempted to criminalize some forms of birth control, but it has also, as Mitt Romney pledged, cut off funding to places like Planned Parenthood that serve as family planning for poor and middle income women, as well as cut off Title X family planning that help poor and working poor afford contraception.
Paul Ryan sponsored a Personbhood bill that would grant full personhood rights at the moment of fertilization and does ban certain contraceptives, in vitro fertilization, and again criminalizes saving the life of the mother if she requires an abortion.

Ryan also voted to deny women in the military the right to use their own money to pay for abortions at military hospitals (because rape isn’t a problem on military bases? Where has he been?). Yes, she fights for our freedoms, but hers must be denied.)

Ryan says women won’t fall for these side issues.

“And I don’t think they’re going to take the bait of all these distractions that the President is trying to throw at them.”

End interview.

The reason Ryan split hairs over the language in the bill he and Todd Akin co-sponsored to change rape to “forcible rape” is because already, Medicaid does not always reimburse or approve abortions for rape victims or even “medically necessary” abortions. “Some evidence suggests that providers do not receive Medicaid reimbursement for abortions that should qualify for funding.”

Ryan and Akin were trying to add yet another hurdle to a woman seeking an abortion by adding “forcible” to the bill. Forcible isn’t a legal definition. No one knows what they meant by it, and they’re not telling us. That, of course, is the beauty of it, because it’s hard to prove you have met the requirements of something that is not defined.

Paul Ryan thinks it’s a side issue that he voted for the “Let Women Die” bill, that gives health professionals the right to deny women an emergency abortion if her life is in danger. If this bill had been passed when my close friend was rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, she would be dead now. Ectopic pregnancies as she had are not viable pregnancies, so this bill would not have been saving the life of a fetus. The only thing it would have done is let my friend die for no reason, in excruciating pain.

Medicine Net explains that before the 19th century (are Republicans blushing yet?), the major health risk of an ectopic pregnancy was rupture and thus the mortality rate exceeded 50%. But now that we have surgical intervention (called an abortion by Ryan et al), the mortality rate dropped to 5%. Ectopic pregnancies are the leading cause of pregnancy related death in the first trimester. Under Paul Ryan’s ideas, this mortality rate would explode back up to 50%.

Statistics suggest with current advances in early detection, the mortality rate has improved to less than five in 10,000. The survival rate from ectopic pregnancies is improving even though the incidence of ectopic pregnancies is also increasing.

As each hour of this surreal Republican ticket ticks by, women are recoiling in shock and horror. We knew Republicans were not the ticket for women’s rights, but to think that Mitt Romney picked as his running mate a man who advocated for my friend to die because of his religious beliefs is stunning.

My friend went on to have three healthy children. If Paul Ryan had had his way, she would have died at the hospital to which she was rushed via ambulance, writhing in terror and pain. She would have died when the ectopic pregnancy exploded inside of her.

This is the world Romney Ryan have in mind for the majority of the population, and Paul Ryan calls our lives a “side issue.”

This isn’t hyperbole. Under Ryan’s ideology, my friend would be dead even though modern medicine could have saved her. Ryan calls this a side issue, and suggests that President Obama is manipulating women to care about their own lives.

How patronizing can Mr. Ryan be? Ryan thinks that we needed President Obama to tell us that we should be upset when Ryan votes to let us die. Literally. It’s always disturbing when someone as emotionally and intellectually limited as Paul Ryan presumes his superiority over others, because of course, there is no reasoning with someone who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. In Ryan’s world, women are dumb little fools following some man’s lead. In his world view, the question is who are we going to let tell us what matters– him or the President.

Answer? Neither, good sir. We’ve been doing this thinkin’ and workin’ and livin’ stuff on our own for a good while. We really don’t need a man to tell us that it would be bad if you were in charge and thus, my girlfriend had been left to die in that hospital. In fact, sir, with all of your clearly limited medical knowledge, I’d like to add that it wasn’t her husband who called the ambulance and stood by her bed as she recovered, but me. Somehow, through the grace of God, I was able to make the determination that her life was at risk, even though now, according to you, I can’t determine what issues matter to me when I go to vote. It’s a quandary, eh?

We are left wondering if Paul Ryan is a sociopath or if he is just so ignorant that he has no idea and no curiosity to learn about the impact of his “ideas” for women. Side issues, like our lives? Okay then.

You can’t claim to be pro-life as you advocate for the painful death of women, whether that death comes from a complication from pregnancy or a desperate and unsafe attempt to end a pregnancy that results from rape or incest or intimate partner violence coupled with rape. This is pure evil. There are no other words for it. The lives of women are not up for debate.

Paul Ryan is trying to run from his record, but women won’t be fooled.

27 Replies to “Paul Ryan Insults Women Voters, Calls Forcible Rape a ‘Side Issue’”

  1. And yet, they have women actually believing his lies. Every damn one of them. The GOP may be horrible at governing, but they are really really good about scaring the sheep into believing that the other side is nothing but evil incarnate. No matter what good progressives have done for this nation (and them!) There is a segment that will believe the “no government no taxes” bull from these creeps, vote them in, and then blame the left when the RIGHT grows government, fianlly HAS to raise taxes, starts more wars, and the poor end up on the streets.

  2. Abortion/rape is a major plank of the GOP platform/”thinking” pattern. Therefore, since the GOP insists on airing this position as part of their convention/belief system for all candidates, in no way can it be deemed a “side” issue.

    Ergo, Ryan, you lose big time if you continue to believe it’s a “side” issue. Running away from it won’t help either.

  3. “splitting hairs” Congressman Ryan? Really, law maker Ryan?

    If, as you state today, Congressman Ryan, “rape is rape,” then why did you try on two occasions (H.R. 3 and H.R. 356) to change “rape” to “forcible rape”?

    Rape is a “side issue” alrighty: there is a right (factual/true/correct) side and a wrong side, Congressman Paul Ryan. You, sir, and your Republican Party, are on the wrong side.

  4. It has become clearer and clearer to all of us Independent voters that the only good an UNELECTED one.

  5. Women brought them into this world and women will vote Repugs out of office. Women listen, read, make sure before you vote what you are really voting for. Do not take their word,make sure you’re informed
    before you vote

  6. Actually, Reynardine, it’s worse than that; according to them, the two kinds of people are: the elite and everybody else :( smh

  7. The Republican Party is playing to the Evil Religious Right in this Country, and the Greedy Rich, and care nothing about the Middle Class, and the poor who do not have a voice. It is all about the rich getting richer. The attack on women is something they’ve always used, which appeals to little men on the far right. The only way to stop this is to make the general public aware of the fact that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln, but is controlled by bigots and hate groups on the Right.

  8. There are still many women voters who fill in that republican dot, square, lever simply out of habit and don’t or won’t read or listen to the media. The mass media is mostly to blame for this but won’t change because they don’t want to offend big money advertisers.

    This is changing as young women who grew up after the end of the cold war are much more media savvy.

  9. What a sad and ignorant (not an insult) man. I doubt he would think it was a “side issue” if he or a member of his family had something this horrible happen to them. And, if it did and he still felt this way, then he is truly a pathetic excuse for a human being.
    I knew that politicians were full of lies and you-know-what, but this is staggering.

  10. And, make sure every woman you know is actually registered to vote! Ask, don’t assume. If every woman makes sure her sister, her mother, her cousin, her neighbor is registered/get one another to the ballad box/early mail-in vote, then the women’s vote will become more and more important this cycle as well as every single voting cycle in the future. If not, we become second class citizens with more and more rights disappearing before our eyes. (A Hand Maiden’s Tale) We as a nation won’t be discussing settled issues tied to civil rights any longer; it won’t happen because it would rock the boat, babe.

  11. Ryan thought he was being A tea thug back then when he hated women. He has changed now, at least until November 7th when him and Romney go on a hate fest

  12. Dear Paul Ryan,

    It is becoming overwhelming obvious to us that you’ve forgotten to take your antipsychotic medication. Please resume taking your meds and see your therapist as soon as possible so you can be re-evaluated for malignant narcissism.



  13. See how he Flim Flams, Ryan says women won’t fall for these side issues (like Rape is a side issue) “And I don’t think they’re going to take the bait of all these distractions that the President is trying to throw at them.” No, No, No, it is Akin, not the President, who threw this issue into the Ring! Ryan is like a Carney at one of those old time traveling side shows!

  14. Ain’t it loverly! How they can so straight-facedly accuse Obama of “distracting the voters with this *side* issue” when it’s THEIR guy that blew the lid off the whole thing?!

    LMAO! They did this to themselves, and hey, I’m happy Akin is an idiot who has no clue of biology=)

  15. I also have a friend who had an ectopic pregnancy. She and her husband were already the parents of one daughter when she became pregnant and discovered it was an ectopic pregnancy. She had surgery, recovered, and she and her husband had another healthy baby girl. What chaps my azzz about these male republican lawmakers is that few/none of them are medical doctors or are well-versed in the female anatomy, gynecology, or obstetrics, but they insist on writing and passing laws dealing with our bodies. That the women who are republican lawmakers join them in this madness is insane. We must vote against them en masse in November and send them a message that they aren’t qualified to make decisions about our healthcare issues.

  16. Well put, Joyce!
    Someone had the audacity of posting an Romney for Pres. add on my FB page. : ( I feel so violated!
    Wish I could delete it. Don;t know how

  17. The sheer number of bills Repubs have introduced to regulate women’s uteruses – from attempts to outlaw some forms of birth control and ALL abortions (even if in some cases women would die as a result), declare fetal personhood, authorize doctors to give false medical information, force women to endure unnecessary procedures, AS WELL AS to redefine rape – demonstrate that these issues are a central focus of Republicans; NONE are in any way a “side issue.” They’ve also voted against fair pay and slashed the social safety net, which disproportionately affects women (as well as the children these forced-birthers supposedly care so much about). I truly hope that in November women respond by kicking EVERY ONE of their sorry butts to the…

  18. Not only did this malignant idiot voice his foul opinion (which he wants to legislate) but every time he opens his mouth to try and limit the damage he mends matters worse.

    I feel sorry for my American friends who are in a position where he could be voted into office. The very idea is horrifying!

  19. Akin is a miserable bastard, but tying Ryan to Akin is a democratic wedge issue. I’m pro-choice, but frankly, Ryan is right in this regard: tearing down Romney and Ryan is all the Obama campaign has. Obama certainly can’t run on his record on the economy. This is being used to try to distract the public away from the dismal state of the economy.

  20. I am a woman.

    When both parties run endless wars, when both parties bail out banksters, when both parties continue policies that ship living wage jobs overseas….the only difference is women’s rights.

    There is no way I will vote for any GOP candidate. No how, no way. Not now, not ever. These neanderthals have no business legislating my reproductive organs. Get your stinking small-minded ignorance out of my uterus. What happens between me and my doctor is none of your business.

    Side issue? …my ovary. This issue is huge. As a women, I will never support a candidate or party that believes women are chattel.

  21. I had a Catholic friend many years ago who was pregnant with her third child. It died within her in her 6th month. Her very Catholic Dr & her parish priest joined together & convinced her that it would be a sin to remove that dead fetus inside her. They mandated that she MUST carry it until her due date. Even then, the Dr. wanted to wait longer. She finally had enough, went to another Dr & was immediately taken to surgery. She was so traumatized by the experience, she never got over it & quit the Church. It also caused her to have her tubes tied so she could never get pregnant again.

    Fanatics at work.

  22. YOU PEOPLE, all you want is the truth and transparency, well tough shit, we are going to keep our policies to ourselves till after the gullable Fox watching, racist, ahmygdala using people vote us in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.