A topic that many people, particularly women, were disappointed wasn’t tackled during the Obama vs. Romney debate last week was the topic of a woman’s right to choose. The topic, which is always controversial, is one of the big dividing factors between the Obama/Biden camp and the far more conservative Romney/Ryan ticket. One of the things that made the topic of abortion, and a woman’s right to choose, far more personal to these two vice presidential hopefuls is that both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are Catholic.
Moderator Martha Raddatz made note of the “historic” nature of the debate saying, “We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.”
Biden and Ryann both believe that life begins at the moment of conception but that’s about it. Biden talked about his beliefs but went on to say that he would never push those beliefs on other people, no matter their faith or religion. “But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor.”
Ryan, on the other hand, stated that, “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life.” Ryan added a personal note of why he is pro-life, saying:
“Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science. You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now I believe that life begins at conception.”
The Ryan/Romney campaign would like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and will keep their stance on opposing abortion but would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake.
As to whether abortion would be outlawed if Romney and Ryan made it to the White House, Ryan said, “We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.”
But as Biden pointed out, the next presidential team may be naming two supreme court judges, judges who could be selected for their stance on abortion. saying that if Romney was president, “who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.”
Would you like to see President Obama and Romney address the abortion topic in their next debate?