Tim Ryan now says he is against most late-term abortions, despite having voted for and repeatedly touted his support for legislation allowing unlimited abortions.
“I don’t think we should have abortions later in the term unless there’s a medical emergency,” he told Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier.
“I think we go back to Roe v. Wade,” he said (as President Joe Biden said last week) when pressed to say where he draws the line. “Roe v. Wade was in the third term. In the third term of Roe v. Wade, you could only do it if there was some kind of medical emergency.”
Baier pressed Ryan, D-Ohio, on legislation to codify Roe v. Wade that does not include any limits on abortion, asking, “Do you have a limit?”
“My personal view is we go back to Roe v. Wade,” Ryan responded. He did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Daily Signal.
Republican candidate J.D. Vance’s campaign told The Daily Signal that Ryan is “once again lying about his record because he’s too much of a pro-abortion extremist for Ohio.”
“Ryan has voted to make limitless taxpayer-funded late-term abortion legal in every single state,” Vance’s campaign said. “That’s way out of touch with the people of Ohio.”
Ryan, who has painted himself as focused on the needs of Ohio’s working-class families, has twice voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act. That legislation would codify Roe v. Wade and massively expand abortions in the United States if passed.
The Women’s Health Protection Act specifically states that the right to abortion “shall not be limited or otherwise infringed.” It would have allowed abortion providers to determine whether a pregnancy is considered “viable” or not, effectively enabling abortions at any point.
“In Ohio and across the country, we have already begun to witness the horrific consequences of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to strike down a woman’s long-established right to an abortion. But we know this is only the beginning, especially as radical anti-abortion politicians move to pass legislation to criminally charge women and girls who travel out of state for legal abortion services,” Ryan said in a July statement. “Today, I’m proud to take action to restore a woman’s fundamental right to make her own decisions about her body, her health, and her future, and ensure she can travel wherever and whenever she wants to obtain legal reproductive healthcare.”
In August, Ryan would not directly address where he stood on abortion, saying he believed that such a decision should be up to the mother.
“Of course we don’t support abortion at the end of term, unless, of course, there is extraordinary circumstance,” he said, before going on to describe the late-term abortion of a baby whose parents had already prepared the baby’s nursery.
Video footage obtained by The Daily Wire this summer exposed Ryan admitting that he was avoiding discussing “culture wars” on the campaign trail because these issues “don’t serve us very well in Ohio.”
“You want culture wars? I’m not your guy. You want a fighter for Ohio? I’m all in,” he said in one of his first TV ads during the general election.
“We’re keeping the message very much around economics,” Ryan said during a virtual March Zoom meeting with the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus. “You know, staying away from the culture wars, which don’t serve us very well in Ohio.”
A woman on the call asked him: “You keep mentioning that you’re not about the culture wars and you know you’re talking about these bread-and-butter issues for people. But as a young woman of reproductive age, as someone who identifies as queer and who has a lot of friends in the queer community, I just want to make sure, like, will you be the advocate that we need on abortion rights, the advocate that we need on trans people’s human dignity and their human rights and on gay rights?”
Ryan reminded the woman that he gave a floor speech in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act before voting for the legislation.
“I’ve been very vocal on these other issues that you mentioned,” he continued. “So you can count on me to be in the fight … I’m progressive. I’m going to vote that way. I’m going to support you in every way, shape, or form … You can count on me.”
Throughout this election cycle, many candidates have declined to define where they draw the line on abortion or avoided addressing the question entirely. This has allowed their opponents to insist that these candidates support unfettered abortion laws (like the Women’s Health Protection Act).
Polling shows that Americans don’t support some limits on abortions. CBS polling conducted in May shows that only 17% of Americans think abortion should be legal at any point during the mother’s pregnancy. A similar May 2022 Pew Research poll found that only 19% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all cases, and an August 2022 Rasmussen poll found that only 13% of likely California voters think abortion should be legal at any point.
According to a May 2022 Gallup survey, 63% of Americans think abortion should be illegal or only legal under certain circumstances. Fox News polling found in April 2022 that a majority (54%) of Americans think abortion should be illegal after 15 weeks, and YouGov polling found in 2022 that 73% of the country supports age-based restrictions on abortions.
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