Why Did Ryan Seem to Compromise on Abortion?

by Steve Ray on October 15, 2012

A friend from the Philippines wrote and asked why Paul Ryan was compromising his Catholic faith and the issue of abortion during the debate. I wrote him the short paragraph. I hope that helps explain it.

“Yeti, there are a huge number of “middle ground people” called Independents. In order for the Republicans to woo them over to the conservative side, the Republicans need to present things in a more moderate way. It is the game of politics.

“Letting Obama win will expand abortion. Being moderate in their approach will help Romney win over the moderates. In the end they will then be in a position to work against abortion in America.”

Other’s comments are welcome.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony Bulick October 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

moving in the direction of reducing the number of abortions (murders) is clearly the right first step. We will not get all the way there in one step. We’re fighting against 40 years of it being legal.

Joe October 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I was concerned about this as Yeti but you make a good point.

Susan Cumming October 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I pray you are right Steve. I firmly believe that all these child abductions, murders, rapes etc are because society has put such little value on the life of an unborn child.

Eugenia October 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

You’re absolutely right, Steve. It’s who Romney nominates to the Supreme Court and federal courts across the country that’s going to help make the difference, not speaking in purist pro-life language.

Denise Riggio October 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Romney is a Mormon and as any good Mormon he is faithful to his Church and the beliefs they hold. Ryan almost quoted verbatim the belief Mormon’s hold in regards abortion. “The policy of a Romney administration (of which Ryan would be a part) is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.” Ryan’s denial of Church teaching is a flat denial of Christ in front of over 51 million people. This statement puts Ryan fully outside the Catholic Church. To insult Our Lord with the very suggestion that we Catholics can obfuscate His Truth to gain political office is to participate in a grave evil. Ryan even goes on to say that he himself believes that human life is only as valuable as society and its elected officials dictate. “We don’t think that unelected judges housed make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this decision.” To encourage Ryan in this evil endeavor is to follow him into hell. Ryan, knowing Romney’s evil beliefs, should have never taken the nomination and gone along to deny Jesus Christ. Only Catholics will understand this, no one else will. Servant of God, Father Hardon, pray for us!

Patti October 15, 2012 at 3:03 PM

“Ryan’s denial of Church teaching is a flat denial of Christ in front of over 51 million people. This statement puts Ryan fully outside the Catholic Church.”

I don’t think you are qualified to cast that sentence on him, given you wear no miter and carry no croisier. You may want to go back and read St. Francis de Sales’s take on the dangers of rash judgment in his Introduction to the Devout Life. Because newsflash: You cannot know, from a high-pressure debate situation full of almost constant sneers and interruptions from Biden, what is in Ryan’s heart and soul from a couple of soundbites.

Ryan stated the position of the Romney administration, and, while he is part of that administration, that does not mean he walks in lockstep with Romney on this issue. So, how what would be a good way to see how he believes on abortion? Go back and look at his 100% pro-life voting record—and the fetal personhood legislation he’s been involved with more than once—before jumping to conclusions. If he had stated outright his position on abortion (which is the Catholic Church’s), the media would have done to him what they did to Todd Akin, who does the right thing but blundered in his wording about it. But Ryan is not guilty by association just because he accepted the VP nomination. Nowhere in Catholic doctrine do you find any such idea.

And I am Catholic. Just so you know, and don’t think I’m defending him because I don’t “understand”. Fr. Hardon was a great man of truth and charity. He never severed one from the other, which I have seen too much of on both sides of the political divide this election cycle.

Denise Riggio October 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Patti, we must judge what is put in front of us. Ryan stated in another interview even before the debate, “Look, I’m proud of my record,” Ryan said at a brief news conference on his plane. ” Mitt Romney is going to be president and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.” This answer takes care of the “pressure” excuse. That is a step towards death, call it lockstep or whatever you want, it is clearly and unequivocally a denial of Church teaching and puts Ryan and those that accept this lie outside the Catholic Church. Anyone that agrees with that position, encourages it or promotes it, is outside the church too. As a catechist trained by Father Hardon, I don’t need a crosier or miter to speak the truth and correct those that might fall into this same evil. It is our right and duty to do so. By your standards a Catholic could have run on the ticket with Hitler and maintained their Catholicity. As to his past pro life voting record? Don’t tell that to me, tell that to Our Lord and the innocent children that will be slaughtered under a Romney Ryan Administration in the name of incest, rape and so-called life of the mother.

William October 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Thomas More is rolling over in his grave at your answer, Steve. The end never justifies the means in Catholic moral theology.

Steve Ray October 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Bill. I am explaining Ryan’s logic, not giving my opinion though I see the wisdom in his approach.

Lisa Graas October 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The lesser of two evils is still evil. The fawning over the Romney/Ryan ticket by Catholics needs to stop. Of course, I am voting for Romney, but only by holding my nose to stop the greater evil. The oohing and ahhing over the Romney/Ryan ticket, and the claims on Catholic sites that they are “pro-life” are enough to make me keep a bucket beside my computer.

William October 16, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Well said, Lisa!

Mary Anne October 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Prayer and good works are essential for all Catholics in regard to bringing about a change in culture and attitudes. According to the voice of conscience, each is judged by Christ in the end–candidates and voters alike.
To deliberate openly about candidates’ views might prove something, might show insight, and might improve odds in the process, but largely, what candidates do and say is out of our control, so we can only *vote* for this or that candidate without directly changing anything.
Now the preachy part: Pick them apart sparingly. Look at their records. Read between the lines. Pray for those who are under the constant, terrible strain of caving in, something we arrogant voters don’t have to worry about.
I’m doing my job to the best of my ability, conscientiously, by betting that the Romney/Ryan ticket holds better potential for eliminating abortion than does the Obama/Biden ticket, based upon what I have read, heard, seen, and learned about the candidates. Therefore, I will plan to vote for Romney/Ryan in a month.

Tom Govern October 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Hey guys, one step at a time. We need justices on the court who will overturn Roa vs. Wade. If I could give my life to do that, I would. Short of that, we need like thinking conservatives on the court who will do that. We will not legislate a solution. That said, let’s pray that we can stop this evil with whatever means we can.

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