Ryan, a staunch pro-lifer, was a co-sponsor of a controversial House bill last year defining life as the moment of fertilisation and granting "personhood" rights to embryos. Abortion rights activist say the Sanctity of Human Life Act would have outlawed all abortions, restrict some forms of contraception, in-vitro fertilisation and stem-cell research.Of course, this means our own Congressman Chris Gibson doesn't have this vote that we can hang around his neck. But he did vote in favor a very similar measure at the end of July, so it turns out that we know where Gibson stands on this issue:
The bill never made it onto the floor of the house. All state attempts to introduce so-called "personhood" amendments into law have failed, even in conservative states. It was rejected in Mississippi in November 2011.
A bill that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to pass the House on Tuesday, but anti-abortion activists hailed the vote as a sign that their efforts ultimately would succeed.So, the D.C. bill, along with the national "personhood" bill are kaput for the moment. But we can expect to see the GOP make this a centerpiece of their agenda if they take the White House (which is looking increasingly unlikely, I admit).
The bill was based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain at a gestational age of 20 weeks or older. The National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion group, made the legislation its top priority on Capitol Hill this year. Nine states have passed similar measures, and a federal judge upheld a similar law in Arizona this week.
The vote in favor of the bill was 220-154, with 17 Democrats joining 203 Republicans to support it. But because it was considered under special rules requiring a two-thirds vote for passage, the bill won't proceed to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it was unlikely to come up for a vote.
Julian Schreibman's campaign, of course, took this opportunity to fire its own salvo at the former soldier:
“While Congressman Chris Gibson pretends to be a moderate, his vote to criminalize abortion even in cases of rape and incest is appalling,” said Jonathan Levy, campaign manager. “This vote is just another example of Congressman Gibson’s rhetoric not matching his record. Fortunately, his radical agenda did not win the day this time.”I couldn't agree more.
“Health care decisions such as these should be made between a woman, her doctor, her family and her faith,” said Julian Schreibman, Democratic Congressional candidate. “Congressman Gibson and his Republican allies are out of touch with the way families in this country make these decisions, and the fact that this bill would put doctors in jail is extremely concerning. Even worse, this vote shows they are putting politics over common decency in these most horrific cases.”
But, hey, if you're in favor of putting doctors in jail for performing medically necessary procedures, then Chris Gibson is your boy. If, however, you are part of the vast majority of people who want government to keep its nose out of your private medical decisions, you should vote for Schreibman. The choice couldn't be any more clear.