Ryan won’t explain ‘forcible rape’ language in abortion bill he co-sponsored

Updated

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan won’t discuss his co-sponsorship of a House bill that initially had language limiting federally funded abortions to cases of “forcible rape.”  

The original version of last year’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act banned all federally funded abortions, except in cases of “an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.”

The “forcible rape” provision was dropped from the bill after women’s health advocates and Democrats protested.  The bill passed 251-175 in the House, but died in the Senate.

Ryan told reporters he has no regrets about sponsoring legislation with Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who is now under fire saying women who had been subjected to “legitimate rape” would be able to physically resist becoming pregnant.   

Ryan was asked about it during an interview with KDKA-TV’s Political Editor Jon Delano:

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

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

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.”

Ryan acknowledges he urged Akin to abandon his Senate bid. But he says he has no further plans to speak to him about it now that Akin is staying in the race.  

Todd Akin and Paul Ryan

Ryan won't explain 'forcible rape' language in abortion bill he co-sponsored

Updated