Less than ten years ago, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) described himself as pro-life. Now he styles himself as a supporter of Roe, but the newly minted Senate nominee seems to forget that Roe limited access to abortion. Bret Baier pressed Ryan to answer a simple question — what limits would he support on abortion?
Three times Ryan dodged it, insisting that the only people who could answer the question are a woman and a doctor. And, presumably, a biologist:
BAIER: As senator, would you have any limits on abortion?
RYAN: Look, I think what we had established in Roe is something that we can continue to work with, And I think those can be the parameters. But then again if you get rid of what was established law, which in many ways was conservative, to keep that, to appreciate stare decisis, and make sure we appreciate the law. If we move away from that, you’re going to get states like Ohio that have some of the most extreme laws in the whole country, where if you’re a young girl and you’ve been raped or there’s been incest, that you can’t — you have — the state, the government is going to force you to bring that baby to the [crosstalk]. I just don’t think that’s …
BAIER: [crosstalk] Congressman, my question — my question was about any limits to abortion at any point. You know — late term, anything?
RYAN: Look, you’ve got to leave it up to the woman, because —
BAIER: So “no” is the answer.
RYAN: Well, you and I sitting here can’t account for all of the different scenarios that a woman dealing with the complexities of a pregnancy are going through. How can you and I figure that out?
It’s pretty amusing to see a candidate for the party of central economic planning suddenly paraphrasing F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom in defense of abortion on demand.
It’s not in this clip, but Baier quipped at the end of the exchange, “Well, I appreciate your straightforward answer,” after Ryan’s repeated dodges to a very clear question. The answer, as Baier surmised halfway through the spin, is that Ryan opposes any limit on abortion. But it’s also very clear that Ryan refuses to say that explicitly, since the laws he’s calling “extreme” in the state of Ohio appear to be pretty popular there … and he’s asking for those votes in November in a statewide election.
People on social media accused Baier of being disingenuous for asking the question, claiming that late-term abortion is “rare.” That, however, underscores the heart of the problem for Democrats, who have gone from “safe, legal, and rare” to “abortion on demand with no limits at all.” That has been the effective position of the party since Hillary Clinton ran in 2016, and arguably since Barack Obama ran in 2008. They’re not demanding a no-limits policy on abortion to keep late-term abortion rare; they’re fighting to allow more women to abort babies right up to the point of delivery. Democrats abandoned “rare” at about the same point that Ryan abandoned his pro-life position.
Furthermore, Roe itself had significant limits on abortion access. It imposed a first-trimester ban on regulation, but allowed states to block access after that, a point on which Ryan seems pretty ignorant. It was Casey that fully opened the Pandora’s box of abortion-on-demand. This is, by the way, why rumors are swirling that Chief Justice John Roberts wanted a compromise that would strike down Casey but keep Roe, which is a political position rather than a constitutional one.
You’d think a “moderate” would know that. Instead, Ryan argues for the limits of Roe in one breath and then in the next opposes any limits or regulation on abortion. It’s utterly incoherent, even more so than what Roberts purportedly wants.
Jonathan Turley isn’t fooled about what Ryan wants, and it ain’t Roe:
That would theoretically allow an abortion up to the second of birth even without special showings as well as partial birth abortion, a position opposed by the vast majority of Americans. The Court previously upheld bans on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 5, 2022
The Senate race in Ohio already looked tough for Democrats after seeing twice as many Republicans turn out, even though both parties had competitive primaries for this race and for the gubernatorial nominations. Ryan’s completed trip to the extreme Left position on abortion has likely sealed their fate, maybe in all of the statewide races in November. How many other national media hosts and reporters will ask Democratic candidates this same question before then?