On Saturday Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan is widely known as the architect of a budget passed by the House in Spring 2012 that dismantles Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
The Daily Beast reports that the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Ryan's budget "calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation's wealthiest individuals." The 'Ryan Budget' was the target of The Nuns on the Bus Tour this summer - US nuns visited 9 states on a speaking tour to raise awareness about the budget's massive cuts for many social services. Ryan is a practicing Catholic, but the nuns insisted that the budget's disregard for people in need is "immoral" and inherently "un-Christian."
Ryan believes abortion should be illegal across the board, including in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is at risk. The National Right to Life Committee has scored his voting record at 100 percent every year since 1999, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement on Saturday that he has earned a zero percent on its women's health scorecard. During his 1998 run for congress he "expressed his willingness to let states criminally prosecute women who have abortions." He has voted to defund Planned Parenthood at least four times, opposes the Obama Administration's birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act (and would repeal the Affordable Care Act all together), and has voted repeatedly against international family planning funding.
He also co-sponsored a personhood bill at the federal level - the Sanctity of Human Life Act. The bill states that life begins at conception, and that every fertilized egg should "have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood." Personhood bills have far-reaching consequences, including outlawing abortion in all cases as well as criminalizing miscarriages, outlawing common forms of birth control, in vitro-fertilization and some treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses.
National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill released a statement on Saturday, stating "women should beware, because they are the targets or the disproportionate casualties in virtually every policy Romney and Ryan propose."
Media Resources: The Daily Beast 8/11/12; Huffington Post 8/11/12; The Daily Beast 8/13/12; National Organization for Women Statement 8/11/12