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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-15-13

Paul Ryan Co-Sponsors House Personhood Bill

Conservative Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with 16 other representatives, have co-sponsored the "Sanctity of Human Life Act," which would give full person rights to a human embryo.

The "Sanctity of Human Life Act" was originally introduced in 2011 by Representative Paul Broun (R-GA). Broun reintroduced the bill early in the new congressional session. The bill establishes that "the life of each human being begins with fertilization, ..., at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood." The bill extends this protection even to any "one-celled human embryo."

Ryan, who as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential running mate, has a congressional record of supporting anti-women legislation. He co-sponsored a bill that would have defined "forcible rape" with then-Congressman Todd Akin, who destroyed his bid for the U.S. Senate from MO after saying women can avoid pregnancy when it is "legitimate rape." Ryan is also becoming the national champion of personhood legislation, and has been suggested as the keynote speaker for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List's Campaign for Life Gala.

Personhood legislation has been rejected nationwide by voters and courts alike. In 2011, Mississippi voters defeated a state personhood initiative in a vote of 58% against to 42% in favor. Oklahoma courts rejected a 2012 personhood initiative on the grounds that it interfered with a woman's legal right to have an abortion.

Media Resources: Maddow Blog 1/10/2013; ThinkProgress 1/10/2013; Huffington Post 1/9/2013; GovTrack.Us 1/3/2013; Huffington Post 4/30/2012


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