House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) told pro-life activists Thursday evening that they need to “compromise” and work with Republicans in Congress if they wanted to see the pro-life movement move forward successfully.
“We should promote civility and compromise in pursuit of the common good,” he told attendees of the Susan B. Anthony List Gala on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
He suggested that the two groups start by working together to ban late-term abortions and defund Planned Parenthood, even proposing that pro-life Republicans start the process by “[planting] flags in the law — small changes that raise questions about abortion.”
“People who consider themselves pro-choice don’t agree with us on everything,” Ryan said. “But many agree we should stop taxpayer funding of abortion. That’s a flag. Many agree we should require parental notification. That’s another flag.”
He added that if Republicans can’t ultimately come together in the fight to ban abortions altogether, at least they can collectively “raise doubts — and save lives.”
“We don’t want a country where abortion is simply outlawed,” Ryan said. “We want a country where it isn’t even considered.”
Even if a majority of Americans consider themselves to be pro-choice, recent polls show that they still think abortions are wrong. A recent poll conducted by the National Right to Life Committee found that 53 percent of Americans opposed all or almost all abortions, while a new Rasmussen Reports study found that 51 percent of Americans believed abortion was morally wrong.
“Labels can be misleading,” Ryan explained during his speech. “A pro-choice Republican senator from Massachusetts nearly derailed Obamacare just by being elected, but a pro-life Democratic congressman from Michigan delivered the votes that passed it into law.”
Ryan’s attempts at uniting the party’s two factions is not much of a surprise. After all, he was partly chosen for the vice presidential nomination last year because of his pro-life stance; many thought that it would help balance out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s wavering position on abortion throughout the years.
What’s more surprising is that Ryan chose not to mention the ongoing trial of Kermit Gosnell, the doctor from Philadelphia charged with murdering one patient and 7 newborn infants born alive after botched abortions.
More than likely, Ryan was shying away from the tragic tale as he sets the stage for a potential run for president in 2016.