By Dave Andrusko
If you had the chance to watch newly elected pro-life Speaker of the House Paul Ryan(R-Wi.) on even a couple of the Sunday talk shows yesterday (he was on five!), you could readily see why he is pro-life John Boehner’s successor. Ryan is smart, articulate, funny, quick on his feet, and aware that the White House is still controlled by pro-abortion President Barack Obama with Senate Democrats more dedicated than ever to protecting Planned Parenthood .
Asked about defunding Planned Parenthood on “State of the Union,” Ryan told CNN’s Dana Bush
“I don’t think Planned Parenthood should get a red cent from the taxpayer. I’ve always believed that, even before these disgusting videos came out. But I believe we need to do our oversight. We’re just beginning to start a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood. That’s important. So the special committee on Planned Parenthood, I think, should be in the driver’s seat overseeing this process.”
(Ryan was referring to the eleven undercover PPFA videos released by the Center for Medical Progress and the creation of a special panel under the jurisdiction of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to investigate various allegations of misdeeds by Planned Parenthood.)
A first step was taken back in October when the House passed the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act,” (H.R. 3762) which would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
As NRLC explained H.R. 3762 is a special type of legislation called a “reconciliation bill.” This means that it cannot be blocked in the Senate by the filibuster, which has been the main obstacle to previous attempts to pass legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Nevertheless, the bill faces formidable obstacles in the Senate.
The bill would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs. These sources account for roughly 89% of all federal funds that currently flow to Planned Parenthood. Under the bill, the amounts denied to Planned Parenthood are reallocated to community health centers.
When Mr. Ryan was sworn in as the 54th speaker of the House last Thursday, he was the youngest speaker in 150 years. When he was selected by Mitt Romney to be his running mate in 2012, the rest of the country had the opportunity to see what pro-lifers already knew about Paul Ryan.
“Congressman Ryan has a deep, abiding respect for all human life, including unborn children and their mothers, the disabled, and the elderly,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. Ryan has compiled a 100% voting record from National Right to Life ever since he entered the House in 1989.
Our anti-life counterparts understood his track record just as well as we did. “Rep. Paul Ryan’s extreme anti-choice record shows just how serious a threat Mitt Romney’s presidency would be for women,” said Nancy Keenan in 2012, then president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Naturally he was accused of being a warrior in the tiresome “War on Women.” Ryan deftly handled the bogus allegations in his acceptance speech.
“Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.
“We have responsibilities, one to another. We do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.
“Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government, to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.”
Those pro-lifers who knew him best–Wisconsin Right to Life–sang his praises. Here’s what then-executive director Barb Lyons wrote when he joined Romney:
When Paul Ryan first ran for Congress in 1998, he was a very young 28 — boyish and eager. He came to a Wisconsin Right to Life interview with his clean-cut button-down shirt and fresh approach to public life. WRTL-PAC endorsed him for his fervent and sincere right-to-life convictions, but thought him perhaps too young to succeed. But succeed he did and Ryan has been over-achieving ever since.
Who is Paul Ryan? Fervently pro-life, amiable, tons of character, principled, honest, charismatic, man of integrity, fantastic communicator, devoted husband and father. This is the man we met in 1998 and he has not changed, just grown in stature and maturity. People know Paul Ryan and like him. All of these qualities have allowed him to continue to be re-elected with over 60% of the vote in a district that is, at best, a “swing district” but mostly Democratic.
To pro-lifers it is very reassuring that when retiring Speaker Boehner handed the gavel over to new Speaker Ryan, the most visible and important position in the House of Representative remained in strongly pro-life hands.