Paul Ryan: Just Plain Bad for Women

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The New York Daily News

Paul Ryan: Just Plain Bad for Women

There is something missing in all the talk about the Paul Ryan pick. The focus has been on his economic views and his proposed budget, which would end Medicare as we know it.

We need to start talking about his extreme views on women’s rights and social issues. Ryan may come off as a harmless, smiling congressman primarily concerned with the nation’s debt, but he has voted for some of the most extreme positions on issues near and dear to many female voters.

Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act, a law that makes it easier for women to challenge unequal pay. Ryan believes that life begins at conception and that abortion should be illegal in all cases, including rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. Ryan co-sponsored federal personhood legislation called the "Sanctity of Human Life Act." For those unfamiliar with "personhood" bills, this is legislation to give a fetus all the rights of an individual, "to provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization." The real world impact of such a law would be to dramatically curb if not outright outlaw abortion, limit some forms of birth control and even threaten in vitro fertilization.

Ryan is staunchly against the contraception mandate included in Obamacare, claiming it infringes on religious freedom. Like Mitt Romney, he wants to repeal Obamacare -- which on Aug. 1 began covering a number of preventative health services for women at no additional cost. While being against more women having access to affordable contraception and essential women’s health care services, Ryan has also voted to defund Planned Parenthood four times. His budget would completely eliminate funding for family planning under Title X, the section of the law which provides access to birth control, STD screenings and cancer screenings to low income families. 

So while the focus over the past 48 hours has been on Ryan’s budget and the false perception that he’s a deficit hawk, attention must also be paid to his views on the issues that impact women’s health and American families. Paul Ryan is bad for women.

Zerlina Maxwell

Zerlina Maxwell is a political columnist for Loop 21 and contribbutor to the Grio.com, The New York Daily News, Feministing, and Ebony magazine. Follow her on twitter @ZerlinaMaxwell.

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