Paul Ryan redefining rape as ‘forcible rape’ was just ‘stock language’

By David Edwards
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 13:24 EDT
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Paul Ryan speaks to Fox News
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Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Monday insisted that wording in a bill that he co-sponsored with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), which Democrats say would have redefined rape as “forcible rape,” was just “stock language.”

Under the proposed “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” only victims of “forcible rape” would have qualified for federally funding abortions. Victims of non-violent rapes like statutory rape and incest would have been on their own.

The language became a problem for Republicans after Akin, who co-sponsored the bill with Ryan, recently said that women could not get pregnant through “legitimate rape.” The Republican Senate candidate later apologized by explaining that he was actually talking about “forcible rape.”

Since then, Ryan has tried to distance himself from Akin by insisting that “rape is rape.”

But more than a week after the “legitimate rape” comments, even Fox News anchor Brett Baier felt the need to ask Ryan to explain why he “co-sponsored legislation seeking to distinguish between statutory and forcible rape.”

“All these bill were bill to stop taxpayer financing of abortion,” Ryan argued. “Most Americans agree with us — including pro-choice Americans — that we shouldn’t use hardworking taxpayer dollars to finance abortion.”

“Rape is rape, period,” he continued. “This is language that was stock language used for lots of different bills, bills I didn’t author. And that language was removed to be very clear, and I agree with that — removing that language so we are very clear. Rape is rape, period, end of story.”

While Ryan seems to have changed his tune on so-called “forcible rape,” he recently said that he still opposes any exceptions to bans on abortion because rape is just another “method of conception.”

“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” the Wisconsin congressman told WJHL reporter Josh Smith last week.

“But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy.”

Watch this video from Fox News’ Special Report via Mother Jones, broadcast Aug. 27, 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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