The first and only 2012 vice presidential debate was historic in that both Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan were both Catholics, but the two men could not have been more different on the issue of reproductive rights for women.
“My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, about how to make sure people have a chance in life,” Ryan explained. “You want to ask why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.”
The Republican candidate told a story about seeing the ultrasound for his first child to drive the point home.
“We saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our first-born child, Liza, bean,” he recalled. “The policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions of incest and life of the mother.”
Biden, on the other hand, said that his religion had informed his “social doctrine,” but he only accepted the church’s abortion prohibitions in his personal life.
“But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews,” he said. “I just refuse to impose that on others, like my friend here, the congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people — women — that they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor in my view.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Oct. 11, 2012.