Unlike the first presidential debate, abortion came up last night in the VP debate. Ryan did a good job explaining his position, indicating that, in addition to his religious beliefs, science and reason informed his opinion on abortion, which is that life begins at conception. Where he and other pro-life politicians fall short is in countering the position of people like Joe Biden.
Biden also stated that he believes that life begins at conception, but he said this was because this is the Catholic Church's belief. He said "Life begins at conception in the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life." Then he said something that made no sense. He said: "But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the -- the congressman. I -- I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that -- women they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor."
First of all, you don't impose facts on others. Facts are facts. Life begins at conception. Period. It's a scientific fact. Unfortunately, Ryan didn't ask the follow-up question that begged to be asked. I just pray that Mitt Romney or one of his advisers reads Redstate and sees this post so he can be prepared should the abortion question come up in the next debate.
The Modified Pro-Choice Position
Vice President Biden used a form of the "Modified Pro-Choice Position". This is popular among politicians, because it makes them sound like they’re personally pro-life, but yet it keeps them firmly in the pro-choice camp. This tactic is often used by Democrats who want to appeal to a wider range of voters. They will say something like: “Well, I’m personally against abortion, but I still believe in a woman’s right to choose.” This is in effect what Joe Biden said. He added to it by stating he personally agrees that human life begins at conception.
Here is the exchange I would like to have seen after Biden's comment:
Paul Ryan: "Mr. Vice President, If you believe that life begins at conception, than I assume means that you are personally against abortion, is that correct?"
Joe Biden: "Yes, that's correct, although I don't think it's right to impose my beliefs on others."
Paul Ryan: “So you personally think it’s wrong to have an abortion because it’s taking an innocent human life, but you think it’s okay if others do that?”
Joe Biden: Uhhh.. I think... well, no... I mean it's a woman's right to choose. It's her body, so who am I to say that she can't have an abortion."
Paul Ryan: Well, actually, it's not the woman's body. It's her baby's body we're talking about. I'm sure you would have a problem if she killed her new born baby, wouldn't you? Why is it any different if she kills her unborn child?
The abortion question comes down to this: What is the unborn? Pro-life advocates always need to respond with the truth, which is that an abortion takes the life of a valuable, unborn human being. If you remember that, than all the other extraneous reasons pro-choice advocates give for having an abortion don't fly.