Paul Ryan's views on abortion are apparently stricter than Mitt Romney's.
A spokesman discussed the vice-presidential running mate's views in an email exchange with The Gazette this week.
Ryan is an original co-sponsor of HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The act would forbid federal funding for abortion except in cases of "forcible rape," the health of the mother and incest if the victim is a minor.
The word "forcible" was dropped in the version of the bill that passed.
But Ryan also co-sponsored HR 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that life begins at fertilization.
The Gazette sought to reconcile the conflict between the two bills: If life begins at conception, why is it OK to allow any abortion, no matter what the circumstance?
A Ryan spokesman would not discuss that point but referred to Ryan's statement when he was quizzed by reporters who were following him Wednesday:
"Mitt Romney's going to be the president," Ryan said. "The president sets the policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction. I'll leave it at that."
The Washington Post later asserted in an online story that Ryan does not support those exceptions.
Democrats, including Ryan's opponent in the 1st District congressional race, Rob Zerban, have seized on the fact that Ryan and Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri were among the co-sponsors of both bills.
Republicans and Democrats alike vilified Akin after he said a woman's body could somehow prevent a pregnancy in the case of a "legitimate rape."
Akin is running for U.S. Senate. Romney and Ryan have called on Akin to end his bid. Akin has refused.
Zerban suggested in a fundraising email Wednesday that Ryan is as "extreme" as Akin.
"I believe that health-care decisions should be made by an individual and her or his doctor. Congress has no place in an examination room," Zerban said in the email.
The Republican platform plank on abortion going into the GOP convention next week, meanwhile, calls for a constitutional amendment that give the unborn legal rights.
It does not support the abortion exemptions that Romney supports, according to news reports.
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