Transcript: Joe Biden and Paul Ryan abortion remarks at 2012 VP debate
October 11, 2012 (LifeSitenews.com) - During this evening’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan were asked about their views on abortion, and how their views were shaped by their Catholic faith. Here are their responses in full. Video is below:
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RYAN: I don’t see how a person can separate their private life from their public life or their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, about how to make sure that people have a chance of life.
Now, you want to ask about 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.
You know, I think about ten and a half years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven week ultrasound for our first born child, and we saw that heart beat. Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day we have nick named our first born, Liza, bean.
Now I believe that life begins at conception. Those are the reasons why I’m pro-life.
Now I realize that this is a difficult issue. And I respect people who don’t agree with me on this. But the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing on our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our churches should not have to sue the federal government to maintain their religious liberties.
And with respect to abortion, the Democratic party used to say they should be safe, legal and rare, now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said he sympathized with, and would not second guess, their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme.
BIDEN: My religion defines who I am, and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life, and it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves. People who need help.
With regard to abortion, I accept my Church’s position on abortion as a de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. I accept that position in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, and Muslims and and Jews…I just refuse to do that, unlike my friend here, the Congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women that they cannot control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor in my view, and the Supreme Court. And I’m not going to interfere with that.
With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, or any other hospital, none has to either refer for contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.
Now with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says that he…well I guess he accepts governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there is rape and forcible rape, and that in the case of rape or incest, it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.
RYAN: All I’m saying is that if you believe life begins at conception that therefore doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.
Now, I’ve got to take issue with the Catholic Church and religious liberty. If they agree with you why would they keep suing you. It’s a distinction without a difference.
MODERATOR: I want to go back to the abortion question. If the Romney/Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe abortion should remain legal be worried.
RYAN: We don’t think that unelected judges housed make this decision, that people though their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this decision.
BIDEN: The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominations. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief advisor to the court for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen. I guarantee that will not happen. We picked two people. They’ve been open minded, good justices, so keep your eye on it
RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?
BIDEN: There was not litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda.