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There have historically been three exceptions that have been sacrosanct even among the 'pro-life' crowd: rape, incest and health of the mother.
During the debate last night, Mr. Ryan mentioned the first two but changed the third pillar to 'life' of the mother.
Many would consider this a 'mis-speak' or somesuch nonsense. I caught it for what is was...a 'tell'.
UPDATE: Forgot about this quote from Ryan regarding rape:
“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. But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy.”
Since he stated yesterday that 'life begins at conception', does this mean that he's only giving lip-service to the rape exception too?
You see, Mr. Ryan has expressed his views very clearly with regards to what he thinks of the 'health exception':
Mr. Speaker. I just have to take issue with the comments that have been preceding this debate. This is not a political issue. This is a human issue. Let me just say this to all of my colleagues who are about to vote on this issue, on the motion to recommit. The health exception is a loophole wide enough to drive a Mack truck through it. The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless.
Perhaps taking cues from John McCain?
So it was perplexing to many women when John McCain inserted them into a discussion on Wednesday about whether late-term-abortion bans should include exceptions for the mother's "health." Senator McCain's point was that health exceptions, which his rival Senator Barack Obama supports, have "been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything." But then, while describing what he called his opponent's "extreme pro-abortion position," McCain made air quotes when referring to the "health" of the mother.
There is a vast difference between an exception for 'life' of the mother and 'health' of the mother, and Mr. Ryan knew exactly what he was saying when he switched the words and tried to alter the parameters of the conversation.