How Romney Appeases Pro-Lifers With Paul Ryan

ColorLines columnist Akiba Solomon details how Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has thrilled "anti-choice" supporters by choosing the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate.

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Paul Ryan (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Thanks to Paul Ryan, GOP candidate Mitt Romney is gaining, and solidifying, fans in the "anti-choice" crowd, writes ColorLines Akiba Solomon. Romney's choice gives those who are staunchly opposed to birth control or organizations like Planned Parenthood an ally in the handsome heartland conservative.

To be fair, the House budget committee chair may very well love the United States, nature, and even the progressive ideas that hot pink has come to symbolize. But as Imara Jones has outlined, Ryan's economic plan to do a reverse Robin Hood on taxes, privatize granny's Medicare, gut food stamps and Medicaid, dismantle Social Security and create a national monument to Ayn Rand* trump his aesthetics. Ryan's reproductive health views are equally disturbing, from a race and reproductive justice point of view.

In a 2010 essay posted on his pretty web site, Ryan straight ignores the agency of women and adults and pimps black history. An infuriating excerpt:

Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court -- charged with being the guardian of rights -- has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it "disqualified" a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results.

The first time was in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The Court held, absurdly, that Africans and their American descendants, whether slave or free, could not be citizens with a right to go to court to enforce contracts or rights or for any other reason. Why? Because "among the whole human race," the Court declared, "the enslaved African race were not intended to be included…[T]hey had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." In other words, persons of African origin did not "qualify" as human beings for purposes of protecting their natural rights. It was held that, since the white man did not recognize them as having such rights, they didn't have them. The implication was that Africans were property -- things that white persons could choose to buy and sell. In contrast, whites did "qualify," so government protected their natural rights.

Read Akiba Solomon's entire piece at ColorLines.

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