Paul Ryan? Really???

This morning Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Now, I find Paul Ryan objectionable in a number of ways – he has cited Ayn Rand as the “one person” who inspired his political career, for God’s sake, and never mind that she was a pro-choice atheist while he is an anti-choice Catholic – but we at Nursing Clio are particularly interested in issues of gender, sexuality, and medicine, and so I would like to take this opportunity to explain why Ryan poses a particular threat to women, gays, lesbians, and, well, anyone who cares at all about women, gays, and/or lesbians.

Ryan’s anti-abortion stance goes well beyond the typical conservative Republican position. He supported the Sanctity of Life Act, which stated that personhood began at conception and sought therefore to ban all abortion, with no exceptions made for rape or incest or the health of the mother, and he voted in favor of a measure de-funding Planned Parenthood.

But it’s not just abortion, because Ryan also co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act of 2012, which allows employers to decide that birth control is immoral and that, therefore, their female employees can’t get any through their company health coverage. In addition, Ryan opposes the Affordable Care Act, which includes all kinds of great benefits for women, including solid birth control coverage and better access to reproductive cancer screenings. Basically, if Romney and Ryan enter the White House, having a vagina is going to be a lot more dangerous. A few months back I argued, in this blog post, that it was time to bring back the image of Wonder Woman wielding a speculum. Now more than ever, people. Now more than ever.

And let’s not forget that Ryan stands against gay marriage (and adoption of children by gay couples) and actually voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded legally-designated “hate crimes” to include violence against individuals on the basis of sexuality or gender identity. I don’t even want to speculate about why someone would vote against protecting the LGBT community from violence. Is this someone we want as Vice President?

I’ll be honest. There was never a chance in hell I would vote for Mitt Romney. But this just underscores my commitment to Obama in 2012. A vote for Romney and Ryan is a vote for sexism, bigotry, and ignorance.

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“There was never a chance in hell I would vote for Mitt Romney. But this just underscores my commitment to Obama in 2012.”

I think this is key. The Romney campaign probably realizes they’re never going to win truly bipartisan support. Nominating Ryan was a way to energize the base, pure and simple.

Cheryl Lemus

Good point. But although he may have energized his base, I think in choosing Ryan, he also energized the Left in ways that Palin never could.

DAvid Harley

As he is a Catholic, his position on conception is unsurprising, even though it is not universally held by the Catholic laity. I would be interested to know how much further his position on contraception goes.

I cannot understand how he fits together the rest of Catholic social doctrine with the influence of Ayn Rand and with his own policy priorities. Unfortunately, the prominence of pro-life issues has led to the neglect of doctrines about workers and the poor. I wish the bishops, even though John Paul II appointed conservatives, would be more forthright about such matters as the attack on trade unions and welfare benefits. It is their influence that has led to the criticism of women members of religious orders, who devote their time to social problems with as much flexibility as those problems demand.


We nurses see how these tax cutting Libertarian ideas play out in real life– when working people can’t afford medical care, when rape victims are denied emergency contraception. I don’t think most of us, who have insurance through our work, realize how bad these politics are. People are scared, feeling they have to grab on to what they still have. A chance for something better– a public option for everyone– would make all the difference.

Michelle Paige

Carrie, I think he’s entitled to his opinion but what’s more – I think these are personal matters, not for the federal government. If liberals would stop using such issues to garner votes than perhaps we wouldnt have to worry about our federal government weilding too much power in these social issues. All people should want independence (which is what Ayn Rand stood for, if anyone took the time to listen to her would reaize) from any government meddling. the government should stick to upholding the constitution, not sexual preference and personal choice.

J. Poland

Michelle, I think if you would look at the republican-held states you would see that they have concentrated more on women’s issues and abortion in the past two years than they have anything else. They ran on less government but have moved the state and are now trying to move the federal government into women’s bodies and the bedroom. Would you want your daughter to die if an abortion would save her life? Would you want a 9-10 year-old daughter/granddaughter to have to carry a baby to term if she had been raped or was in danger of losing her life? If you say “yes” to any of those questions, I feel sorry for you and speculate that you have never had a child die. I have had a child die and it is the worst experience I have ever lived through. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given a choice as to whether she would live or not, but the above scenerios provide a choice.

Carrie Adkins

Michelle, I take issue with your characterization of the debate — liberals don’t “use these issues” to get votes any more than conservatives do, and further, I would argue that Republicans have in fact MADE these issues part of the political discourse by pursuing the kinds of policies I’ve outlined here and in my previous blog post, “Wonder Woman Wields a Speculum.”

Everyone, including Paul Ryan, is indeed entitled to his or her opinion. Everyone is NOT entitled to limit the rights and freedoms of others through legislation that would be truly damaging to women’s health and happiness.

And J. Poland, your points are important ones. I’m so sorry for your loss.


If the government actually were upholding the Constitution, then we wouldn’t be having most of the conversations anyway. Gays would be able to marry, men and women would have equal medical care, and there would be no issues about abortion and contraception, because the government wouldn’t be making laws based off fundie christian beliefs. *Everyone* would be free to live how they believe, instead of everyone being forced to adhere to one set of views.

See, the Constitution grants EVERYONE rights, not just rights that don’t squick you out to people you’re okay with. And if it was a right that you held dear being denied to you, you’d be making the same arguments we are now. It’s only because you see what we want as “wrong” that you’re okay saying the government should just ignore us.

Lastly, being gay is not a preference. Please stop spreading that lie–Every time you lie about us, you’re hurting your own cause.

L Louis Lancaster

“the government should stick to upholding the constitution, not sexual preference and personal choice. ”

I believe that those items are covered under the umbrella of General Welfare and Domestic Tranquility. Also Due Process and the 14th. Otherwise the progress made would have never happened. But, that is my interpretation.

On the other hand I would agree that the govt. shouldn’t find itself being required to protect basic human rights, freedoms and liberties in these areas in the first place. The govt. did not initiate these actions out of the blue.. As with regulations to protect US from the Barons von ALEC were in response to an existing problem, so are the govts. actions a response to existing problems. In fact I would suggest that this topic represents a greater violation against the Citizenry than the abuse exacted by the Robber Barons , so well chronicled in Upton Sinclair’s – The Jungle, and fixed with the passage of the labor laws that nearly every American Worker enjoys today regardless of political and/or personal philosophy.

Jacqueline Antonovich

To Michelle and all of our other lovely commenters:

We’ve edited the above comment by removing 2 things: The insult to Carrie, and the antagonizing sentence to the rest of us here at NC. The rest remains the same.

This might be a good time to restate our commenting policy:

“While we at Nursing Clio value the free exchange of ideas and opinions, we reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments of an abusive, absurd, irrelevant, or nonsensical nature. We require that posted comments meet our standard for civil discourse. As in the salons of previous centuries, boorish behavior will not be excused.”

Happy Sunday!


I personally believe abortion is a personal and private choice. I don’t believe any important issue should be allowed to become a weapon for personal or political campaign sabotage because it ends up saturating and stagnating the process and stalls progress. Yes, I want to know how candidates running for office stand on the issues of abortion, gay rights, etc. because that will partly determine for whom I cast my vote. Call me an idealist but I hope I live long enough to see the day when candidates speak intelligently in a public forum about the issues and how they plan to implement them. Until then, forums like these blogs are so important because they give us the freedom to voice our concerns, ideas, hopes and passions. We do, I believe, have the ability to move the needle that much closer toward positive change.


It makes sense that someone as insane as Romney would choose Paul Ryan. Hateful idiots have to stick together, right?

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