"Love works no ill to the neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." --Romans 13:10
I've been pondering this teaching of the Apostle Paul as I have considered former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. In accepting Romney's offer on Saturday, Ryan said, "We won't duck the tough choices..."
Tough indeed. Women and children have much to fear from the policies of the Republican Congressman, whose multiple votes on questions of access to contraception and abortion over the years have made clear that he has little understanding or concern for the very real and identified needs of parents and their existing children. Congressman Ryan has stated and voted his belief that a woman victimized by a rapist should be forced to bring that rapist's child to term, regardless of the emotional harm she might suffer and heedless of the impact his recommended cuts to pre- and post-natal care in the Affordable Care Act would have once the child was delivered.
Congressman Ryan says he is pro-life, but he then recommends in the budget proposal that bears his name that food stamps, child care and other services to the poor be taken away from the new baby and its mother, leaving their lives severely diminished.
Reproductive justice calls us to make policies that help women and men decide the number of children they will have and to raise those children with adequate food, education and dignity. Compassion for our sisters, daughters and female friends demands that all of us, women and men, require Mitt Romney to disavow the anti-family, anti-woman policies of his running mate. He seems eager to distance himself from several of Mr. Ryan's proposals on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Perhaps he will also turn away from the opinions of the person he wants to be a heartbeat away from the presidency on contraception and abortion. Gov. Romney has been for abortion exceptions, then against them, then for universal availability of contraception, then against it. Perhaps this time he will clarify once and for all whether he agrees with Mr. Ryan's radical stand against the freedoms and moral agency of women.
Congressman Ryan wants the law to be tough, but where's the love?