Vice presidential candidates outline abortion views in debate
Published: October 12, 2012
DANVILLE, Ky. (CNS) -- In a vice presidential debate full of tangling between Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican candidate, the topic of abortion got the same treatment. Both candidates are Catholic, a first in major-party history. Biden, who supports keeping abortion legal, said Oct. 11: "I accept my church's position on abortion" that "life begins at conception in the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life," before adding, "But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews." Ryan said: "You want to ask basically 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." Ryan added, "The policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother." The Catechism of the Catholic Church says church teaching on "the moral evil of every procured abortion" remains "unchangeable." "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. ... The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation," it says. Biden said: "I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that -- women they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and (that of) the Supreme Court, I'm not going to interfere with that." Ryan, responding to a follow-up question from debate moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News, said, "We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination."
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