Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is battling Republican J.D. Vance in Ohio for a United States Senate seat, refused on Sunday to support restrictions on abortion.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Dana Bash noted that Ryan is fiercely critical of Vance for appearing not to support abortion exceptions.
“I want to ask about your position: What restrictions, if any, do you believe there should be on abortion?” Bash then asked.
What followed was a two-minute exchange in which Ryan repeatedly said the abortion decision ultimately rests with a mother and her physician. At no point, however, did Ryan endorse abortion restrictions, even as Bash pressed him on the issue.
“Ultimately, this needs to be a decision between the woman and her doctor,” Ryan said.
“And, of course, we don’t support abortion at the end of term, unless, of course, there is an extraordinary circumstance where, you know, you’re eight months into a pregnancy and something very tragic is happening in that pregnancy, where, you know, you have a room, you have bought toys, you have clothing for the baby, everyone’s excited, you know, and then something tragic happens,” he continued. “That needs to be left up to the doctor, not to J.D. Vance or Ted Cruz or anybody else.”
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“But, as a legislator, you have to have some idea of what you want to do when you’re not a doctor. So should there be some restrictions when it comes to the law of the land?” Bash pressed.
“Well, ultimately, I think the decider has to be the woman and her doctor,” Ryan said again. “We can’t account for every single scenario.”
Bash then pointed out the obvious. Ryan had dodged her attempts to explicitly state whether he supports placing limits on abortion.
“It sounds like you’re saying no restrictions,” she told Ryan.
Ryan, however, again declined to state that any legal restrictions should be enacted on abortions, only saying that no one supports abortion “towards the end.”
“I think they’re — no one’s supporting abortion towards the end, absolutely. No one’s for that. That rarely happens,” Ryan hedged.
“But what we’re saying is, are we going to preserve the woman’s right to choose at the end to save her own life? I mean, come on,” he added. “Like, should the government really be in there? That sounds very anti-American.”
What does Vance say?
Vance indeed last year argued against abortion exceptions for cases of rape and incest, which compose a tiny percentage of abortions in America.
However, Vance told NBC News after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that he supports individual states choosing which direction to take on the controversial issue.
“I think it makes sense right now to let the states decide this stuff,” Vance said