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Question on Catholicism, abortion, makes for dramatic moments in vice presidential debate
October 12th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Question on Catholicism, abortion, makes for dramatic moments in vice presidential debate

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – It was the first-ever debate between two Roman Catholics vying for a White House perch, and in Thursday’s face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the question was put plainly: How does your faith shape your position on abortion?

It’s one of the most divisive questions in American politics, and the query from debate moderator Martha Raddatz, asked near the end of the sole vice presidential debate, set the table for some of the night’s most personal and poignant moments.

“I don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith,” said Ryan. “Our faith informs us in everything we do.”

“My religion defines who I am,” said Biden. “I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life.”

But the two men took very different tacks on applying their faith to the abortion issue. Ryan said his religion – combined with “reason and science” – led him to oppose legalized abortion, and that “the policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Ryan recalled when he and his wife, Janna, saw the ultrasound of their firstborn child, Liza. “We saw that heartbeat – a little baby was in the shape of a bean,” he said, noting that they still called their daughter “Bean” and saying he believes that “life begins at conception.”

“With respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare,” Ryan continued. “Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding … that to me is pretty extreme.”

Biden said he accepted his church’s anti-abortion position – “life begins at conception in the church’s judgment” – but that he refused to impose that view on “equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews.”

“The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees,” Biden said. “That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. … Do you think (Romney is) likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.”

Both men also used the question on abortion and Roman Catholicism to pivot to other issues, with Ryan saying the Obama White House is “infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals” presumably because of a new rule requiring insurers to provide free contraception coverage for virtually all American employees.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Before answering the abortion question, Biden said his Catholicism has “informed my social doctrine … about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.”

The Obama campaign and liberal Catholic groups used the debate to organize Catholic watch parties and to argue that Ryan’s proposed budget in the House of Representative ran counter to Catholic values.

About one in four American voters is Catholic, though there is such a broad range in Catholic political concerns and voting habits that many political experts reject the notion of a cohesive Catholic bloc.

Catholics have voted with the winning presidential candidate in every election since the early 1990s.

Obama camp, liberal groups use VP debate to organize Catholic voters

In 2008, Obama beat John McCain among Catholics by 54% to 45%. In 2004, John Kerry – the first Catholic nominee for president since John F. Kennedy – lost the Catholic vote to George W. Bush, provoking Democrats to take Catholic outreach more seriously.

Both major parties had America’s highest-profile Catholic cleric, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, give the closing prayer at their recent political conventions.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Abortion • Catholic Church • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan • Politics

soundoff (1,543 Responses)
  1. Susanne OBrien

    As a Christian I hate abortion, but it is a fact of life. I have known some women who made this choice – each story is very different and very personal. Being pro-life should include consideration for the life of the adults involved who will bear the pain of having to choose. Abortion has always been with us and always will be even after we figure out how to grow a baby outside the womb from fertilization to adulthood. I agree with Hillary Clinton when she said she wanted abortion to be rare – we should work to reduce the numbers and support the choices of the adults most closely involved in the choice.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Africanbluebird

      That is such a good point. At the moment I live and work in a country where abortion is illegal, I have witnessed some terrible terrible results of illegal abortions. It is estimated that there are half a million abortions here per year in a country that has a population of less than 30 million. Christians and people from the medical profession are calling for legalised abortions so that it can be controlled, safe and rare. No one wants us to go back to the back street abortion days. What I would point out though, as someone with no political agenda in the US (I'm a UK citizen) is that abortion rates are higher when a republican pro-life president is in office as oppose to a democratic 'pro-choice' president. So it rarely matters what the presidents views are. It always frustrates me that pro-lifers are always so vocal about the issue BUT if they really cared they would be outside abortion clinics not with banners and judgement but with offers of help, support and encouragement so that vulnerable women perhaps won't need to make a difficult decision are instead being supported.

      October 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  2. kneesus

    If being a good Catholic means being like Paul Ryan and ignoring the needs of the poor and pandering points of my faith to satisfy the extreme right, then I renounce my faith.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  3. Jim McDonald

    biden is a good Catholic like the pharrises were good Jews.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  4. eplutibus

    If you support abortion, you are not a Catholic!

    October 21, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • jaggar

      Agreed. To me, the issue of religion is irrelevant when we are talking about Obamacare. The fact that people who are paying for the birthcontrol and abortions now required in Obamacare are those us of who pay for insurance, I am offended that my money for insurance is to pay for someone else to have birthcontrol, and abortion and breats pumps. To those of who say my money does not go toward this, yes it does. Those of us whom have worked hard and have health insurance are having to pay for the all those things. We received a letter last week from the state. It clearly stated that our insurance has gone up $100 per month due to adding the about items. I AM OFFENDED that I am forced to contribute to these things that I don't believe in. Obama had promised the middle class would received a tax credit for insurance. I have only received an insurance premium increase. Get rid of him! Binden is not Catholic.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't care if you're offended.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  5. shawbrooke

    The idea of a religious voting bloc is the creation of fear mongers on the left. But if a party, say the Democrats, fails to respect one section of the public and consistently tells that section that they are not wanted, well then of course people from that section will more a more often vote for the other party. Obama has continued the Democratic tendency to push out people of faith. What is most surprising is how many people of faith still vote Democrat.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  6. Decency costs Nothing

    Recent National survey -- 75% of Catholics are AGAINST Abortion ! And seeing Billy Graham's comment against abortion I'd say a great number of Christian are too, Likewise Black Pastors are against it. Thank God most Americans are still DECENT, Moral people.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A majority do not wish to see R v W overturned. The percentages of people who are pro-choice and anti-choice have remained relatively the same for decades.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

      Unlike you, Indecent, I actually have the guts to specify what surveys I cite. "A recent national survey"? Done by whom? What were the questions asked? What was the demographic questioned and how did the responses break out by gender, age, location, educational background?

      Let me know when you have an honest answer to something, and post it under the screen name you use most often, instead of some sock puppet.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chris

      Tom, how do you time to read anything...you must have posted at least 100,000 times on CNN and convinced no one. Man what a waste of time.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chris, I'm not as slow as you are.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Chrissie, dear, how do you know whether I've convinced anyone? You can't even figure out how to cite a survey, much less conduct one. You don't have any idea what effect my posts may have.

      As it is, it's not my objective to persuade anyone. I don't need to; R v W has stood for decades, through conservative and liberal administrations. It is very unlikely that it will be overturned, regardless of the outcome of this election. The law stands. Abortion is legal and none of your business.

      My goal is to expose the ignorance and stupidity of zealots like you.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Chris

      100,002

      October 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hmm. What does it say about you, Chrissie, that you've bothered to keep track of my posts? Perhaps it's because you're bothered by them. Or maybe you're threatened by their content.

      I have to laugh at people like you, who think that you are achieving something by pointing out how frequently I post, when all you're really doing is pointing out how frequently you read my posts.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Chris

      "I' "w" "uh" "nd" "er"....zzzzzzzz

      October 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Deceased...um, whoops, I mean "Decency": have you figured out how to post a link yet? No? Poor you.

      Does this mean you surrender?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Silence equals consent and in this case, defeat. You really suck Indecently Ignorant. Better luck next life.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Chris

      Silence equals boredom.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you're so bored, leave.

      If you were bored, you wouldn't be reading my posts and counting how many of them there are.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Chris

      Ummmm....I don't really count them, 100,002 is a rough guess, probably low (I was here a year ago you where typing your brains out then too). FYI I am mocking how the fact that you do nothing but post on CNN and the only thing you have to show for it is wasted time.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's pretty funny. Pot, meet kettle. You're wasting your time here reading and responding to my posts, when you could (and should) be taking classes in grammar and remedial English, Chrissie. If I choose to spend my time here ridiculing people like you who can't even comprehend a simple paragraph or write a sentence of one- and two-syllable words without completely blowing it, so what? I'm not the one lacking an education or the common sense your god gave a turnip. You, on the other hand, are.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chris

      "If I choose to spend my time here ridiculing" – no need to say anything more. You said it all.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why did you?

      Why is it you can't argue your case with facts, Chrissie? You couldn't even accurately comprehend the post I made so instead of responding to the point of it, you falsely represented what I said. If you have to lie about statistics, facts, and others' posts, then you don't really have a leg to stand on, dear. So continue to blather on about how dreadful it is that I post here. It makes you look all the more idiotic and desperate.

      I'll post as I wish and if it bothers you, guess what? It's a free country. You don't have to read what I write. You can scroll or scram, little troll. No one will notice your absence.

      Suck it up.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chris

      "you falsely represented what I said" – you anonymously insult people on the internet...do you thing you do anything more? Sorry "dearie", you don't.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You moron. You don't even know which post I was referring to, do you? My goodness, as mama k would say, don't they teach critical thinking and reading comprehension skills in school any longer?

      Try to figure it out. I'll bet you will still get it wrong. What are you, about 15?

      October 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Chris

      "Try to figure it out." You don't get it do you? There is nothing to figure out...you anonymously insult people on the internet and have for years. Good people have different points of view on issues like the above. Calling people "moron" , "illiterate" "idiot" etc. etc. etc. especially when you do it anonymously, makes your opinion worthless. Seriously, it really does.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it doesn't. If it did, you wouldn't be so pizzed off about my posts, you ninny.

      You STILL haven't figured out which of my posts you completely misrepresented, have you? Not surprising. You failed to read one of them with anything approximating comprehension, and then brayed your ignorance for everyone to see. You're so dumb you don't even know which post it was, do you?

      Go one, admit it. You think I'm talking about ridiculing others, don't you? Wrong again, honey.

      I'll bet you aren't even honest enough to go back and read your responses to my posts and find your error.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and as to your yipping about 'anonymity', dumbfvck, why don't you post your full name, address, and phone number? You're just as anonymous as everyone else here, including me. If you want to gripe about something, you'll need to find a valid item to bit@h about, Chrissie, because, again, you're nothing but the pot calling the kettle black on this issue.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Chris

      And my point is made.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, my point is the one that's been made. You don't have the first clue what you're talking about, Chrissie.

      The only point you have is the one on the top of your 15-year-old empty noggin.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chrissie: "Seriously, dude, it really does, man."

      October 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chrissie, do you think the government should be able to force you to donate an organ to another person against your will?

      Why?

      (This is pretty much like dangling a toy mouse in front of my cat. And you make my cat look like Einstein, Chrissie.)

      October 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *Crickets chirping while Chrissie tries to untangle his shoelaces*

      October 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Chris

      See you next year. I know you'll be here!!

      October 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, what is that how often they allow you out of the "home," Chrissie?

      You'll still be dumber than a box of hair and less interesting. Buh-bye, now. Don't let the door hit you where the dog shoulda bit you.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  7. Mark

    If life doesn't begin at conception, then when does it begin? Some babies are born prematurely at 22 weeks. Some are aborted at 33 weeks. One is a baby, the other is not. Makes sense to me. It's also interesting that Biden doesn't have any problem imposing his Catholic Social Doctrine on the rest of the country. But when it comes to the most fundamental right of all, as the Declaration of Independence says the Right to Life, well that is taking Catholic teaching too far.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is no "right to life" for a fetus until it's viable outside the body of the woman carrying it, so you can stop blathering about 33 week abortions. There are very few 22-week-old fetuses that can survive outside the uterus at all, and none that can do so without monumental and expensive medical interventions, and few, if any, that do not have severe disabilities or health issues that preclude a normal life.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Decency costs Nothing

      Mark – You are right, Sir. Any Gynaecologist or Foetologist, who is NOT an Abortionist, will tell you that life begins at Conception.
      The NARAL doctors who fought for legal abortion suppressed all their EVIDENCE that life begins at conception to get the law passed
      Doctors at NARAL fought for Abortion – why?- $300+ per abortion - 1.5+ Million abortions a year in America = $500,000,000 [Yes, 500 MILLION DOLLARS a year take home pay, mainly for Abortionists!] It was NEVER about women – it was ALWAYS about BIG money!

      How does it feel to be the greatest power on earth [ or so YOU say] when your biggest and bloodiest war is on 53 MILLION of your own vulnerable, defenceless babies??????? Bunch of cowards!

      October 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Decency costs Nothing

      Mark the first sentence of my post was for you. The second was for the terminbally ignorant Tom,Tom,the Piper's Son – who always spouts the same B.S.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Save your silly blather for someone as stupid as you are, dude. Life begins long before conception. The sperm is alive; the egg is alive. So are skin cells. So what? That isn't the issue. The issue is when rights are guaranteed.

      And they're not guaranteed by our laws to a fetus that is dependent on another's body to survive. The woman is the one whose rights trump.

      Too bad if you don't approve of what some other person does-it doesn't concern you and it's none of your business. If you're so concerned about killing, then why aren't you busy doing something about the millions of children already living in poverty who are starving and dying every day? Why are you doing something about the thousands of women who have no access to health care to prevent unwanted pregnancies they can't afford? Why aren't you adopting the children who are given up for adoption and languish in foster care for years? Why aren't you railing against policies that result in the deaths of thousands of innocents in war?

      You're a hypocrite. That's why.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Jen

      I have no clue when life begins. No one does. If one 'believes' (because NO ONE knows) that life begins at conception, they also must believe 'god' is a cold blooded murderer, as half of fertilized eggs never make it to implantation. And what state allows abortion at 33 weeks, save for the life of the mother? Doesn't happen so is irrelevant.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Jen, hope you're doing well. Hang in there; you're almost home!

      October 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • jaggar

      Tom-your ignorant staements amaze me. If a woman does not have health insurance to afford birth control, she should be going to the store to purchase condoms AND a spermacide. If she can't afford those things, maybe she should be responsible and not have s*e*x. Yes, she should be responsible and abstain. It is not the publics responsibility to pay for people to have s*e*x and kill their children. Abortion is not a form of birth control.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Jen

      Thanks Tom. Lucky me gets to go right back to the hospital after birth because they think my pregnancies are going to cause organ failure. Again, just another 'minor inconvenience' the pro-life 'men' (i use the term man very loosely) keep telling me that my pregnancies cause. Have you ever noticed that all pro-life men are creepy and disgusting? Look at Ryan and Santorum. I can't look at them because they are so ugly they make my skin crawl.

      Jaggar, your inability to grasp first grade spelling and grammar amazes me. My three year old has better skills than you. I love how you put the responsibility of pregnancy squarely on women. Or that you can't spell spermicide. Men shouldn't have to pay for anything I guess. I also love how you don't think breast pumps should be covered by insurance (I've provided the correct spelling of breast for you – you're welcome) when that has ZERO to do with pregnancy. Weird that you have no issues with paying for Viagra. I always find it hilarious that men defend Viagra being covered and not the pill (the pill is used for health problems as well as birth control, Viagra is strictly used for s-x and is harmful to your health).

      October 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jaggar, you're another dimwit who thinks you have a say about what a woman does. You don't. It's as simple as that. If you think that you can make women completely responsible for any unplanned pregnancy, a bsolve men of any burden whatsoever, and then do a complete about-face and force women to give birth, you're full of sh!t. Women have abortions for a ple th ora of reasons, not only because they made a mistake or forgot to use co ntraception. Cont raception isn't 100% effective. Even the pill fails sometimes. C on d oms break. Sometimes the pregnancy is one that WAS planned and very much wanted, but something goes very wrong with the fetus. Sometimes the woman is the victim of abuse or r ape.

      If you want a say in what someone else does with her body, then I want a say in what you do with your extra o rgans. After all, you have two lungs. Two kidneys. You should be forced to donate one of them to someone who is in need of them. Doesn't matter whether you want to or not. Someone else's life is more important than your right to have a say in whether or not you have surgery. How's that feel, dearie?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  8. What MORmONS really believe . . ..(scary--makes me wanna go poopy)

    October 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It's amusing to see how Chris, Billy, and the Boob get all exercised when they are confronted with the fact that they have no say in the matter of reproductive rights because not a single one of them will ever face the prospect of an unplanned pregnancy.

    Poor little boys. Guess they'll just have to make do with playing pocket-pool and spending time with Rosy Palm.

    What silly dweebs.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chris

      CNN won't let you link.

      Google

      Paper: After birth abortion why should the baby live.

      "it's a girl" could be a death sentence CMAJ

      And David Wright (McGill University) "Downs: The History of a disability"

      October 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chris

      But I understand if you haven't read them...millions of CNN posts take time out of your day.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you had half a brain, you'd be able to find out how to post a link. You don't.

      You're citing spurious sources and posting outright lies, Chris.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  10. Chris

    @Tom "Under what circ umstances is ANY OTHER CITIZEN subject to such intrusion?" – ...being a mother is now an "intrusion"? I guess you are right, with serious scientists talking about "after birth abortions"b (no baby is ever "viable") , with women in Canada aborting female babies just because they are female, and with 95% of Downs syndrome babies being aborted when studies show they add as much to a family as any child. But keep the faith, you are making things better.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure you can post your sources, Chrissie, dear. Do so, or you're a lying sack, just like your pal Billy the Dickclown.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And really, Chrissie, you must have been deprived of oxygen at some point if you can't figure out that the "intrusion" isn't being a mother. Learn to read something that's more complex than Spiderman comics and get back to me when you can figure out what I wrote, you moronic twit.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's too bad that there's no requirement for men to pass an intelligence test before they're allowed to attempt procreation. Idiots like Chrissie the Wonderdummy would never get past the reading comprehension section of the exam.

      Which would be all to the benefit of the gene pool, because the very LAST thing this world needs is more idiots like Chrissie.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Jen

      Why post sources when you can post half-truths, exaggerations and lies? What makes these people 'serious' scientists Chris? Is the Westboro church also a 'serious church? Why? Because you say so?

      And Chris just happened to 'forget' the part that gender based abortions in Canada are among the Asian and Indian populations. It is a well known fact that there is a bias for boys among these populations. Just like there is a bias for girls among Caucasians in Canada and US (gender selection is perfectly legal in the US – not in Canada – and the overwhelming request is for girls).

      And the abortion rate is 92 percent for down syndrome (not sure why Chris felt the need to lie given the number is so high). Of course Chris has adopted many of the unwanted down syndrome children in foster care. No? Well I'm sure he has paid the astronomical medical costs for the families that keep these children. Still no? Well surely he has offered to care for these children once their parents pass on (because MANY of the people are not the high functioning individuals we see out and about). And of course he has volunteered to take them to the hundreds to thousands of medical appointments they need to ensure their parents are not fired from their jobs for taking too much time off. Oh, Chris does none of these things? Shocking. I am shocked. Don't worry Chris. You still deserve a medal for spouting lies on the Internet.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Decency costs Nothing

      Chris – Excellent post AND intelligent comment! Makes a nice change from trailer trash like Tom, Tom. who's been spouting this uneducated, selfish drivel for months.

      Tom – you know nothing. Time to admit that you're just a poor victim of the failed American education system, eh! Here's a plan – go get some relevant BIOLOGICAL facts then crawl back here and let's see them!

      October 20, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Biologic facts such as what? You seem to be just as unable to comprehend what you read as your sock puppets. Go back and study some more, dearie. When life begins is not the issue. When rights are guaranteed and to whom is. Go learn something. When the founders wrote the Const itution, abortions were legal and even advertised publicly. The founders never once mentioned anything about it because they knew the people had a right to be secure in their own bodies and that women's choices in the matter were private and personal and none of their business.

      Why don't you?

      October 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  11. Al

    Why don't the same people against abortion bring up In vitro fertilisation. How many christians use this? If life begins at conception then this creates and destroys so many lives...so why don't you guys spend some time trying to out law IVF while your at it?

    October 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because their REAL goal is to make women pay for the 'crime' of having s3x.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Mike

      Don't tempt them. Bet your ass if Roe V. Wade is overturned, things like that are next. They are already after the "Morning After Pill".

      October 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Jen

      Exactly. The thought of going back to back alley abortions where the mother bleeds out from the procedure is appealing. Punishment for her crimes. But you know...they are 'pro-life'.....

      October 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, I'm really worried, considering the record of the Fed in its 'war on drugs' thus far.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Al

      ah you guys are right what I write in sarcasm might be taken seriously.....

      October 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Damocles

      Maybe they want the earth's population to be so crushing that they can really begin to play god and take an active hand in deciding who lives and who dies.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Anyone who is pro-life should be anti in vitro fertilization. Selectively killing fertilized embryos is selectively killing fertilized embryos, it's pretty plain and simple. Basically, if you don't cryogenically freeze them, you have to kill them, so eventually, if in vitro continues, people are going to be required to pay "hild support" in order to keep them alive, or face murder chanrges if they kill them. Life is serious business and shouldn't be taken lightly!

      October 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Huebert

      @bob

      You really believe that don't you?

      October 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Of course I do, it makes sense to be consistent with one's own principles. And even though the sheer number of people who have $25k+ to shell out to make an experimental kid makes this a much smaller problem in terms of sheer numbers than abortion itself is, the negativity of the mentality is the same or worse, that it's ok to kill something in order to get what you want, that life is about our control and convenience moreso than it is for us to just embrace and love.

      But make no mistake, there is some effort going on to define what a child is such that if it goes through, doctors will not touch in vitro with a 10 foot pole for fear of being liable for the care or death of fetuses. Then these rich selfish people will have to actually adopt kids that need homes rather than to work toward selectively breeding kids in a petri dish.

      I don't really care which way the law falls, but I will say that unused embryos is a real problem and concern for anyone who actually has a conscience. My sister in law, annoying atheist though she is, even has moral conflict about what to do with her unused embryos. She doesn't want to pay forever to house them and feels guilty to kill them. She actually offered them to my wife, which was super creepy. People were just not meant to control life, but science offers them the illusion that it's possible and ok to do.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It IS possible and there's nothing about it that isn't OK unless you're a fvcking Bible-thumper who thinks that vaccines, surgery, blood transfusions, and all other medical intervention is some sin against your sky-fairy. If you think IVF is a sin, then you have no business availing yourself of any medical advances whatsoever, jackazz.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Bob

      Why you so mad, bro? I never said I was against all medical treatment and my beliefs don't imply that as necessarily or reasonable. The issue for me, though I am anything but a "Bible thumper", is life, and who is and is not supposed to attempt to control or curtail it. Who has surgery or drugs that don't involve selectively or randomly intentionally killing people has no bearing on who is murdering and who is not.

      It is a consistent stance to say that intentionally ending the life of another human being, whether for human convenience, ivf, stem cell research, or anything else, is not a morally positive action. You can feel free to disagree, but you shouldn't call people names.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll call you what you deserve when you value the life of a fetus over the rights of a woman. I don't have to be polite or delicate with people like you when you approve efforts to take away the rights of others based on your religious beliefs.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  12. Mike

    New Rules:
    1. You can take your own life (anytime and reason)
    2. You can take a dependent life (abortion and dependent attached twins).
    3. You can take anothers life their own legal request (Dr. K).
    4. You can take life in self defense (war, Treyvon Martin and Pit Bulls).
    5. You can take life for food (beef, fish and people in some situations).
    6. You can take life that pesters (bugs, bacteria, Rush Limbaugh) .

    Problems solved.

    October 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mike

      You may think this funny, maybe you don't. Point is, saving and taking life is always an argument based on context. Even the staunchest Pro-Lifers are life takers in another context. Everything is relative and anyone drawing hard and fast conclusions must be wrong.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  13. Bill Deacon

    According to Vice President Joe Biden's own words, he believes life starts at conception, he is just not willing to tell women in this country that they should not be allowed to end that life. This is how far the leftists feminist politics of appeasement have taken us.

    October 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And isn't that just too fvcking bad for you.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Bill

      What is your stance on a deity allowing perfectly healthy fetuses to be aborted through no fault of the mother's? What punishments do you advocate in those situations?

      October 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have to wonder why you even imagine that anyone should be able to tell a woman what she should be able to do with her body, Billy, when your own girlfriend didn't think that was the case. You aren't terribly good at persuasion.

      Good thing you're not running for office.

      What Biden recognizes that you can't seem to figure out, Billy, is that while he may believe life begins at conception, he knows that rights do not. They begin at birth. And until a fetus is viable outside the uterus, the rights of the woman carrying it trump. If they didn't, then women would become second-class citizens the moment they became pregnant. Their lives would be subject to that of the fetus. If the fetus were determined to need surgery before birth, a woman could be forced to have that surgery performed against her will. Under what circ umstances is ANY OTHER CITIZEN subject to such intrusion?

      October 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Mike

      @Tom: Interesting point about the Rights. However, I do not believe a fetuses Rights is all the argument there is. If a women must be subjected by law demanding she maintain the life of her fetus, could another be subjected to supporting the life of someone else? If you needed a kidney and I was the only viable match, shall I be compelled to donate to you because your right to life superceeds my right to my own body?

      October 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Mike

      Countless hundreds (maybe more) of innocent foreigners (not talking about combatants here) die by US hands due to our policies and military tactics. Yet, we get all hung up about women's deliberative decision's about there own bodies and the potential for self supporting life to exist.

      Seems strange.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I have made that argument before, though not as eloquently. You are right. No one can be compelled to donate so much as a drop of blood, even in a matter of life and death, because it violates the right of privacy, the right to be secure in one's person. But people like Bill and Bob don't get it.

      Not that it matters. The law stands and their beliefs are, as always, completely irrelevant.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Al

      I don't believe that life begins at conception and I'm glad that even if biden does he doesn't try to force me to. A fetus has no thoughts and no sence of pain or suffering. The fish and animals we kill and eat have a much more developed nerve system and brain then a fetus and there for feel pain and suffer unlike a fetus but almost everyone is fine with that. So the only thing that makes humans special and there for abortion an issue is the concept of a soul which has no scientific proof.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      My point is that if Biden truly believes life begins at conception which he says he does, then he is condoning murder because it is politically expedient for him. I call that cowardice and leftist political extremism run rampant.

      Damocles, I advocate no punishments in either case. I've never said anything about punishing anyone. My argument is that if women are going to be the ones to choose, they are making a poor and often selfish choice whenever they decide that their own comfort is more important than the life of their child. Mostly what I hear from Jen and Tom is defensiveness that they do in fact have the right to be selfish and make that choice. I think it is clear that they prefer genocide to life. If I understand your question correctly, you are asking me why should God be allowed to determine whether a child should be born or not. It is the same question as whether an old person should be euthanized or not. My position is those events, life and death, are under the sovereignty of the Almighty and should remain off limits to humans, in most cases. To be sure, there are valid medical reasons for aborting pregnancies just as there is moral justification for war and the right of the state to impose capital punishment for heinous crimes. I simply believe that we have developed a culture of death led by the abortionist.

      Ya'll have a good weekend, I'm off to live.

      October 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you grow your own uterus, Billy, you can lecture everyone about how "selfish" women are to expect that they will be equal citizens under the law who have the same right to their personal decisions about their bodies and their lives as men do.

      Until then, suck it up, buttercup.

      October 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Jen

      Name one instance where I have been defensive Bill. Just one. I love how you do not believe that a person who is suffering from a terminal disease has the right to decide when they can not take the suffering any longer, but total strangers can decide that another person gets to die when they may or may have not committed a crime ( and if you think that only guilty people have been sent to the gas chamber in this country you are an idiot). Not sure how you justify that only 'god' gets the decision in the first instance and lowly people get the decision in the second instance.

      I love how you keep referring to risking my own life and the fact I have said my life will be shortened as the result of being pregnant and giving birth as 'my own comfort' and 'minor inconveniences'. Your poor wife. No wonder she's the nut bar you keep describing her as. It is so blatantly clear that women are nothing more than incubators to you.

      October 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Every woman is fundamentally either an Eve or a Mary. It's pretty easy to tell who's who. For women who defend abortion, everything is about what they might be missing out on, how they are not ready, how they won't meet the man of their dreams, how they won't make money, how it only has to do with her body. They are their own greatest concern. That's what Eve did (whether you believe in a literal or only literary Eve is immaterial). She wanted what she wanted and she took down herself and her man, straight to the gutter. Mary suffered with dignity at any and all great cost asked of her, and she made a home for Christ.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • visitor

      That's right. He is not willing to stick his nose in between women's legs claim all the tissue as wards of the state in the name of his religion. Like you.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blow it out your azzhole, Boob. No one gives a crap for your opinion about women, considering that none of them would give you the time of day, except your wife, who probably couldn't hope to do any better with that face of hers.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Every woman is fundamentally either an Eve or a Mary."

      And you are fundamentally stupid, with an emphasis on the "mental" you half-wit.

      Women are people. They have the same right to privacy you do, you nincompoop. Get over it.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love it. Bill's "off to live." In reality, Bill's just plain "off."

      October 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • mama k

      If we had followed Catholic tenets to the letter in this country till now, we would have a population similar to China and our city slums would make the slums of Latin America look like Pleasantville. These right-to-lifers need to come down to reality.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Bill, Why did you only select Biden to attack? Ryan's position does not align with the catholic doctrine.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  14. Bill Deacon

    REQUIREMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:
    A study of the medical records of 56,741 California medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery. Rates of psychiatric treatment remained significantly higher for at least four years.1,3

    Rate of hospitalization after abortion compared to childbirth=1.0

    In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor. (2) A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found significantly greater use of medical and psychiatric services among women with a history of abortion. Most significant was the finding that 25% of women who had abortions made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. (3) Women who have had abortions are significantly more likely than others to subsequently require admission to a psychiatric hospital. At especially high risk are teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women with a history of more than one abortion. (4)

    October 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cite your source, Billy. Go ahead.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet your former girlfriend never once regretted her decision.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't bother– you got it from an anti-choice site; it's a study from 1999, and the research has been shown faulty by more current studies.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Mike

      Assuming this is from a reputable source, it is good information for any woman considering abortion to read. However, it says nothing about a women's right to choose or of imposing ones belief baed morality on another.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Bill, Did you know:
      (1) 100% percent of people who eat bread eventually die.
      (2) Up to 66% of inmates imprisoned in New York State in 2006 ate bread within a week of committing a crime.
      (3) Roughly 65% of traffic accidents occur when a carb based product in present in the vehicle.
      (4) Hitler loved bread.
      (5) 35% of abortions occur within 24 hours of eating Wheat Bread.
      (6) These statistics are either fabricated, irrelevant, out of context and/or no one gives a S***.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jen

      Many women have postpartum depression as well. Also women have a far higher risk of dying in childbirth than having an abortion. Is your next argument going to be that it's better that a woman dies than if she has some psychological issues after an abortion? I wouldn't be surprised.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here ya go TT:

      http://afterabortion.org/2011/abortion-risks-a-list-of-major-psychological-complications-related-to-abortion/

      October 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oh and we married, raised an fine adult son and she has sought repeated psychological counseling with her decision to get an abortion topping the list of issues. So, not only was our first child aborted, but our entire family has been wounded by her decision.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet she did. And most of them were more likely the result of marrying an azzhole who made her feel guilty at every turn.

      Your anecdote is irrelevant to law, Billy Boob. What any one woman experiences is irrelevant to rights, as Mike so succinctly pointed out.

      And your cite, again, is an anti-choice website with a 1990 study whose conclusions have been refuted by subsequent research, as I posted.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Jen

      The source is a website where the director is a crazy bible thumper. Super credible.....

      October 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just like everything else Billy posts.

      What people like Billy and his pal Boob don't grasp is that their little anecdotes are meaningless. What they experience or feel or believe is completely irrelevant to the issue of who has the right to choose. The facts are very clear: women have rights under our laws and those rights are not somehow removed or reduced by pregnancy. Women are the ones who bear the risks to life and health. They are the ones best qualified to decide what is right for them. No third party bears an equal burden that gives it an equal say. The beliefs and pronouncements of the bible aren't relevant, either, as our laws are not based on religious beliefs, but on the preservation of individual rights and freedoms. And those rights belong to those already born, not to blastocysts and embryos.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Isn't it interesting that Bill admits that his wife has had extensive counseling for a "number of issues" besides her decision to terminate her pregnancy? Funny thing about that. One of the studies that's since been found to have questionable results is one in which the researchers made it appear that women who had abortions were more likely to suffer mental illness by asking questions about mental illness throughout women's lives, not just during the time they made the decision to terminate the pregnancy. They counted any mental illness suffered at ANY time before OR after the abortion during the woman's entire life span. Bill's wife obviously has suffered from psychological issues aside from those related to abortion, and would probably have had those issues regardless of her decision.

      And again, even if that weren't the case, so what? It has no bearing on the rights of other women to decide for themselves without Bill's say-so.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      Bill,

      Do not let Tom get under your skin. From what I heard, Tom is a she,,,, Go figure,,,, A gal under the guise of a manly name. Gotta love her or him

      October 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooh, whatsamatter, BG? DId you get your azz handed to you, too? Apparently, you never had a mother who read nursery rhymes to you. I guess she was a crappy parent. Poor little you, to be illiterate.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      Tom,

      You are nuttin but a blow-hard venting your own inability to understand with certain clarity the pleasures of life. You seem more than willing to obfuscate and belittle anyone at anytime and for any reason. I stand in pitty of you and your words of ill will toward others,,,,,,,,

      October 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup, I hit a nerve. Guess that'll leave a mark. Go lick your wounds, BG. Your posts simply confirm that you got beat.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And sweetie darling, do use that online dictionary of big words to look up "pity." You managed to fvck it up.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      Tom,

      I am no fighter as your words pose you to be. Practice makes perfect one's own perceptions about Life. I'll let your dribble go down your chin. I honestly feel sorry about your stance of relative things and moral issues,,,,,

      October 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You never made it past Freshman Remedial English at Outer Podunk Community College, did you, BG. It shows. You write like a 4th grader who's trying to pretend he knows what those two-syllable words mean.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom has made her position clear. Women have the right to choose, men and children do not. It's called liberal fascism.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, honey. It's called democracy.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And of course men can choose. They can choose to keep it in their pants. They can choose to get snipped. They can choose to use a rubber. They can choose to do with their bodies as they wish. Nobody else can tell them what to do with their bodies. Why should anyone be able to tell women what to do with theirs?

      October 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jen

      Tom Tom, I'm guessing that while Bill is such a champion of the unborn, he also supports social security numbers being issued to embryos, tax deductions for your embryos, increases in food stamps and welfare for that 'baby' as soon as the test turns positive (after all, it is expensive to be pregnant and pregnant women eat more)....oh wait...no....he doesn't? Why not? It is a baby!

      October 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I suspect Bill is the one who really needs psychiatric care.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Al

      Lol Tom good point...

      @Bill Deacon don't confuse fetus and child...a child has a thinking brian and working nervous system that can feel pain a fetus does not. That bug you swatted suffers more then a fetus.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • visitor

      Ask your mother how she felt.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • mama k

      If we had followed Catholic tenets to the letter in this country till now, we would have a population similar to China and our city slums would make the slums of Latin America look like Pleasantville. These right-to-lifers need to come down to reality.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, mama k. Hope you are having a good Friday night.

      These anti-choice zealots are completely nutty. They don't value human life unless it's still inside someone else's body. After it's out, they wash their hands of any responsibility or compassion for it. They deserve every ounce of scorn and ridicule anyone can heap on their heads. I haven't got the slightest interest in their ideals.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  15. Mike

    Willie Love...why even quote the bible? For those who do not believe, it matters not what the bible says. I can quote you buddihst philosophies all day long, but if you do not like the Buddha, what would you care? You are in effect preaching only to your own choir.... no one else is listening.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  16. End Religion

    WillieLove must have exploded after all those posts in a row....

    October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  17. Mike

    I cannot believe this article left out Biden's best line of the night and the most important distinction between his and Ryan's position on their beliefs:

    Biden – '"But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman."

    October 19, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Mike

      Believe what your want. Inerpret religious texts as you wish. Just do not ask me to share your understandings. Freedom of religion, freedom from religion.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  18. WillieLove

    Joseph Smith added to the Bible, he is a liar and he has lied to you. Why do you believe Joseph Smith–because a man told you [that] you should? The Bible says yea, let God be true and EVERY man a liar. Concerning the Bible, it was not written by men–

    2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were MOVED by the Holy Ghost.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  19. WillieLove

    Proverbs 30:6 ADD thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  20. WillieLove

    Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall ADD unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    22:19 And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.