Corporations Are People, and Beans Are People, But Healthy Women Are Not People

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Contrary to just about everyone, I liked the way Martha Raddatz asked the abortion question in last night’s debate, because it gave Joe Biden an opportunity to point out how Paul Ryan ignores the entire social justice aspect of Catholicism. [Note, this was not included in the official transcript, but it appears after Ryan says he takes issue with the Church.]

You have, on the issue of Catholic social doctrine, taken issue.

Moreover, it elicited a really weird effort from Ryan to pretend that his anti-choice stance stems from both science and dogmatic Catholicism. He did so by recalling the ultrasound where he first saw his now-daughter in the form of a bean.

RYAN: Now, 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.

You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now I believe that life begins at conception.

Ryan saw what he himself implies was a bean with a heartbeat, and called it human life. That’s his basis in “science” for the belief that beans should have almost the same legal status as women who carry them in utero.

Ryan went on to claim he respects people who disagree that life begins at bean-hood and invoked the Romney current stated policy of retaining exceptions for rape, incest, and the life (but not health) of the mother.

That’s why – those are the reasons why I’m pro-life. Now I understand this is a difficult issue, and I respect people who don’t agree with me on this, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.

Biden responded by saying he accepts the Church’s teaching, but would not impose that teaching on women who may believe something else.

Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

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 – the congressman. I – 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.

He then went onto call Ryan on his own stated belief that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, showing that Ryan does not, in fact, “respect those who disagree” with him on abortion.

Now with regard to the way in which the – we differ, my friend says that he – well I guess he accepts Governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there was – there’s rape and forcible rape. He’s argued that in the case of rape or incest, it was still – it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.

And this boy wonder, this guy who believes that life begins at bean-hood, this guy who the pundits claim is so smart, responded to Biden’s provocation, admitting that he does indeed believe it’s a crime for a woman to remove a bean a criminal implanted in her uterus.

All I’m saying is, if you believe that life begins at conception, that, therefore, doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle.

You see, with the Romney-Ryan ticket, it’s not just corporations that should enjoy the same legal status women do. It’s beans too.

That’s a principle, you see.

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