AKRON, Ohio (Christian examiner) – After talking with women across Ohio and across the nation, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat, says he has changed his mind about a woman's right to abortion.
Ryan, a lifelong Catholic, wrote about it in an editorial opinion in the Jan. 27 issue of the Akron Beacon Journal. He had always considered himself pro-life, he wrote, but talking with women has changed his mind.
"I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation, and heard them talk about their varying experiences: abusive relationships, financial hardship, health scares, rape and incest," Ryan wrote. "There are endless stories about women in troubling situations—the woman who became pregnant and has a violent spouse; the woman who lost her job and is unable to afford another child; or the underage girl worried she'll be thrown out of her house if she reveals her pregnancy. ...
"These women gave me a better understanding of how complex and difficult certain situations can become," Ryan continued. "... [O]ne thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families."
Ryan did not explain why he was not able "to hear" these women before during his 15-year political career.
Pro-life advocates, meanwhile, have blasted Ryan as a hypocrite, with Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis calling Ryan's flip-flop opportunistic and self-centered.
"By callously and carelessly tossing aside his so-called strong Catholic upbringing and pro-life beliefs to now support abortion, he sadly proves yet again that politicians will say anything and do anything to get elected or climb the political ladder," Gonidakis said in a statement.