CNN to Ryan: So what exceptions do you support for abortion access?

Source: Hot Air

Unspoken answer from Democratic senate candidate Tim Ryan: None, although he did his best to avoid saying it out loud. Ryan went after his Republican opponent J.D. Vance in Ohio for refusing to allow for any exceptions in supporting a ban on abortion.

Fair enough, CNN’s Dana Bash allowed, but she then asked what exceptions Ryan would carve out in legalized abortion access. And that’s when Ryan started dodging, as the RNC highlighted in its clip:

BASH: I want to ask about an issue that has become central in this year’s midterm races, and that is abortion. You’re criticizing your Republican opponent for not supporting abortion exceptions. So, I want to ask about your position. What restrictions, if any, do you believe there should be on abortion?

RYAN: Well, ultimately, this needs to be a decision between the woman and her doctor. And, of course, we don’t support abortion at the end of term, unless, of course, there is an extraordinary circumstance, where you’re eight months into a pregnancy and something very tragic is happening in that pregnancy, where you have a room, you have bought toys, you have clothing for the baby, everyone’s excited, and then something tragic happens.

BASH: Right.

RYAN: That needs to be left up to the doctor, not the J.D. Vance or Ted Cruz or anybody else. That’s a very serious situation.

BASH: Well, 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?

RYAN: Well, you ultimately — I think the decider has to be the woman and her doctor. We can’t account for every single scenario. And, really, the extreme…

BASH: So, that means — it sounds like you’re saying no restrictions.

RYAN: Well, I think they’re — no one’s supporting abortion towards the end, absolutely. No one’s for that. That rarely happens.

If “no one supports that” and “it rarely happens,” then why not bar it from happening at all? Why not limit access to abortion after 28 weeks, or 24 weeks, or just on the basis of viability? Democrats keep talking about “restoring Roe” through legislation in Congress, but they balked at doing just that in the proposal drafted by Susan Collins and Kyrsten Sinema. That bill would have left in place the viability standard past which states could legislate on access, plus retained the conscience protections for medical providers who do not want to participate in abortions at all.

Democrats refused to consider anything other than unrestricted access to abortion up to the moment of birth, and required participation from all providers regardless of religious or ethical reservations. Ryan wants to pretend not to be that extreme on the issue of abortion, but he’s fully in support of the extreme position on the Left, even as Vance arguably is on the extreme position of the Right.

Which puts Ryan in the position of throwing stones from within his party’s own glass house on abortion.

Frankly, though, this will likely cancel out the abortion question for this race in Ohio. Voters will reject the extremes and focus on the economy instead, where Vance should do much better. In most places, the party that gets to the middle ground on abortion where most American voters land — like Glenn Youngkin did in Virginia and Ron DeSantis did in Florida — will benefit from this debate. Ryan’s attempt to weasel away from the middle he claims makes him look a lot worse than necessary, too.

Finally, kudos to Bash for holding Ryan’s feet to the fire yesterday. Ryan appears surprised by Bash’s tenacity here … and understandably so.