Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Ohio, suggested Wednesday that there should be no limits on abortion at all, staking a radically pro-choice position ahead of the election in November.
In an interview on Fox News' "Special Report," Ryan discussed the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban that is widely expected to overturn Roe v. Wade. On Monday, Politico published a leaked draft court majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that called the 1973 decision legalizing abortion "egregiously wrong" and "exceptionally weak," ruling in favor of Mississippi's right to enact a 15-week abortion ban.
Ryan, who unsuccessfully challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her job in 2018 and is positioning himself as a moderate Democrat, criticized the draft opinion for overruling established precedent.
"Look, I think what we had established in Roe is something that we can continue to work with, and I think those can be the parameters," he told Fox News host Bret Baier. "But then again, if you get rid of what was established law, which in many ways was conservative, to keep that to appreciate stare decisis and make sure we appreciate the law."
"If we move away from that, you will get states like Ohio that have some of the most extreme laws in the whole country. Where if you are a young girl, and you have been raped or there has been incest that you can’t — you have to — the state, the government is going to force you to bring that baby to term and I don’t think that’s a fundamental value," he added.
But Baier pressed him on whether there should be "any limits to abortion at any point," including late-term abortions where a baby is viable outside the womb. He suggested there should not be, that the choice to kill an unborn child in the womb must be left up to the mother seeking an abortion.
"Look, you got to leave it up to the woman," Ryan said. "You and I sitting here can’t account for all of the different scenarios that a woman, dealing with the complexities of a pregnancy, are going through. How can you and I figure that out?"
After draft Supreme Court opinion on Dobbs was leaked, Ryan issued a statement saying, "Overturning Roe v. Wade would be absolutely wrong, not to mention catastrophic for Ohio, where Republicans have passed one extreme and dangerous proposal after another to ban abortion—without exceptions even for rape, incest, or medical emergencies—before most people even know they’re pregnant."
He called on the Senate to "end the filibuster" — a 60-vote threshold to end debate and pass major legislation — and take up a bill that would codify Roe into federal law.
J.D. Vance, Ryan's Republican opponent for Senate, blasted his comments as a "radical position in Ohio."
"Here’s Kamala Harris stooge Tim Ryan defending abortion through 40 weeks. This is a barbaric position anywhere in the world (even European nations typically don’t allow abortion after 12 weeks)," said Vance.