Nov 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Tim Ryan says he supports late-term abortions in medical emergencies

Photo of Tim Ryan speaking

Rep. Tim Ryan, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, attends a rally on May 2 in Lorain. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said at a town hall Tuesday that he thinks late-term abortions are a tragedy and he doesn’t think they should happen “unless it is a medical emergency.”

Driving the news: Ryan said the U.S. ought to return to Roe v. Wade, incorrectly stating that the 1973 Supreme Court decision only allowed a pregnant person to get an abortion during the third term in cases of medical emergencies.

Context: Before the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe, abortions were allowed until around 24 to 28 weeks — or roughly five to six months — after conception.

What he's saying: "I believe if it's later in the term that there should not be an abortion unless there is a medical emergency," Ryan said at the town hall hosted by Fox News.

  • "I think we go back to Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade was in the third term. You could only do it if there was some kind of medical emergency."

The big picture: Ryan has worked to rebrand himself as conservative-friendly as part of his effort to defeat GOP challenger J.D. Vance, who has former President Trump's backing for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio.

Zoom in: At Tuesday's debate, Vance said there is no reason Ohio should have the same abortion policy as a state like California.

  • "There is a federal piece of legislation moving through the Senate right now," he said. "And here's what [it] does very simply. It provides reasonable exceptions, but it also sets a minimum national standard.
  • "And I think that that's a good idea. We should not in this country be aborting babies who can feel pain, who are fully formed."

Go deeper: How Ohio's first Senate debate impacts the election

Editor's note: This story and headline were corrected to show Tim Ryan says he continues to support allowing late-term abortions in medical emergencies (not that he changed his position and would ban all late-term abortions).

  • The story was also corrected to show what Roe had allowed before it was overturned and what most providers consider to be late term.
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