During the Vice-Presidential debate, Paul Ryan claimed that factors in addition to religion inspired his pro-life position on abortion. He argued, “It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.”
Reason and science? How odd, since Republicans so easily confuse Thomas Jefferson’s insistence on the separation of church and state with the need to separate science and state. Intrigued, I waited eagerly for the big reveal, for the entirely unexpected arrival of reason. Good thing I wasn’t holding my breath.
Ryan explained that when he and his wife went for her seven-week ultrasound, “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.”
At first I thought I missed it. Then it dawned on me: that science! I’d been listening for medicine, not horticulture, after all.
So Paul Ryan sees fit to reduce this important question regarding a woman’s autonomy to his affinity for beans. If we carry this line of thinking just a bit further, I suppose he’s the farmer in this scenario and I’m, well, the plod of dirt. I can’t help but say that it takes quite a bit of ironically blind faith to put much credence in that kind of data and analysis.
It sounds silly, but the analogy actually illustrates very clearly why “life” and “choice” advocates always fail to find common ground. Lifers like Ryan cannot seem to understand that these particular beans do not grow in dirt. They grow in the uteri that are located inside the bodies of WOMEN.
And guess what, Mr. Ryan? Women are human beings, not human beans. That means we have brains, and hearts, and free will. That means we don’t want you tromping all over our bodies with your “science” and your farm equipment. Unlike most vegetables, women require self-determination, not a farmer’s cultivation.
But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? Ryan hopes to hide his desire to control women’s bodies under the cloak of science. Perhaps his garden-variety analysis works for faithful Republicans. To me, Paul’s big scientific debut turned out to be nothing more than, you guessed it, a hill of beans.