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We know Paul Ryan is a budget hawk. But what about other issues?

As a seven-term member of Congress, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has a record on issues other than the federal budget – abortion, immigration, national security, and gay rights, for example.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a rally, Saturday in Manassas, Va.

Mary Altaffer/AP

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US Rep. Paul Ryan became a national political figure when Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010 and the seven-term Congressman assumed leadership of the Budget Committee.

Details of the “Ryan plan” – a major belt-tightening that could impact many aspects of public and private life – became the object of praise among fiscal conservatives and derision by more liberal critics and even a few Republicans. (Remember Newt Gingrich’s comment about “right-wing social engineering?”)

But as a veteran of House debates and law-making, Mr. Ryan also has a track record on other important issues. Here are some of the most important.

Abortion: Ryan voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion, opposes allowing human embryonic stem cell research, voted to make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing other crimes, and opposes so-called “partial-birth” abortions.

In a 2009 column in a Wisconsin newspaper, Ryan wrote: “Personally, I believe that life begins at conception, and it is for that reason that I feel we need to protect that life as we would protect other children.”

Anti-abortion activists are delighted with Romney’s choice of Ryan, whose Roman Catholic faith strongly guides his position on the issue – one that has earned him a 100 percent rating by the National Right to Life Committee.


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