In an interview with’s reporter Josh Smith, staunch Catholic Ryan was asked where he stood on the thorny issue of abortion after a woman has been raped.

“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” Ryan said.

He added that it’s the president who makes policy and that his running mate Mitt Romney and he differ on this issue. “The president, in this case the future President Mitt Romney, has exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, which is a vast improvement of where we are right now,” said Ryan

Ryan’s depressingly dispassionate views, are at least a scientific improvement on Rep Todd Akin’s (even if some might say equally lacking in basic humanity). Just last week he announced that in cases of ‘legitimate rape’, women’s bodies can ‘shut down’ to prevent pregnancies occurring.  It’s a small comfort that at least this week the GOP have got their biology technically accurate, even if they’re still lagging behind in the compassionate stakes.

MSNBC’s Steve Benen commented that it’s likely that Romney himself is refusing to take any questions about Akin or abortion because of responses like this.

“In this case, when Ryan says ‘the method of conception’ is irrelevant, he’s talking about rape,” Benen said. “In other words, the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee clearly believes the government should force women to take their pregnancy to term if they are impregnated by a rapist.”

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