Executive Managing Editor
During the second day of their convention on Wednesday night, the Grand Old Party confirmed Representative Paul Ryan as the Republican party’s vice presidential candidate.
“I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States,” said Ryan. “I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity—and I know we can do this.”
Ryan spent the rest of his acceptance speech attacking President Barack Obama for his failure to get the economy back to pre-2008 standards, pointing out that 23 million Americans are still without jobs and that half of college graduates leave college without other opportunities. The reason that Ryan gave for Obama’s economic failure was not the complexity of the United States’ economic system, but that Obama spent too much time focusing on passing the Affordable Care Act to fix the economy.
“Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent,” said Ryan. “You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business. But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.”
It was Ryan’s lack of support for the Affordable Healthcare Act that prompted to members of CODEPINK, the feminist women’s anti-war group, to interrupt his speech to protest his stance on health care.
Retired Colonel Ann Wright and recent college-graduate Laura Mills each unfurled a banner and began shouting at Ryan. Wright began to shout “Fund Healthcare not Warfare!” and unfurled a banner with the same message. Laura Mills shouted “My Body, my choice!” while unfurling her banner that read “Vagina. Can’t say it? Don’t legislate it.”
Members of CODEPINK dressed in vagina costumes that have been their defining dress code during the Republican National Convention were also present at the Planned Parenthood Rally for Women’s Rights at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday at 2 p.m. During the rally, speakers highlighted the importance of the Affordable Care Act for women, which among other things requires birth control to be provided through employers insurance, and no longer allows being a woman to be considered a pre-existing condition.
“Given the most recent escalating rhetoric, coming from the right wing about defunding and totally eliminating Planned Parenthood, this is the time when we all need to come out—men, women, people of all genders—and support Planned Parenthood and everything that it does for women,” said Alli McCracken, a 23-year old organizer and media relations for CODEPINK, “Whether it’s providing health care, cancer screenings or abortion services. Planned Parenthood is essential for women’s health and women’s bodies.”
It was fitting that the rally for women’s rights took place on the same day Ryan accepted the nomination for vice president. Ryan has been known to oppose abortion even in cases of rape, incest or when it would save the life of the mother, has voted multiple times against federal funding for Planned Parenthood and even voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The Republican National Convention will conclude Thursday with Mitt Romney’s acceptance of the his nomination to the presidency.