Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–October 12, 2012. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, blasted Mitt Romney’s anti-choice running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), for the extreme views he articulated during last night’s debate that would outlaw abortion except in the most extreme circumstances.
“Ryan’s responses to questions about whether women should have the ability to make decisions about their own health care reinforce the serious threat Mitt Romney’s presidency poses for women’s health,” Keenan said. “He refused to say whether American women should be worried about the future of their reproductive freedoms if he and Gov. Romney win the White House. Let me be clear: The Romney-Ryan ticket is extremely dangerous to women’s health and Americans should be very concerned about the future of women’s health and rights if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win on November 6.”
The U.S. Constitution and American tradition give the president a wide variety of means to influence the laws and policies that govern freedom of choice. Depending on the person who occupies the office, that unique authority can be used either to protect or to take away our rights.
The powers of the next president include:
- The next president could nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe v. Wade. Recent cases concerning abortion rights have been decided 5-4 – and in fact, one critical decision was reversed in just seven years as a result of just one retirement from the bench.
- The president appoints a cabinet and literally hundreds of senior executive-branch officials, including the attorney general, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among many others.
- The president can take executive actions that have the force of law, generally relating to the conduct of the executive branch. Executive actions are a particularly powerful tool because the president can issue them independently.
“Rep. Ryan’s performance reminds us why elections matter,” Keenan continued. “The 2012 presidential election very well could determine whether abortion remains legal and accessible for the next generation of American women. Romney has consistently said he would be a pro-life president; that means taking away women’s reproductive rights will be a priority in a Romney-Ryan administration. The choice is clear. NARAL will do everything in its power to make sure President Obama remains in the White House as a safeguard for reproductive freedom for the next four years.”