How will Ryan and Romney reconcile their different approaches to enact personhood?

You might think it would take a miracle to find a serious presidential ticket that supports personhood laws, which would ban some forms of birth control, as well as all abortion, even after rape or incest.

That doesn’t sound like a super popular position for a presidential candidate to have, now that we are exactly 62 years beyond the year 1950.

But, it turns out, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are both apparently for personhood.

Paul Ryan obviously supports it, since he co-sponsored federal personhood legislation just last year. His bill grants “all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges” to fertilized eggs (or “zygotes”). It also grants authority to the states to pass personhood.

Romney is also apparently a supporter of personhood, but he has said he’s against a federal personhood law, like the one Ryan co-sponsored.

Instead, Romney favors personhood efforts at the state level. Presumably this would include Colorado’s personhood initiative, but he hasn’t been asked about it.

Romney has flipped around a bit on the issue, but as recently as October, Romney told Fox News’ Mike Huckabee that he “absolutely” would have signed an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution codifying his belief that life begins when a sperm enters egg.

Later, Romney’s spokespeople reinforced this, telling Politico’s Ben Smith that Romney supports “efforts to ensure recognition that life begins at conception” and that “these matters should be left up to states to decide.”

Ryan would almost undoubtedly support efforts to enact personhood at the state level, given his history on the issue, and given that the federal legislation he co-sponsored paves the way for it.

So how will Romney and Ryan work out their differences on personhood?

Will Romney bend a little bit and accept the federal approach to personhood, as well as the state path?

Or will Ryan adopt Romney’s position, give up his efforts to pass personhood at the federal level, and focus on the states, like Colorado?

That’s something reporters should seek clarification on, as the campaign moves forward.

(Note: For a more detailed explanation of state versus federal personhood, please read this previous blog post of mine. For a list of other co-sponsors of federal personhood bills, click here.)

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