Congressman changes his mind about abortion after speaking to women

A pro-life Congressman has publicly announced that he has changed his mind about abortion, and will now vote in favour of women's right to choose, after doing one simple thing: actually speaking to women about the issue.

Born and raised a Catholic, Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan had, up until now, supported Republican drives to restrict access to abortion.

He details his ideological turnaround in an op-ed for

I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation and heard them talk about their varying experiences: abusive relationships, financial hardship, health scares, rape and incest. There are endless stories about women in troubling situations - the woman who became pregnant and has a violent spouse; the woman who lost her job and is unable to afford another child; or the underage girl worried she'll be thrown out of her house if she reveals her pregnancy.

He describes how these women gave him "a better understanding of how complex and difficult certain situations can become", and his realisation that no woman makes a decision about abortion lightly.

He states unequivocally: "We must get past the ignorance, fear and - yes - discrimination against women that lead to restrictions on contraception and age-appropriate sex education."

Ryan was elected to the House in 2003 to represent Ohio's 13th congressional district, and has previously served on the national advisory board of pro-life organisation Democrats For Life of America.

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