During an appearance Tuesday on MSNBC, former Democratic congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania said that "Paul Ryan also believes we should ban all birth control as well. He voted for that."
Murphy's claim is false and bizarre: Ryan does not favor banning contraception, nor has he ever voted to ban contraception. In the modern era, there hasn't been any legislation offered by anyone in Congress to ban birth control.
In fact, Ryan, like other conservative Republicans in the House, has voted for hundreds of millions of dollars in contraceptive funding for low-income women through the program Title X. Ryan has voted for the Pence amendment to keep Title X funds from going to the largest abortion provider in America, but the Pence amendment did not decrease Title X funding by one dime. Indeed, Congressman Mike Pence (R, Ind.), praised the Title X program on the House floor when he offered his amendment in 2009:
"The Pence Amendment would simply prevent any funds under Title X from going to Planned Parenthood. It would not reduce the total amount of funds available for family planning. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. There are a number of federally funded clinics across the nation that offer beneficial services including patient counseling, breast cancer screenings, HIV prevention education, and many more. According to their last annual report, Title X funds helped over 4.7 million women prevent pregnancy by a variety of ethical methods such as abstinence education and birth control. There are many clinics funded by Title X that offer ethical family planning services - without providing abortions."
So what on earth could Patrick Murphy be talking about when he claims that Ryan voted to "ban all birth control"? His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Murphy's smearing of Ryan's record comes on the heels of other false attacks on Ryan's record on social issues. Buzzfeed falsely reported this weekend that Ryan supported the, a bill that "seeks to ban all abortions, including in instances of rape and incest." As National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru correctly pointed out, the bill "doesn’t ban anything: It merely affirms that legislatures have the authority to protect unborn life." Buzzfeed later issued a correction.
Today, Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer claims that the same bill, the Sanctity of Life Act, would ban in-vitro fertilization. That claim is also false. Mencimer has been made aware of this fact, but she has not yet issued a retraction.