CODEPINK Activists Speak Out During Paul Ryan Speech At Republican Convention:
Fund Healthcare Not Warfare

August 29th, 2012

August 29, 2012

Ann Wright, 808-741-1141,
Alli McCracken, 860-575-5692,
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CODEPINK Activists Speak Out During Paul Ryan Speech At Republican Convention:

Fund Healthcare Not Warfare

Video: Raw footage from AP

Tampa, FL— Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan's speech at the RNC was interrupted by two CODEPINK activists calling for reproductive rights and funding for healthcare, not warfare.  Retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served 29 years in the US military, took Ryan to task for his budget priorities, shouting “Fund Healthcare not Warfare!” and unfurling a banner with the same message. Laura Mills, 21-year-old recent college graduate, focused on Ryan's anti-women policies, shouting “My body, my choice!” and her banner read, “Vagina. Can't say it? Don't legislate it.” Their words stopped Ryan's speech.  

“Ryan's budget disproportionately prioritizes war and weapons at the cost of healthcare, education, and other critical social services,” said Ret. Col. Ann Wright. “At a time when we have to re-energize this economy, Ryan's austerity plans will deepen the crisis for the majority of Americans.”

When asked why she spoke up, Mills stated, “Paul Ryan wants to take America backwards in terms of women's rights and we can't let that happen.”

Ryan's track record on women's rights shows him to be anti-choice and anti-women's rights.  He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  Ryan has voted over 59 times against a woman's right to choice and even opposes abortion in life-saving instances.  He continues to vote against government funding for Planned Parenthood, and would like to outlaw some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.  He also voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  

CODEPINK has been protesting every day at the RNC--calling for the arrest of Condoleezza Rice for war crimes, speaking out against gun violence at the NRA shoot-out, opposing an attack on Iran at the Salute to Pro-Israel Congresspeople. CODEPINK has also focused on the GOP war on women, bringing a “vagina bloc” to the RNC that has been making appearances at various events from Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition Rally to the Planned Parenthood Rally.  Their giant vagina costumes have been catching the attention of the Republican delegates and national public.  

CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities.