2020 presidential candidate Tim Ryan said Thursday that the government needs to be involved in family planning worldwide.
The Democratic Ohio representative spoke during a climate forum held by MSNBC at Georgetown University Thursday where he answered a question from a student on the effects of overpopulation on global warming.
“My question is, what effect do you feel that overpopulation has with global warming and do you think we should be doing anything to combat this?” the student asked.
Ryan responded that “it’s about resources,” saying the government should be active with “international agencies within the State Department.” Ryan also highlighted that President Donald Trump wants to dramatically cut the State Department budget.
“We need to be involved in United Nations family planning efforts around the world,” Ryan added. “I think we need to continue to do that. I think it’s an important approach we need to continue to make.”
Ryan’s comments come as students in Melbourne, London, Washington, D.C., and other cities gather to protest climate change ahead of a United Nations climate summit on Monday, according to the Washington Post.
The 2020 presidential candidate has represented Ohio’s 13th Congressional District since 2013 and serves on the House Appropriations Committee.
Ryan, who is Catholic, explained in a 2015 op-ed to the Akron Beaten Journal that his position on abortion has evolved throughout his political career.
“I have come a long way since being a single, 26-year-old state senator, and I am not afraid to say that my position has evolved as my experiences have broadened, deepened and become more personal,” Ryan wrote.
“And while I have deep respect for people on both sides of this conversation, I would be abandoning my own conscience and judgment if I held a position that I no longer believed appropriate,” Ryan added. “I have come to believe that we must trust women and families — not politicians — to make the best decision for their lives.”
Ryan defended his switch to defending abortion in a June interview with CNN, saying that he thinks Democratic voters will appreciate that Ryan “evaluated new information” and became pro-choice.
“My positions evolved over my 17 years in Congress based on evidence and information and experience around these school shootings, around actually meeting women who I talked with and sat with and heard their stories about abortions they’ve had and complicated pregnancies they’ve had, and that’s what influenced my decision to change on those really, really important issues,” Ryan said, the Hill reports.
Ryan did not yet respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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