Just when Mitt Romney was gaining ground in all of the polls, he makes a policy change that could well come back to bite him in the butt.
Visiting the swing state of Iowa this week, Romney told The Des Moines Register:
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
This statement may sway some female independent voters, it may also make more conservative Republicans question his Charlie Brown wishy-washy stand. In 1994, Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for this Senate seat and at that time he defended a pro-choice position. In a debate against Kennedy, Romney was asked how he could reconcile his defense of pro-choice when he claimed his personal stance of was anti-abortion. His response at the time was:
“Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.”
In 2002, Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts on a pro-choice campaign. During that campaign, Romney said:
“I will protect the right of a woman to choose.”
“Believing in people is protecting their freedom to make their own life choices, even if their choice is different than yours. That choice is a deeply personal one, and the women of our state should make it based on their beliefs, not mine, not the government’s.”
Supposedly, in 2004, Romney had an epiphany on the subject of abortion. His account of it is:
“My position changed during the stem-cell research debate. The provost of Harvard and the head of stem-cell research came into my office and at one point said that stem-cell research was not a moral issue because they killed the embryo at 14 days. And it hit me hard at that very moment that the Roe v. Wade philosophy had cheapened the value of human life. And I said to my chief of staff, who was with me in the meeting, as we came outside, ‘I am no longer content with the description of my position. I want to call myself pro-life.’”
In spring of 2005, Romney defended stem-cell research on embryos saying:
“I support legislation that will permit scientists to obtain stem cells from embryos donated from fertility clinics.”
In July 2005, Romney, while serving as governor of Massachusetts vetoed a bill that would have provided for the dispensing of morning-after pills. In vetoing the bill, Romney stated:
“The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception: The drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception. Signing such a measure into law would violate the promise I made to the citizens of Massachusetts when I ran for governor. I pledged that I would not change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it.”
In 2007, Romney was asked if abortion is killing, then should states have leeway to allow it. Romney responded:
“There are a lot of things that are morally very difficult, and in some cases repugnant, that we let states decide. For instance, Nevada allows prostitution. I find that to be quite repugnant as a practice.”
When Romney launched his current presidential bid, he claimed to be pro-life and that he would defend a pro-life stance and called for the overturn of Roe v Wade. He even said that he would cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
This week in Iowa, Romney says that he has no intention of pursuing any legislation that deals with abortion. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul both are saying that Romney is 100% pro-life and will be a pro-life president.
Interestingly, Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan is a pro-life advocate. He co-sponsored a bill that restricted abortions covered by insurance to only those that were the result of forcible rape. The measure was narrowly defeated.
I still believe that Romney is a far better choice than Obama when it comes to the economy and jobs, I find his waffling on the issue of abortion unsettling. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly where the man stands which makes me ask the question – ‘Will the real Mitt Romney stance on abortion please stand up?’