Mitt Romney's history on abortion reads like the Kama Sutra: It contains almost every position imaginable. Now, the man GOP strategist and former Romney adviser Michael Murphy in 2005 called "a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly" is at it again. In a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board, Romney declared, "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." Of course, anyone who is familiar with Mitt's public statements, campaign website or even the GOP platform knows that Romney is lying.
Take, for example, "My Pro-Life Pledge" which Romney authored in the National Review in June 2011. In it, he states among other things:
"I will advocate for and support a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion."As Mother Jones reported last year, these so-called "fetal pain" bills already passed in Nebraska. Idaho, Oklahoma, Kansas and Indiana (and sought by Republicans in Congress for Washington, D.C.) contradict Roe by banning abortions for pregnant women after 20 weeks. But leaving aside that such cases constitute only 1.4 percent of all procedures, there is no scientific basis to support the legislation Romney endorses:
In a recent paper in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Glenn Cohen of Harvard Law School and Sadath Sayeed of Harvard Medical School note that there is no conclusive evidence that fetuses can feel pain at that point in gestation, nor are they considered viable.But Mitt's backing of fetal pain bills isn't the only legislation undermining the viability of Romney's declaration this week. The former Planned Parenthood supporter now not only wants to defund the organization, but to end the federal Title X women's health program altogether.
Created by Richard Nixon in 1970, Title X provides reproductive health services for roughly 5 million women, annually providing 2.2 million Pap smears, 2.3 million breast exams and nearly 6 million tests for sexually transmitted infections. Nevertheless, as Romney wrote last November in a piece titled "How I'll Tackle Spending, Debt," he would "eliminate Title X family planning programs benefitting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood."
Of course, Romney's support for the anti-abortion agenda hardly ends there.
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He not only backs the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, but wants to see "states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate." During his 2012 run for the Republican nomination, he also endorsed so-called "personhood" initiatives that would ban all abortions in all cases and even put in vitro fertilization procedures at risk. During Mitt's failed attempt for years earlier, the late Tim Russert noted in an interview with Romney:
You now have said you support the 2004 Republican Party platform, which says this: "We say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We" suggest "a human life amendment to the Constitution." Such amendment would ban abortions all across the country.(With the GOP nomination won, Romney reversed course and contradicted the new 2012 Republican platform, telling Scott Pelley of CBS, "I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.")
Of course, Mitt Romney's support for women's reproductive rights has always been directly proportional to the percentage of pro-choice voters in the electorate he faced. Running for office in liberal Massachusetts in 1994, Mitt Romney explained that his pro-choice position was inspired by the death of a "dear, close family relative" from an illegal abortion. Seeking the governor's office in 2002, Romney pledged to Planned Parenthood that he would support Roe v. Wade, Medicaid abortion services and access to emergency contraception. But to secure the GOP's nod for president, he turned his back on the voters of Massachusetts and touted his "severely conservative" pro-life credentials. To accomplish that turnaround, he didn't just throw Ann Keenan, that "dear, close family relative" under the bus, but his wife as well. When Ann Romney's past contribution to Planned Parenthood was revealed in 2007, Romney said of the woman who "reports to me regularly" about women's concerns:
"Her positions are not terribly relevant for my campaign."On Tuesday, the Romney campaign moved quickly to mollify the GOP base by walking back their man's comical statement that no pro-life legislation was part of his agenda. His spokesperson Andrea Saul would say only, "Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life." But it is that same contortionist act which prompted Romney's Rove, Eric Fehrnstrom to declare in June:
"Mitt Romney is pro-life. He'll govern as a pro-life president, but you're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election."Unfortunately for Team Romney, Mitt, running mate Paul Ryan and his Republican allies have made clear that those "shiny objects" include metal hangers, sonogram screens, trans-vaginal ultra sound wands and stirrups. Romney's pathetic denials aside, all of those are "part of my agenda" for American women.