- He has vowed to support Roe v. Wade in part because of losing a beloved relative to an illegal abortion;
- as governor, he supported and opposed emergency contraception;
- his health care reform in Massachusetts covers abortion;
- he said he would "absolutely" sign a constitutional amendment defining life as beginning at conception, thereby banning abortion, birth control and in vitro fertilization;
- he has claimed to support rape and life-of-the-mother exceptions;
- he supported a Senate bill to allow employers to deny birth control access to employees;
- he has said women, not their employers, should make their own decisions about using contraception;
- he has threatened to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood;
- he has insisted he has no legislative agenda to restrict abortion;
- his campaign has said he does.
Do you know where Romney stands on reproductive rights? No. Of course not. No one does. Opponents of reproductive rights have said he's not really one of them; they've also said they've been promised by his campaign that he is; they've also said they'd rather not talk about it at all.
But in the final days of the election, keep in mind this message from the fervent anti-choice movement:
Picking Paul Ryan as his running mate "was the very first indicator of what kind of administration Romney is looking to put together, and he chose someone very committed to our issue," [...] A President Romney could not only pick a Supreme Court justice who would be the fifth vote to overturn Roe; he could also have a quick and forceful impact, [Americans United for Life President] Yoest pointed out, by choosing staunch abortion opponents for positions like attorney general, surgeon general and secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. "As Reagan used to say, personnel is policy[.]"
Paul Ryan is a true blue, die hard anti-woman activist in the House. He has co-sponsored and voted for bills to redefine rape, to define life as beginning at fertilization, to force women to carry their pregnancies to term even if it kills them. He's the legislative soulmate of Todd Akin—the same Akin broadly denounced by most of the Republican Party, including the Romney campaign, for espousing the very same radical beliefs Ryan holds.
For the anti-woman movement in this country, that's the best assurance they have that even if Romney himself can't be trusted, a Vice President Ryan will protect and pursue their interests—through the legislation the Romney campaign has promised is part of their legislative agenda, the appointment of judicial activists who will overturn long-settled law, and of course putting anti-science ideologues in charge of important government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services.
This is what the anti-choicers are counting on. And that is why we must not only stop Romney and Ryan, but we must stop the Republicans in Congress from continuing their War on Women.