Mitt Romney on Abortion

Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent


Target of $1.4M in attack ads from Planned Parenthood

The Republican Party leadership seems to want to take away the right [to abortion] and put government in between women and their doctors.

Hundreds of thousands of women who've contacted us since Mitt Romney said he was going to get rid of Planned Parenthood--he's putting politics ahead of women's health care access.

This summer, just before Romney secured the Republican nomination for president, Planned Parenthood launched a $1.4 million attack ad campaign against Romney. A Planned Parenthood spokesperson said the ads were just a "small down payment" on what was to come. True to their word, Planned Parenthood has been aggressively campaigning on behalf of President Obama, slamming presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney at every turn.

Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p.171-172 , Sep 11, 2012

Reverse Obama regulations that threaten innocent life

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney both criticized the Obama administration's bid to require Catholic-affiliated employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans. After Santorum's morning speech and before Romney's afternoon address, Obama announced an update: He said religious-affiliated employers will not have to cover birth control for their employees. Instead, the government will demand that insurance companies be directly responsible for providing contraception.

Santorum said Obama is "telling the Catholic Church that they are forced to pay for things that are against their basic tenets and teachings." Romney, a Mormon who once supported legalized abortion, vowed to reverse "every single Obama regulation that attacks our religious liberty and threatens innocent life."

His critics cite a 2005 interview in which Romney said rape victims deserved either access to or information about so-called morning after pills that some say are a form of abortion.

Source: WJLA coverage: 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 10, 2012

Courts added tax-paid abortions to RomneyCare; not me

GINGRICH: Governor Romney has said that he had an experience in a lab and became pro-life, and I accept that. After he became pro-life, RomneyCare does pay for tax-paid abortions. RomneyCare has written into it Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, by name.

ROMNEY: First, in RomneyCare, there's no mention of abortion whatsoever. The Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that all times that there was any subsidy of health care in Massachusetts that one received abortion care. That was not done by the legislature; I would have vetoed such a thing. That was done by the courts. #2, it's true, somewhere in that bill of ours, 70 pages, there's the mention of the words "Planned Parenthood," but it describes payment structures.

SANTORUM: You do not specifically mention that abortion is not covered. You can't say: Oh, gee, surprise, the court made us cover abortions. He knew very well that the court would make him cover abortions.

Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King , Jan 19, 2012

I had no litmus test for appointing judges, but I'm pro-life

GINGRICH: Governor Romney did appoint pro-abortion judges.

ROMNEY: I appointed probably 50 or 60 judges--at the trial court level, mostly, the great majority. These were former prosecutors; 80% of them former prosecutors. We don't have a litmus test for appointing judges--asking them if they're pro-life or not pro-life. These were people going after crimes and the like. I am pro-life. And the Massachusetts Citizens for Life and several other family-oriented groups wrote a letter two weeks ago and said they'd watched my record, that I was an avidly pro-life governor. I am a pro-life governor; I am a pro-life individual. Is there any possibility that I've ever made a mistake in that regard, I didn't see something that I should have seen? Possibly. But you can count on me, as president, to pursue a policy that protects the life of unborn, whether here in this country or overseas. And I'll reverse the policies of this president.

Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King , Jan 19, 2012

Scientifically, life begins at conception

Romney has rejected suggestions that politics motivated his change of heart on abortion & embryonic stem cell research. "Everybody's entitled to their own view," he said. "Some people who look at the issue of the beginning of life from the lens of their faith say, 'When does the spirit enter the body?' That is not the lens that I think a secular leader should use. I look from a scientific standpoint. Romney said he arrived at his moral answer after pressing scientists on the cloning process. "When you create this clone, when you take the nucleus of a skin cell of a male and put it in an egg of the female, do you at that point have life?" Romney recalled asking. "And they said, 'No question, it is life. Once you put these together, you have life.' That's all I need to know for when the definition of when human life begins."

The extent of Romney's shift became clear in July 2005 when he vetoed a bill for the morning-after pill and to require hospitals to make it available to rape victims.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.254-255 , Jan 17, 2012

1990: As church leader, urged at-risk mom against abortion

In the fall of 1990, a married woman who, having already borne 5 children, had found herself some years earlier facing an unplanned 6th pregnancy. She contemplated abortion. But the Mormon Church makes few exceptions & the woman feared excommunication. Then her doctors discovered she had a serious blood clot in her pelvis. She thought initially that this would be her way out--of course she would have to get an abortion.

Romney paid her a visit. He told her about his nephew who had Down syndrome and what a blessing it had turned out to be for their family. "As your bishop," she said he told her, "my concern is with the child."

Romney would later contend that he couldn't recall the incident, saying, "I don't have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can't say it could not have been me." Romney acknowledged having counseled Mormon women not to have abortions except in exceptional cases, in accordance with church rules.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.126 , Jan 17, 2012

1994: Supported abortion rights but personally opposed

Abortion burned as a front burner issue in 1994. Romney established himself as a passionate supporter of abortion rights early on in the campaign, despite his personal opposition to abortion. In fact, his professed views would grow more liberal over the course of the race. Romney initially said he opposed Medicaid funding for abortion. He later softened that position to say he favored leaving the question of coverage up to the states. Romney also endorsed the legalization of RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug, and appeared in June at a fund-raiser for Planned Parenthood. Ann Romney gave the group $150.

Romney asserted that his family had supported a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion ever since the October 1963 death of his brother-in-law's sister, Ann Hartman Keenan, from complication following an illegal abortion.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p,183 , Jan 17, 2012

Firmly pro-life; including Court nominations

Q: [to Santorum]: You are staunchly pro-life. Gov. Romney used to support abortion rights until he changed his position on this a few years ago. Should this be an issue in this primary campaign?

SANTORUM: I think an issue should be looking at the authenticity of that candidate and looking at their record over time and what they fought for. You can look at my record. A lot of folks run for president as pro-life and then that issue gets shoved to the back burner. The issue of pro-life, and the dignity of people at the end of life, those issues will be top priority issues for me to make sure that all life is respected and held with dignity.

ROMNEY: People have had a chance to look at my record and look what I've said. I believe people understand that I'm firmly pro-life. I will support justices who believe in following the Constitution and not legislating from the bench. And I believe in the sanctity of life from the very beginning until the very end.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Abortion decision should recognize TWO lives involved

There are cultures where life is cheap, but thankfully, ours is not one of them. We have long respected life, at its beginning and at its end. In part, this is the product of our Judeo-Christian heritage. The debate over abortion puts two of our fundamental values in conflict: our respect for life and our love of personal freedom. Arguments in support of abortion generally revolve around the right of a mother to make decisions about her own body. But in any decision about whether to end a pregnancy, we must remember that two lives are involved, and own this point, courts have been long and conspicuously silent. Because the fact is that two lives, not one, is involved. I am unapologetically pro-life. Both mother and child are human beings, but only one does not yet have a voice to defend itself.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.264-265 , Mar 2, 2010

OpEd: baroque circumlocutions on evolving abortion stance

Romney had taken positions in Massachusetts that were anathema to the conservative base, particularly on abortion and gay rights. Running against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney had declared himself a supporter of a woman's right to choose on abortion, and claimed he would do more for gay rights than Kennedy. Then he changed positions on abortion. A year before he launched his presidential candidacy, he tried to explain his evolving views to several Washington Post reporters. [One columnist] who had grilled him that day later described his explanations as "baroque circumlocutions."

The McCain campaign, sensing an opportunity to stop Romney even before he could get launched, stoked the story line that Romney was a flip-flopper. A video of Romney from 1994 surfaced that showed him defending abortion rights. The nascent Romney campaign was overwhelmed by the barrage of criticism.

Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.239 , Aug 4, 2009

Supreme Court had said feds should stay out of abortion

Q: Why such a dramatic and profound change after pledging never to waiver on a woman’s right to choose?

A: I was always personally opposed to abortion, as I think almost everyone in this nation is. And the question for me was, what is the role of government? And it was quite theoretical and philosophical to consider what the role of government should be in this regard, and I felt that the Supreme Court had spoken and that government shouldn’t be involved and let people make their own decision. That all made a lot of sense to me. Then I became governor and the theoretical became reality. A bill came to my desk which related to the preservation of life. I recognized that I simply could not be part of an effort that would cause the destruction of human lift. And I didn’t hide from that change of heart. I recognize it’s a change. Every piece of legislation which came to my desk in the coming years as the governor, I came down on the side of preserving the sanctity of life.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

I took action as governor to preserve the sanctity of life

Q: Do you believe life begins at conception?

A: I do. I believe from a political perspective that life begins at conception. I don’t pretend to know, if you will, from a theological standpoint when life begins. I’d committed to the people of Massachusetts that I would not change the laws one way or the other, and I honored that commitment. But each law that was brought to my desk attempted to expand abortion rights and, in each case, I vetoed that effort. I also promoted abstinence education in our schools. I vetoed an effort, for instance, to give young women a morning after pill who did not have prescriptions. So I took action to preserve the sanctity of life. But I did not violate my word, of course.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions

Q: What would be the legal consequences to people who participated in illegal abortions?

A: They would be like the consequences associated with the bill relating to partial birth abortion which does not punish the woman. No one I know of is calling for punishing the woman. In the case of a doctor, the kinds of penalties would be potentially losing a license or having some other kind of restriction. In the case of partial birth abortion, as I recall, the penalty is a possible prison term not to exceed two years. But generally the medical profession would immediately follow the law. That’s not going to be an issue. And there would be a recognition that one’s license was at risk if one violated the law.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

Two-step process: overturn Roe; then change hearts & minds

Q: Your aides say you see ending abortion as a two-step process: rolling back Roe v. Wade, which would leave it legal in some states; and then a constitutional amendment to ban it nationwide. If abortion is murder, how can you live with it being legal in some states?

A: I’d love to have an America that didn’t have abortion. But that’s not what the American people [want] right now. And so I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states to put in place pro-life legislation. I recognize that for many people, that is considered an act of murder, to have an abortion. It is without question the taking of a human life. And I believe that a civilized society must respect the sanctity of the human life. But we have two lives involved here--a mom, an unborn child. We have to have concern for both lives & show the expression of our compassion & our consideration and work to change hearts & minds, and that’s the way in my view we’ll ultimately have a society without abortion.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Firmly in the “legal but rare” camp

According to Pew Research on abortion, “most Americans fall in between, preferring what might be described as a ‘legal but rare’ stance.” About 1/3 of Americans would make abortion illegal except in cases of rape or incest, or to save a woman’s life. Most Americans share the common ground. Who wants abortion to be legal but rare?Mitt Romney is firmly in the “legal but rare camp” camp. Like 2/3 of conservative Republicans, he believes abortion should be permitted in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is threatened.

Governor Romney changed his mind on abortion. He freely admits it. Ordinary citizens change their minds, and their positions evolve in private. For public figures, however, every video clip and interview is posted somewhere in cyberspace.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 47-8 , Aug 31, 2007

Following in Reagan’s footsteps in converting to pro-life

Q: In the debate last week, you said, “When I first ran for office [I was] deeply opposed to abortion but [I said] I’d support the current law.” But back then you said a lot more than just you support the current law. In 1994, you said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain & support it.” In 2002, you said, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.“ For 8 years you said that you would protect & respect a woman’s right to choose.

Q: Yes, that’s right. But when I became governor I laid out in my view that a civilized society must respect the sanctity of life. And you know what? I’m following in some pretty good footsteps. It’s exactly what Ronald Reagan did. As governor, he was adamantly pro-choice. He became pro-life as he experienced life. And the same thing happened with George H. W. Bush.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Aug 12, 2007

Absolute good day for America when Roe v. Wade is repealed

Q: Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?

ROMNEY: Absolutely.

BROWNBACK: It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.

GILMORE: Yes, it was wrongly decided.

HUCKABEE: Most certainly.



McCAIN: A repeal.

GIULIANI: It would be OK to repeal.

TANCREDO: After 40 million dead because we have aborted them in this country, that would be the greatest day in this country’s history when that, in fact, is overturned.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Personally pro-life, but government should not intrude

Q: In recent months, you’ve said you were “always for life,” but we’ve also heard you say you were once “effectively pro-choice.” Which is it?

I’ve always been personally pro-life, but for me, it was a great question about whether or not government should intrude in that decision. And when I ran for office, I said I’d protect the law as it was, which is effectively a pro-choice position.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Was effectively pro-choice until cloning changed his opinion

Q: You were effectively pro-choice as governor?

A: About two years ago, when we were studying cloning in our state, I said, look, we have gone too far. It’s a “brave new world” mentality that Roe v. Wade has given us, and I changed my mind. I took the same course that Ronald Reagan took, and I said I was wrong and changed my mind and said I’m pro-life. And I’m proud of that, and I won’t apologize to anybody for becoming pro-life.

Q: Some people are going to see those changes of mind as awfully politically convenient.

A: When I ran for the first time, I said I was personally pro-life but that I would protect a woman’s right to choose as the law existed. Two years ago, as a result of the debate we had, the conclusion I reached was that cloning and creating new embryos was wrong, and that we should, therefore, allow our state to become a pro-life state. I believe states should have the right to make this decision, and that’s a position I indicated in an op-ed in the Boston Globe 2 years ago.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Breach of Constitution for justices to adjust Constitution

Romney said this about the Supreme Court and potential justice nominees: “I believe the Constitution embodies the values that the Founders thought were critical for a successful nation to survive; therefore, justices have to hold true to the Constitution to maintain the foundation of values that made it successful. I want justices who will follow the Constitution & will not add to it, not subtract from it but instead look to the Constitution & the values of the Founders to set the course for the nation. We have a process for changing the Constitution. It is an amendment process. The people are very much involved in that process. I find it a breach of the constitutional path for justices to effectively change the Constitution rather than allow the constitutionally devised processes for making those adjustments occur. I thought both Justices Robert and Alito were ideal examples for what we should select for justices going forward. I know I depart from my liberal friends on this front.“
Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p.101-102 , Mar 12, 2007

Now firmly pro-life, despite 2002 tolerance for abortion

In New Hampshire on Thursday, he deflected conservative concerns about his record on gay marriage and abortion. He said he now describes himself as “firmly pro-life,” despite citing his tolerance for abortion rights during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, after researching the embryonic stem cell issue.
Source: CNN.com, “Inside Politics” , Dec 22, 2006

Anti-abortion views have “evolved & deepened” while governor

When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney pledged not to change the state’s abortion laws, despite his personal opposition. But his veto Monday of an emergency contraceptives bill & his comments in recent months have fueled speculation among critics that Romney is hardening his opposition to abortion and other sensitive social issues to gain support from GOP conservatives. Romney says his anti-abortion views have “evolved and deepened” since he took office, colored in part by the debate over embryonic stem cell research.

“In considering the issue of embryo cloning and embryo farming, I saw where the harsh logic of abortion can lead--to the view of innocent new life as nothing more than research material or a commodity to be exploited,” Romney wrote in an opinion piece in Tuesday’s Boston Globe. He also said he believes each state should decide whether to allow abortion, rather than having the “one size fits all” precedent of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

Source: Associated Press on NewsMax.com , Jul 27, 2005

Personally against abortion, but pro-choice as governor

Romney was asked to clarify his position on abortion. Romney’s stance appeared to have changed between his 1994 campaign against Sen. Kennedy and when he moved to Utah. He recently told a Salt Lake City newspaper that he preferred not to be labeled “pro- choice.”

“On a personal basis, I don’t favor abortion,” he said. “However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman’s right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That’s the same position I’ve had for many years.”

Source: Erik Arvidson, Lowell Sun , Mar 20, 2002

For safe, legal abortion since relative’s death from illegal

Romney disclosed that he became committed to legalized abortion after a relative died during an illegal abortion. The disclosure came after Romney, who said he is personally opposed to abortion, was asked to reconcile his beliefs with his political support for abortion rights. “It is since that time that my family will not force our beliefs on that matter,” He said the abortion made him see “that regardless of one’s beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal.”
Source: Joe Battenfeld in Boston Herald , Oct 26, 1994

Mitt Romney on Contraception

Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives

OBAMA: In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Gov. Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. That's not the kind of advocacy that women need. When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country, who rely on Planned Parenthood, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.

ROMNEY: I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives. And the president's statement of my policy is completely and totally wrong.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

Since 1960s, illegal for states to ban contraception

In the January 6, 2012, Republican primary debate, ABC's George Stephanopoulos blurted a question [that] was strange, out of left field. Since the 1960s, it has been illegal under relevant US Supreme Court rulings for a state to ban contraception. Romney himself was taken aback by the question. "George," he said, "this is an unusual topic that you're raising. Given that there's no state that wants to do so, and I don't know of any candidate that wants to do so, you're asking could it be constitutionally done?"

But Stephanopoulos didn't want an answer. He wanted to make a point. "Do you believe states have that right or not?" he reiterated.

"George," Romney answered," I don't know if the state has a right to ban contraception, no state wants to! The idea of you putting forward things that states MIGHT want to do, that no state wants to do, and then asking me whether they can do it or not is kind of a silly thing."

Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p.180 , Sep 11, 2012

Church employee birth control violates religious conscience

Q: Birth control is the latest hot topic. Do you believe in birth control, and if not, why?

ROMNEY: In the previous debate, we wondered why in the world did contraception come up? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience. I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama. Most recently requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable. And he retried to retreat from that but he retreated in a way that was not appropriate, because these insurance companies now have to provide these same things and obviously the Catholic Church will end up paying for them.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

MA churches can choose to not provide morning-after pills

Q: Speaker Gingrich has said during your tenure as governor, you required Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. Did you?

ROMNEY: No, absolutely not. There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims. That was entirely voluntary on their part. Likewise, there's a provision in Massachusetts General Law that says people don't have to have coverage for contraceptives or other type of medical devices which are contrary to their religious teachings. Churches also don't have to provide that.

GINGRICH: Well, the reports we got were quite clear that the public health department was prepared to give a waiver to Catholic hospitals about a morning-after abortion pill, and that the governor's office issued explicit instructions saying that they believed it wasn't possible under Massachusetts law. When you have government as the central provider of services, you inevitably move towards tyranny.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

2002: No to new abortion law; yes to emergency contraception

In his 2001 letter to the editor in the Utah newspaper, Romney said he no longer wanted to be considered prochoice. Mitt said that when he's asked whether he will "preserve and protect" a woman's right to abortion, "I make an unequivocal answer: yes."

His answers to an April 2002 questionnaire from the local NARAL chapter were similarly unequivocal. Romney said he would oppose attempts to change state laws, either by adding new restrictions on abortion or by easing existing ones. He expressed support for Medicaid finding for the procedure, efforts to expand access to emergency contraception, and the restoration of state funding for family-planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs. He also said he supported comprehensive sex education in public schools and would oppose "'abstinence-only' sexuality education programs." "The truth is, no candidate in the governor's race in either party would deny women abortion rights," he wrote. "So let's end an argument that does not exist."

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.229 , Jan 17, 2012

States shouldn't ban contraception; and no state wants to

Q: [to Romney] Sen. Santorum has been very clear in his belief that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that a right to privacy was embedded in the Constitution. And following from that, he believes that states have the right to ban contraception. Now I should add that he said he's not recommending that states do that.

SANTORUM: No, let's be clear. We're talking about the 10th Amendment and the right of states to act.

Q: Gov. Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

ROMNEY: I can't imagine a state banning contraception. I can't imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or a state legislature, I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception.

SANTORUM: The Supreme Court created through a penumbra of rights a new right to privacy that was not in the Constitution. I believe it should be overturned.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

1993: Morning-after pill could make abortions obsolete

In 1993 Romney had announced he was effectively "pro-choice." He [supported] "morning-after" treatments. He is an advocate; he thinks they could render obsolete the need for most abortions.

His abrupt shift from supporting abortion and reproductive rights to opposing them seemed to parallel the marriage of his sons and the difficulties some of them had conceiving children. Three resorted to in vitro fertilization (IVF) processes that necessarily generate extra embryos that must eventually be disposed of in some way. Romney became more familiar with the IVF processes, he switched from supporting a woman's right to choose, to outright opposition for all manner of elective abortion procedures, including the so-called morning-after treatments he once held out as a panacea. Essentially, the embryos eliminated by morning-after treatments are in the same stage of development as unused fertilized eggs created for IVF procedures.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.124-125 , Nov 22, 2011

Contraception is a personal choice; but advocate abstinence

Romney thinks there are some fundamental differences between early life forms that result from sexual intercourse and ones that result from scientific manipulations of human sperm and eggs. Detractors from Planned Parenthood, an organization Mitt and Ann once enthusiastically supported, suggest his inconsistent position is politically self-serving, given the fact that his own children have benefitted from IVF procedures.

He tightened his views on other reproductive issues as well. Instead of preaching a variety of measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies, he became more vocal about "abstinence" to the point that some assumed (incorrectly) that it was the only approach to birth control that he endorsed. In fact, his views on contraception--condoms, birth control pills, diaphragms, intrauterine, and other similar devices--have remained consistent with his church's policies, which treat such matters as issues of personal choice.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.126-127 , Nov 22, 2011

Vetoed emergency contraception for rape victims

Massachusetts’ Legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic, and Romney’s first term as governor barely touched on the issues dear to social conservatives until recently.

In May, Romney vetoed legislation to expand stem cell research because it allowed the cloning of human embryos for use in stem cell experiments--a practice Romney said amounts to creating life in order to destroy it. The Legislature overrode the veto.

His veto of the emergency contraception measure is also likely to be overridden. That bill requires hospital emergency room doctors to offer the medication to rape victims, and would make it available without prescription from pharmacies.

Romney is on a list of possible contenders for the White House in 2008. Others include Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Sam Brownback of Kansas and George Allen of Virginia, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Source: Associated Press on NewsMax.com , Jul 27, 2005

Mitt Romney on Stem Cells

Stem-cell cloning breaches an ethical boundary

In 2004, Romney met with a renowned Harvard stem cell researcher named Douglas Melton. Melton coolly explained how his work relied on cloning human embryos, and explained that "my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases."

But for Romney it was a seminal day, triggering what he describes as an awakening on "life" issues after he had spent his entire political career espousing very different views. In the official account of Romney's rebirth as a social conservative, the meeting with Melton would become the Genesis story. Romney came out strongly against the cloning technique, saying that the method breached an "ethical boundary." He vowed to press for legislation to criminalize the work. Romney's opposition stunned scientists, lawmakers, and observers because of his past statements endorsing, in general terms, embryonic stem cell research. His wife Ann had publicly expressed hope that stem cells would hold a cure for her multiple sclerosis.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.253-254 , Jan 17, 2012

2004: Stem cell research ok, if privately funded

As recently as 2004 Romney supported government funding for stem cell research. Then he took a more moderate position, one that would be more acceptable to the right. He now argued that funding for such projects should come from the private sector because of the moral questions involved. He continued to argue that this was not a change in position on stem cell research itself.
Source: An Inside Look, by R.B. Scott, p.144 , Nov 22, 2011

Outlaw embryo farming, but allow using surplus embryos

Q: You previously stated: “[the] United States House of Representatives voted for a bill that was identical to what I proposed. They voted to provide surplus embryos from in vitro fertilization processes being used for research and experimentation. That’s what I said I support.” Do you still support that?

A: I have the same position. From a legal standpoint, I would outlaw cloning to create new stem cells and I would outlaw embryo farming. I would allow, on a private basis, the use of surplus embryos from in vitro fertilization. In terms of funding, I think the best source of our funding application should be in what are known as alternative methods. And this just recent. I’ve been fighting for this for some time. But this recently saw a major breakthrough with direct reprogramming of human adult cells to become stem cells that can be very potent cells applied to help cure disease and serious conditions.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

2004: Became pro-life during stem cell controversy

Like most other top GOP contenders, Romney supports the vigorous prosecution of the war on terror, including the establishment of a democracy in Iraq. And perhaps most important, from a conservative perspective, Romney calls himself staunchly pro-life.

Source: Meet the Next President, by Bill Sammon, p. 2 , Dec 11, 2007

Altered nuclear transfer instead of embryonic stem cells

Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?

A: It certainly will. Altered nuclear transfer, I think, is perhaps the best source.

Q: Embryonic.

A: Altered nuclear transfer creates embryo-like cells that can be used for stem cell research. In my view, that’s the most promising source. I have a deep concern about curing disease. I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research and others. But I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that will be creating life for the purpose of destroying it.

Q: And you won’t take any from these fertility clinics to use either?

A: It’s fine for that to be allowed, to be legal. I won’t use our government funds for that. Instead, I want our governments to be used on altered nuclear transfer.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Stem cell research lofty goals don’t justify destroying life

Romney adopted the “pro-life” label after his battle over stem cell research. Ann Romney has multiple sclerosis. Romney, who not surprisingly cites the diagnosis of his wife’s disease as one of the greatest blows of his life, is nevertheless alarmed by the aggressive program of embryonic stem cell research consortiums. He has taken a stand against the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute was seeking legal protection for an embryo production line for the purpose of creating and harvesting stem cells, and Romney refused his support. He said, “Lofty goals do not justify the creation of life for experimentation or destruction.”

Romney’s views would permit for research the use of embryos about to be destroyed by their parents; this puts him at odds with President Bush’s more restrictive position. Romney has never supported state-funded research on embryonic stem cells, and is a believer in the efficacy of alternative methods of producing stem cells.

Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p.111-114 , Mar 12, 2007

Vetoed stem cell research bill

This House vote affirmed passage of the bill supporting stem cell research as originally passed by the House and Senate, rejecting Governor Romney’s proposed amendments and veto, and avoiding delays of implementation.
Source: MassScorecard.org Bill S. 2039 ; roll call 69, passed 112-42 , May 31, 2005

Mitt Romney on Voting Record

Would be delighted to sign federal ban on all abortions

Q: If hypothetically, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it?

A: Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today. Where America is, is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

2005: Vetoed availability without Rx of morning-after pill

In 2005, Romney vetoed a bill making the morning-after pill available without a doctor’s prescription. For Romney, it was not only about contraception. He explained his decision in July 2005: “This bill does not require parental consent for even young teenagers. It disregards not only the seriousness of abortion but the importance of parental involvement.” These vetoes were overturned by the Massachusetts State Legislature where pro-choice Democrats hold an overwhelming majority.
Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 52 , Aug 31, 2007

Would welcome overturning Roe v. Wade

Q: Would you welcome the overruling of Roe v. Wade by the Court?

A: Yes. I would like to see each state be able to make its own decision regarding abortion rather than have a one-size-fits-all blanket pronouncement by the Supreme Court.

Q: Would you have a “litmus test” of any sort when it came to nominees for the Supreme Court?

A: I think we’d all like to apply a litmus test. Each of us would like to say, “Here are all the decisions that are going to come up. How will you vote?” But I don’t think that’s the process that you’re going to see employed by me or, frankly, by others as well. Doing it that way would make it very difficult for the nominee to be confirmed. There will not be a litmus test. Instead, there will be a philosophical test, which is: “Is this a person who follows the law, who abides by the Constitution, who will strictly construe the Constitution as intended, or is this a person who looks to expand upon the Constitution to ‘write’ laws without the benefit of legislation?”

Source: A Mormon in the White House, by Hugh Hewitt, p.103-104 , Mar 12, 2007

Committed to not change law on abortion as Gov., and did not

The pro-life community is sophisticated and educated, and quite capable of understanding how a pro-life politician in Massachusetts has to advocate for the possible, and must not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

“I am pro-life,” Romney told me pointedly. He went on to explain how his campaigns have provided fodder for his 2008 opponents. “In my 1994 debate with Senator Kennedy he said that I was ‘multiple choice’ for which he got a good laugh because I would not say I was pro-choice. I said what I would do if I were elected senator, the same thing I said when I was running for governor. As governor, I indicated that I would not change the law as it related to abortion. I would keep it the same. I have had roughly four provisions that have reached my desk which would have changed the laws as they relate to abortion, all of which would have expanded abortion rights. I vetoed each of those. My record as governor has been very clearly a pro-life record.“

Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p.110 , Mar 12, 2007

Opposes Roe v Wade, but won’t tamper with abortion laws

Source: CivilLiberty.about.com profile of Romney , Dec 1, 2006

Endorsed legalization of RU-486

Source: Boston Globe review of 1994 canpaign issues , Mar 21, 2002

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