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More headlines: Mitt Romney on Abortion

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


1993: Personally opposed, but let women decide themselves

[In Romney's Senate race against Ted Kennedy], polling data clearly indicated that no candidate who opposed a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices would ever get elected to a statewide political office in Massachusetts.

While Romney's church opposed abortion except in extreme circumstances, one of its fundamental tenets is the doctrine of free agency: faithful Mormons had the obligation to make moral judgments for themselves. Many like Mitt personally opposed abortion but saw the moral wisdom and consistency in supporting laws that granted women the right to make that choice themselves.

Romney laid out for church leaders what his public position would be on abortion--personally opposed but willing to let others decide for themselves. Romney "didn't ask what his position should be, nor did he ask the brethren to endorse his position. He came to explain, and his explanation was consistent with church teachings and policies," said one senior church leader at the time.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 55-56 Nov 22, 2011

GovWatch: 2002: “preserve & protect” right to choose

Top Romney Flip Flops: #1. Abortion:

In October 2002, campaigning for governorship of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney said he would “preserve and protect” a woman’s right to choose. He now describes himself as opposing abortion.

Source: GovWatch on 2008 campaign: “Top Ten Flip-Flops” Feb 5, 2008

FactCheck: TV ad ignores recency of conversion to pro-life

Romney’s Iowa TV ad says portrays both Romney and Huckabee as “two good family men” who are “both pro-life.” The ad presents a too-sharp focus when it implies that Romney and Huckabee have identical records on abortion.

It’s true that both Huckabee and Romney oppose abortion--now. But Huckabee was pro-life while he was governor. Romney, not so much. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s Romney at a September debate in Iowa: “I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I’ve said that time and time again. I’ve changed my position.“

We don’t begrudge Romney the right to change his mind, and he’s been open about the fact that his position has changed. But many Iowa voters may still be unaware of that, and this ad implies that there’s no difference between these two candidates on abortion. That’s a stretch.

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “The Record” Dec 13, 2007

Was pro-choice, now proudly pro-life

I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office. When I became governor of Massachusetts, the first time a bill came to my life that dealt with life, I simply could not side with--with taking a life, and I came on the side of life. Every bill that came to my desk, every issue that related to protecting the sanctity of life, I came down on the side of life. I’m pro-life. I’m not going to apologize for becoming pro-life. I’m proud to be pro-life.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate Dec 12, 2007

Iowa attack phone ads are not true; I am pro-life

Q: [to Brownback]: Your campaign has been making phone calls to Iowa voters about Mitt Romney:
(BEGIN AUDIO)
ANNOUNCER: Mitt Romney is telling Iowans that he is firmly pro-life. Nothing could be further from the truth. As late as 2005, Mitt Romney pledged to support and uphold pro-abortion policies and pass taxpayer funding of abortions in Massachusetts. His wife, Ann, has contributed money to Planned Parenthood. Mitt told the National Abortion Rights Action League that, “You need someone like me in Washington.“
(END AUDIO)
Q: Do you stand by that attack?

BROWNBACK: I certainly do. There’s one word that describes that ad, and it’s ”truthful.“ That’s a truthful ad. And that’s what campaigns are about: for getting the truth out, expressing the differences between candidates.

Q: Is everything in that ad true?

ROMNEY: Virtually nothing in that ad is true. I am pro-life. That’s the truth. Every action I’ve taken as governor of Massachusetts has been pro-life.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tired of holier-than-thou attitude about becoming pro-life

Q: [to Romney]: Are any of the specifics true in Sen. Brownback’s phone ad calling you pro-choice?

ROMNEY: Abortion is a very difficult decision. We’re involved in the lives of two people: a mom and an unborn child. I’ve come down on the side of saying I’m in favor of life. The best way you can learn about someone is not by asking their opponent, but ask them, “What do you believe, and what’s your view?” And I am pro-life. And virtually every part of that ad is inaccurate. I’m pro-life. My positions are pro-life.

BROWNBACK: You can go on YouTube and see the governor speaking himself about where he is on this position in 1994.

ROMNEY: Look, I was pro-choice. I am pro-life. You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I changed my position. And I get tired of people that are holier-than-thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have. But I’m proud of the fact.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Defining mistake: supported abortion law despite opposing it

Q: What is the defining mistake of your life and why?

A: Probably from a political standpoint and a personal standpoint, the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion but saying, “I support the current law,” which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position. That was just wrong. And when I became a governor and faced a life-and-death decision as a governor, I came down on the side of life. That was a mistake before that.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Other candidates on Abortion: Mitt Romney on other issues:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(AE)
Jill Stein(G)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
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Page last updated: Sep 22, 2012