Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s stance on certain issues that divide the electorate came into question again on Wednesday, after he told a newspaper that abortion legislation is not on his agenda.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney told the Des Moines Register Tuesday before a rally.
Abortion has been one of the key topics of discussion on the campaign trail.
Romney's comment to the Iowa paper seems to conflict with earlier statements he made, saying he would be pro-life if elected president.
“Americans have a moral duty to uphold the sanctity of life and protect the weakest, most vulnerable and most innocent among us,” Romney’s website says, outlining his stance on the issue of abortion. “As president, Mitt will ensure that American laws reflect America’s values of preserving life at home and abroad.”
Romney's seemingly opposing viewpoints on the same issue provide an open door for critics, and the Obama campaign has accused the Republican of once again misrepresenting what he stands for.
“Mitt Romney is misleading the public about his intention to restrict safe and legal abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Action Fund's executive vice president, in a statement. “Last week, Mitt Romney was dishonest about his tax plan and his Medicare plan, and today he’s being dishonest about his intention to end access to safe and legal abortion.
“Mitt Romney has been crystal clear that if he’s elected president, he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade,” she added, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court verdict that legalized abortion. “Mitt Romney’s views on women’s health are far outside the mainstream, and that’s why he’s trying to hide them in the last weeks until the election.
"Let’s be clear: Mitt Romney wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, end federal funding for Planned Parenthood preventive services, end insurance coverage for birth control and repeal health protections for women.”
Romney’s website stated that he believes “life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view.” It also stated that “while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade -- a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”
Erin Seidler, the Obama campaign’s Iowa spokeswoman, told the Des Moines Register that Romney also contradicted himself because he supports the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions. Romney’s website does note that as president, he will “end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and nominate judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the law.”
Romney’s camp has dismissed the idea of a contradiction, with spokeswoman Andrea Saul saying, “Mitt Romney is proudly pro-life and will be a pro-life president.”