Romney clarifies that he would “be a pro-life president” and “immediately” defund Planned Parenthood

romney flip flops
Noted flip-flopper and presidential candidate Mitt Romney is having to clarify his position on abortion. On Tuesday, after mansplaining to a lady reporter from the Des Moines Register about what women voters really care about, Romney had this to say:

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

His campaign quickly corrected the record: “Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.” And Romney himself awoke from his momentary amnesia and remembered that it’s 2012 and he’s not a moderate running in Massachusetts anymore. Yesterday he said:

“I think I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I’ve indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.”

Cool, thanks for clarifying. Good thing nobody cares about Planned Parenthood.

I don’t care what the real Romney believes about abortion. And it almost doesn’t matter what he has to say about reproductive rights on any given day. After all, you can find a Romney that will support literally any position you hold. (Don’t believe me? Just try it.) The fact is that, if elected, Romney would, as he unequivocally stated yesterday, certainly “be a pro-life president.” There is simply no other way to be if you are elected as the leader of a party with a rabidly anti-choice platform. Romney couldn’t avoid the issue even if he truly wanted to. As Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards noted, there are at least two dozen pieces of legislation in Congress that would restrict abortion rights. There are judicial appointments to be made and executive orders to be signed and an extremist anti-choice base to be continually courted.

And pretty much the only thing we know for sure about Romney’s views–on really anything–is that he would follow party orders.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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