Romney said America is ready for the abortion issue to be decided by individual states.
(CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney clarified his position on a constitutional amendment banning abortion during the debate, saying that while he would sign such an amendment, "that's not where we are."
Romney's position on an abortion amendment has been questioned in recent days, after his campaign sent out a mail piece in South Carolina stating unequivocally that Romney is "the only major presidential candidate who supports the Republican party's pro-life platform: A constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide."
However, during the debate Romney seemed to back away from that claim. Asked if he would sign a bill passed by Congress banning abortions nationwide, Romney said he would be "delighted to sign that bill," but concluded: "That's not where we are. That's not where America is today."
"Where America is ready is to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority," he said.
Both former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain have said they support such an amendment. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson opposes an amendment. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is a supporter of abortion rights.
- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby