Romney team explains refusal to sign anti-abortion pledge
June 17th, 2011
07:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Romney team explains refusal to sign anti-abortion pledge

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) – Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is explaining his decision not to sign a tough anti-abortion pledge supported by most of the candidates in the Republican field.

The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List announced Friday that Republican candidates Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have signed its Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge.

The group, though, made a point of highlighting Romney’s refusal to sign the pledge.

The pledge would require the candidates, if elected, to "permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion," defund Planned Parenthood, and appoint abortion opponents to the federal bench and Cabinet positions.

Romney’s campaign re-affirmed his opposition to abortion rights and called the pledge “well-intentioned.”

But Gail Gitcho, a spokeswoman for the former Massachusetts governor, said the document has “some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it.”

“The pledge calls for legislation to strip taxpayer funding from thousands of health care facilities, including VA hospitals around the country, and strictly limits the choices a President would have to appoint federal officials,” Gitcho told CNN in an email.

She added, “Mitt Romney will appoint judges who will faithfully interpret the constitution and not legislate from the bench.”

“The bottom line is that Governor Romney is firmly pro-life,” Gitcho said.


Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Mitt Romney
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Liberal4Obama

    Another Flip Flop by Mitt Romney. Yesterday he was Pro-Life... today not so much !

    June 17, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Thankfully Independent

    Good for Mitt!!! At least one GOP candidate reads the whole thing all the way through.

    June 17, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. clarke

    HMMM can you be both. I would to know if the others and Mitt believe in the death penitely.

    June 17, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. PaulC

    We could use some intelligent design in the Republican party.

    June 17, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Hardy Macia

    Gary Johnson didn't sign the pledge either. Anyone who signed the pledge is putting the social conservative agenda before the best interest of the country. Not looking at any candidate for Attorney General because they aren't pro-life, that's crazy. I won't support any of the candidates who signed the pledge. I have issues with Romney on his record of not being a fiscal conservative and with Cann for his lack of political record - neither of which are issues with Gov Gary Johnson, which leads me to ask CNN yet again, where's your coverage of Gary Johnson?

    June 17, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Fed Up

    He lost my vote when he said he is unemployed. That was such a funny joke! NOT!!! Don't care what else he has to say, or what positions he holds.

    June 17, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wow... I could almost be impressed that Mitt is doing something that ends up going against the rest of the Rub-stamps due to conviction.... We'll see how long it lasts... this time... I assume that he'll rethink his position and rejoin the fold after Rush gets through with him.

    June 17, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. Clwyd

    I haven't found one thing American about any of the republican candidates until now! Thank you Mitt! However, belonging to a religious cult will not get you elected!

    June 17, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Naw... I re-thought MY position. I could never be impressed with Mitt!

    June 17, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. judith

    I hope the ultra-right wing fringe rejects Romney because of this issue. That way, one of their fringe candidates will get the nomination and Obama will win in a landslide. The lunatic fringe is not only opposed to abortion, they seem to want to take access to family planning away from poor women, which is a tragedy of epic proportions in this already overpopulated world. What in the world is wrong with these radicals? Why do they want to impose their backwards, anti-woman agenda on all of us?

    June 17, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Indy

    Just say no to unemployed Presidential candidates, if they are dedicated enough to hve a job then how can they be expected to run a country.

    June 17, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    I am good with his response. The government really has to be careful coming down with across-the-board rules. In most cases, this is where the government screws things up. It is not appropriate for the government to make every important decision for everybody. Limited government intervention should be the answer wherever that is possible.

    June 17, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. gremlinus

    Wow. Kudos to Romney for not being bullied by special interest groups, including ones that he in general agrees with. It would be easy and safer to tow the line with the other candidates, but he's actually taking a practical stance on things. If it's political posturing, it's a good tactic. It's refreshing to see a candidate on any side actually behaving as he thinks he should and as he thinks is the most responsible instead of just the way he thinks most people want him to act.

    June 17, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. catwoman770

    Good move Romney. I absolutely do not believe in abortion, however, you have to be realistic and careful on the battles that you pick.
    I don't support Government funded abortion but I don't remember any of my friends being poor and getting an abortion. What is sad is that the topic of abortion should even exist today. Science should have removed the "is it a life?" question long ago. Doesn't anyone pay attention to their ultrasounds and that the fetus is sucking its thumb?

    June 17, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. gremlinus

    Wow. Good on Romney for not being bullied by special interest groups, including ones that he in general agrees with. It would be easy and safer to tow the line with the other candidates, but he's actually taking a practical stance on things. If it's political posturing, it's a good idea. It's refreshing to see a candidate on any side actually behaving as he thinks he should and as he thinks is the most responsible instead of just the way he thinks most people want him to act.

    June 17, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. Kara

    The bottom line is that governor Romney is playing both sides against the middle.

    June 17, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Kevin

    I find it ironic that they chose to link their name with that of Susan B Anthony- a liberal with a well documented opposition to organized religion.
    On the subject of birth control, she famously said of churches "What a dreadful creature their God must be to keep sending hungry mouths while he withholds the bread to fill them!" (Life and Works of Susan B Anthony Vol 2)

    June 17, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. jimm

    hmm, the fed gov't hasn't funded abortions since 1976. Looks more like they want to remove access to healthcare for the poor.

    June 17, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. carmelle

    ha...at this rate...Romney is really going to test the Tea Party's tough talk. The republican elite already chose him, and he knows it. The Tea Party still think they have a say in it. HA.

    June 17, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. 2012voter

    Its good to know that the Romney camp isn't pandering to an ignorant diluted political base on this decision. Its unfortunate that being progressive alienates the party's base.

    MITT2012

    June 17, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    That is the only positive thing about Romney, in my book, and is what all the rest of the GOP list has totally against them.

    June 17, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Eemew

    Wow! Mit does have a backbone. (and possibly a brain) I really do not see why, lets say the Sec. of Energy, needs to be pro-life. Why would you want to limit your choices?

    June 17, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. John D

    This is why the Republican primary electorate will ensure an Obama reelection. Romney is THE obvious top candidate of those they have in terms of his chances at defeating the President, but of course, they're going to deny him the nomination over abortion. Love it.

    June 17, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  24. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Anyone that would sign that pledge would prove one thing, they shouldn't hold any elected position.

    June 17, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  25. CaliforniaBC

    Now WHY is the group named after Susan B Anthony?? What does she have to do with abortion or anti-abortion??

    June 17, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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