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. chan

    I was not a big fan of Romney uptil now. But now with this decision he made, I am turning to be his fan. Hope he wins.

    June 17, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. jackal & jester

    Smart move to separate himself from the rest of the mindless ones. Prolife but knows women have rights. The rest of the republicans are sounding a bit too Muslim lately.

    June 17, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. C. Howe Yulikit

    But if he actually signs something he can't flip flop on it 5 minutes later.

    June 17, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. AimHigh

    I find it refreshing to see a candidate who is willing to protect our rights and freedoms as americans, and not allow the religious passions of a few to influence laws that impact the many, regardless of his own personal beliefs.

    June 17, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Tom

    I believe that Romneys position is common sense. I have always wondered what the right wing anti abortion zealots would do if they were faced with a tough decision on abortion in their own family; for example to save the life of one of their own children. I'l bet a good majority of them would opt to save their daughter. Romneys right. He can be anti abortion but prserve the rights of others in dire straights. Thoughts from an independent.

    June 17, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Romney is showing more signs that he's not radical enough to be a modern Republican. Still, his joke about being "unemployed" shows a lack of respect for the poor – a good thing for a conservative.

    June 17, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  7. Tom

    I believe that Romneys position is common sense. I have always wondered what the right wing anti abortion zealots would do if they were faced with a tough decision on abortion in their own family; for example to save the life of one of their own children. I'l bet a good majority of them would opt to save their daughter. Romneys right. He can be anti abortion but prserve the rights of others in dire straights. Thoughts from an independent.

    June 17, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |

    June 17, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. toocy

    I will not vote for anyone who signs any of these pledges. Be it anti-abortion or no tax increases or whatever else they come with next. The only pledge I'm concerned with is the one upholding our constitution. Any other oath makes the candidate beholden to special interest groups, not the people who vote vote for them. I guess the only bright side to signing a pledge is that at least we know to which special interest group they're pledging loyalty.

    June 17, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  9. Peter s

    The major moral problem of abortion is, under what condition if any is abortion morally justified? Team Roomney address the problems about the ontological and moral status of the fetus and you will win the argument.

    June 17, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Wise1Speak

    ON THIS MATTER, ROMNEY IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

    Nearly every Republican Presidential candidate (Bachmann, Pawlenty, Santorum, Gingrich and Ron Paul) has falsely and unmercifully accused President Obama of trying to nominate liberal-leaning judges to the federal courts so they can legislate core liberal principles from the bench.

    It is shocking that hypocritical Bachmann, Santorum, and the rest of the 'con-job wackos' have now signed a pledge to do the very thing they falsely accused Obama of trying to do. HYPOCRITES!

    June 17, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. DALE

    Mitt Romeny isn't "firmly" anything.

    June 17, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. Sonnie2

    His snow ball will melt if he does not stand up to say killing the unborn is something he won't put a stop to.

    June 17, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. Don Beal

    They all legislate from the bench. The court system is just an extension of politics.

    June 17, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  14. JJC

    Good to see at least one republican willing to stand up to the American Taliban. These kind of stunts are pure theater anyway. Most republicans seem to be in lockstep, like lemmings toward the cliff.

    June 17, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. steven harnack

    Do you mean that ALL of the Republican candidates signed such an outrageous pledge? Well, there could only be two explanations. 1) They are liars and have no intention of keeping the pledge, or 2)They are completely and irrevocably INSANE! Can you see them seriously requiring all potential Federal Judges to agree to that? The way these candidates are promising the wingnuts, the only way that they could actually deliver on them would be to declare a dictatorship. Are we ready for President-For-Life Bachmann?

    June 17, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  16. Discernment

    WHAT IS THE GOP's PROBLEM WITH WOMEN GOOD HEALTH?

    Most people, whether they agree with the religious-right or not, do understand the conservative views against abortion.

    But what is insane and cannot be understood by people wisdom & common sense, is the Republican's obsession with trying to destroy all the other good things Planned Parenthood provide including:
    (a.) – access to affordable healthcare,
    (b.) – breast and cervical cancer screening,
    (c.) – menopause treatment,
    (d.) – contraceptive support,
    (e.) – prenatal care,
    (f.) – infertility help
    (g.) – etc., etc., etc.

    June 17, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Henry

    Talking about passing a litmus test. First Grover "the fool" Norquist with his anti-tax pledge and now this. And we merrily keep electing these Republicans into office. Talking about people without original thought! And they accuse Democrats of being mere followers!

    June 18, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  18. Susan

    Romney has found his stride this election year. He is staying the course of leadership verses politics and I like it.

    June 18, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. D-Nice

    Better watch out Mitt, the bible thumpers won't like that.

    June 18, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  20. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The vast majority of PRIVATE insurance companies, including those used by the anti-abortion movement DO fund abortions, maybe not in certain states, but the bottom line is STILL your premium money being channeled for somebody-else's abortion. Yet these pro-lifers never protested their own insurance companies. They are just playing politics as usual.
    Fun fact: the majority of the money for Planned Parenthood goes to programs that prevent pregnancy in the first place, i.e. they help reduce the number of abortions by a significant number! Defunding PP would actually result in an increase in the number of abortions!

    June 18, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  21. drogo, the stallion that mounts the world

    He was pro death before he was pro life...

    June 18, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  22. Peter E

    I await next spring, when after Mitt Rommney captures the republican nomination all these so-called conservatives will somehow develop amnesia and forget they ever had a problem with Romney. Pro-lifers will somehow magically forget Mitt Romney's flip-flopping on abortion. Tea Partiers will forget Romney's record as a governor and of course they will never again use the term 'Romenycare.'
    Face it: none of these groups actually care about their principles. They are just using political wedges to gain power and get somebody into the White House that will give them more tax breaks. Screw principles, screw the deficit, screw everyone else.

    June 18, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  23. Susan

    ..The bottom line is, Mr Romney knows that there is no point in showing radical nature, win the primary and then loose the general elections. I think he will beat Obama, if he sails primary.

    June 18, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  24. Boogaloo

    What, someone is standing up, defying the machine? I sure do wish him luck.

    June 18, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  25. FlipFloppinAwayInTheGOP

    ...it's Mitt flippy-floppy Romney once again

    June 18, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
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