Romney team explains refusal to sign anti-abortion pledge
June 17th, 2011
07:52 PM ET
12 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. Tom McB

    Smart move on his part; separates him from the sheeples on the far right. At least he considers the bigger picture on this and not just his personal views. When they nuts take their own personal stances instead of the average American's to heart, they clearly don't demonstrate a "for the people" mindset.

    June 18, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. julibear

    GOOD FOR YOU MITT!!!!!!!!!! This is real leadership–not getting tied into political knots by special interests. The President needs to govern ALL the people, not just pro-lifers. You may lose some evangelicals but you'll gain many many many moderates and independents who believe in the right to privacy. If you want smaller government, the pro-life/evangelical agenda is your enemy.

    June 18, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. skitownrefugee

    OK here we go...This past Monday's Republican debate didn't do much to distinguish these candidates but this issue appears to set Romney apart from the others – showing that he's the most liberal of the conservative bunch, maybe the smartest and most certainly the most crafty (so far). Why back yourself into a corner and further alienate pro-choice voters by taking this right-wing pledge? Planned Parenthood does much more than provide access to abortion – as it addresses women's health issues (physical and mental) provides counseling and distributes contraceptives (family planning) among many other services. I think that taking this pledge shows the lack of good judgment among those candidates that pledged and Romney has already displayed a lack of good judgment on other issues. In summary, they are all so obvious in bending, stretching, changing and contorting their stand on various issues to get their party’s nomination for the presidency. It’s going to be so much fun to watch them annihilate each other and the show is just starting. For most of these candidates – this is just theater/entertainment and they can’t resist the spotlight. I just can’t imagine what it would be like with one of them actually governing this country – a very scary situation indeed.

    June 18, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. azmary

    At least one candidate seems to know what it means when they say government has no right to get between a patient and his/her doctor. For all others "smaller government" is just given lip service.

    June 18, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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