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

    If he doesn't sign this pledge he still won't have my vote, but he'll have a small amount of my respect.

    That and fifty the saying goes.

    June 18, 2011 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  2. mike

    If Romney won't sign it means he's a Republican, but not a conservative. Good time to find out. He's probably for gay marriage also.

    June 18, 2011 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  3. OH YEAH?

    WOW! I am sure glad the Republicans want LESS gov't in our lives.

    June 18, 2011 05:58 am at 5:58 am |

    Wiggle Mitt. Get out of the race if you can't stand the setup questions. It only gets worse with power.

    June 18, 2011 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  5. American Citizen (from Massachusetts)

    Mitt's a nit wit!. 'nuff said??

    June 18, 2011 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  6. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I take Mitt at his word, now let's get on with the primary task at hand, fixing the economy and financial stability of this country. Without that, all of this other stuff is meaningless.

    June 18, 2011 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  7. unretired05

    Wow, I'm impressed with his refusal to jump through the hoops the other GOPuppies did. It could cost him the nomination or give him the election. Of course Wisconsin found out about Walkers agenda after the election.

    June 18, 2011 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  8. Mike

    Romney just moved from my top 3 candidate list to the "basement." True stripes revealed.

    June 18, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  9. PJ

    Hey floks! Mitt may change his mind and sign. Then again, he may change his mind and return to the Abortion Rights groups. You never know with Romney. He flips like a coin.

    June 18, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  10. Steve W

    Nobody has the right, least of all the politicians to intrude on an intensly personal decision such as having an abortion. There are many reasons for people to choose such a course of action. It is up to WOMAN to make the decision not some aging male politico. Typical male domineering attitude akin to the male attitudes to women we see in the Arab world. It's a WOMENS choise & no other.

    June 18, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  11. TexGrl77

    It's refreshing to see a Republican contender that doesn't just blindly pander to "conservative" causes. He actually thinks about...dare I say it...the consequences of such a "pledge". Attaboy Mitt!

    June 18, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  12. 4merRepubCT

    Good for him! Those who are willing to take this hard a line on a concept that has many, many nuances, will likely find themselves having to carve out exceptions, and then justifying them. These candidates need to recognize that they would not be the political representative and leader of only those who agree with their views. The president is supposed to represent everyone – those that vote for him/her and those who do not.

    June 18, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  13. nintex

    Sounds more like Nazi Germany all the time. Surely people can see that voting Republican will take women's health care back to the dark ages. A person can be against abortion, but more against the government telling a woman what she can and can't do with her own body.

    Why don't they work on more funding for Planned Parenthood, which would help prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, thus reducing the need for abortions.

    If Republican men gave birth, abortions would not only be legal, but free on every street corner!

    June 18, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. Elizabeth Nelson

    Wow, a rational and thought-out response rather than a knee-jerk reaction pandering to right wing crazies. He certainly stands out as the least-scary candidate so far!

    June 18, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. diridi

    Among all the Idiots of GOP, he may be little better. If I had to chose all those idiots, I chose this dude. But he needs to say what is his main theme of fixing, taxes, Medicare, well, Repealing Health Care is not the solution, find the solution for it is the solution. GOP idiots as of drunkard, think, just repeal is the motto. Do these idiots know, how many patients were denied for having preexisting conditions, how many homes were lost by Hospital Greed, How many were suffering lack of health care in this so called well-rich economy? I am questioning. No love last for Obama or any of the Republicans, It is my work that is putting my dinner not these idiots in congress or senate. o.k, Show me. I need net result, not sheer talk....America wake need god's blessing now than ever before. Drive the devil of Greed, greed, and Greed. Companies are making tons of money, shifting to overseas. Stop it. Pray it, Love America. Then only you win....God bless us all.....Don't cry on Obama, learn the troubles we had, we have and we are going to have in consequences, we do......god bless...

    June 18, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Larry L

    Romney simply refuses to allow the radical right-wing of the Republican Party to make decisions for the President of the United States. This ridiculous pledge is written proof that the core of the Tea Party is driving the GOP. I'm a moderate and have voted for both Republicans and Democrats. But as a moderate, the modern Republican Party offers me nothing. They are dedicated to supporting the religious and racial bigots, to waging war on the middle and lower classes, and to destroying the progress of the current administration just to gain political favor. They have become an evil force.

    June 18, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Marie MD

    Yes, because nothing says government (state or local) stay out my life than the ring wing rethugs/tea baggers telling a woman what to do with her body, or if gays can marry, or what to teach in school (bachman), or any rethug governor refusing money for the federal government until they have a natural disaster and they come crawling on their knees to ask for that money.
    You mean conservative judges who will take away all the rights of the people? Any flip flop for the MA ex-governor. Do these people realize that there are not just newspapers but actual film of these people saying one thing and now saying something else?

    June 18, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  18. fayse

    The Federal Government does not fund Abortion. It is illeagal for Planned Parenthood to use Federal Money for Abortions. The patient must pay for this service themselves. Abortion is approximately 3% of the services performed. The GOP
    plans to try to overturn Roe vs Wade. We are supposed to be a civilized Nation where, by the Constitution, Church and State are separate. The extreme right wing Zealots want to force their beliefs on the entire Nation. All Americans have the right to practice their personal faith but they should not have the right to force their version on anyone else. The actions of the Tea Party Republicans are beginning to resemble the religious extremist practices of those they hate, the Muslims. I understand that not all Christian nor Muslims are extremists. This group is dangerous and none of them should be allowed to get anywhere near the White House.

    June 18, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  19. George Washington

    Romney's team gave a flowery worded explanation that Romney will simply put judges in place to be pro life. If you are pro life, just sign the promise!

    Mr. Ron Paul for 2012.

    Regan said, “What to ask is am I better off now than 4 years ago. Is food cheaper now than 4 years ago? Are taxes lower now than 4 years ago? Is the job situation better than it was 4 years ago?”

    With Ron Paul’s 2012, You, it, and they would be.
    Constitutionally, legislatively, and morally, Ron Paul has no equal. His 22 year voting record speaks for itself.
    As Mr. Regan said, "You ain't seen nothin yet!"

    June 18, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Al

    Mitt your toast.

    June 18, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. mm

    I applaud Romney's refusal to not sign such a silly document. There are millions upon millions of pro choice Republicans out there and it is time we had some representation within the Republican party. I have always admired Romney's centricisim and I think he would make a great President. He is already leading Obama in New hampshire and will likely capture Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New hampshire, Colorado, Nebraska, North Carolina and possibly Michigan or Wisconsin. Without even winning Michigan or Wisconsin, Romney would become the next President. Liberals should not underestimate him.

    June 18, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. GI Joe

    He won't make it - republican right wingnuts that want to legislate our morals and control our lives won't allow any choices. As soon as they get women under control, they'll go after the men (not wealthy).

    June 18, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Joe

    Sounds like Governor Romney is "firmly pro-get-me-elected-please-no-matter-what" and doesn't have an ounce of backbone. I applaud those who stand up and say after this 40 year-long holocaust that they will take meaningful action to protect the unborn.

    June 18, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Jimmy

    He's in the enviable position of not having to kowtow to anyone further right than he is. He doesn't have to be more Republican than his primary rivals, he just needs to be more Republican than President Obama.

    June 18, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    The anti-abortion purity pledge is exactly why the GOP/Tea Party will have difficulties taking back the White House. Strict adherence to a social engineering conservative ideology will restrict the GOP/Tea Party candidate to a narrower spectrum of voters, excluding moderates and independents.

    June 18, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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