Boston Globe Examines Romney's Views On Abortion Rights
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, is"revealing more complex thoughts" on abortion rights that show hiscurrent position "defies easy labels," the AP/Boston Globe reports (Johnson, AP/Boston Globe, 8/14).
Romneyhas acknowledged his position on abortion rights has changed since hefirst ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994. Romney in 1994 said, "I believethat abortion should be safe and legal in this country," adding, "Ibelieve that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, we should sustain and support it." Roe isthe 1973 Supreme Court case that effectively barred state abortionbans. When he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, Romney promisedto "preserve the status quo" on abortion rights in the state and opposeany changes to state laws that restricted or increased access toabortion.
Romney in 2004, while studying human embryonic stemcell research, said he experienced an awakening that led him to believe"the sanctity of life had been cheapened" by the Roe decision (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/6). He recently said he wants Roeoverturned to allow states to determine their own abortion policies,which he added is preferable to the "one-size-fits-all" federalapproach embedded in the decision.
Romney also has said hesupports a part of the 2004 Republican Party platform that called for afederal "Human Life Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution that wouldrepeal the Roe decision "with an eye toward banning abortion nationwide," the AP/Globereports. In addition, he has said he supports federal legislation thatwould give fetuses equal protection and due process rights under the14th Amendment. According to the AP/Globe, both proposalswould "supersede court or state action," but Romney has said thosepositions are not a change in his abortion views.
Romney lastweek in Bettendorf, Iowa, said, "The right course ... and the coursethat has the greatest prospects of success, is to see a presidentelected who will appoint strict-constructionist judges who will beinclined to return to the people and their elected representatives andthe states the ability to fashion their own laws related to abortion" (AP/Boston Globe, 8/14).
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