Mitt Romney Clarifies Abortion Stance, Re-Affirms Desire to Defund Planned Parenthood

Oct 10, 2012 4:41pm
Romney 2012 Buba 121010 wblog Mitt Romney Clarifies Abortion Stance, Re Affirms Desire to Defund Planned Parenthood

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Ariel Corporation on Oct. 10, 2012, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. (Tony Dejak/AP Photo)

DELAWARE, Ohio – A little more than 24 hours after he told an Iowa newspaper that abortion legislation would not be part of his agenda if elected, Mitt Romney told reporters today that he would “immediately” move to defund Planned Parenthood.

“I’ve said time and time again, I’m a pro-life candidate,” Romney told reporters during a stop at a restaurant in Ohio today. “I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.

“And also, I’ve indicated I’ll reverse the Mexico City position of the president,” Romney added. “I will reinstate the Mexico City policy.”

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Obama signed an executive order reversing the “Mexico City policy,” which prohibited funding to international family planning groups that provided abortions.  It essentially barred recipients of U.S. foreign aid from promoting abortion as a method of family planning.

Romney frequently touted his desire to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions and other services to women, during the Republican primary.

He added during a debate in January that he’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal.

But his comments today were an abrupt about-face from what he told the Des Moines Register Tuesday morning, when he said, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

A spokeswoman quickly clarified that Romney is a pro-life candidate, but Democrats had already pounced, accusing Romney of moving to the center on a controversial issue just weeks before the election.

“We’re not saying that he’s changed his mind on these issues,” Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, told reporters, “We’re saying he’s trying to cover up his beliefs.”

ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Sunlen Miller and Huma Khan contributed to this report.

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