Romney Muddles Abortion Stance
2008 Republican Backs State Abortion Leeway Until Federal Ban Possible
By TEDDY DAVIS
Aug. 22, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday in a Nevada television interview that he supports letting states "make their own decision" about whether to keep abortion legal.
"My view is that the Supreme Court has made an error in saying at the national level one size fits all for the whole nation," Romney told Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston in a televised interview. "Instead, I would let states make their choices."
Asked by Ralston if it was "OK" with him that Nevada is a "pro-choice state," Romney said, "I'd let states make their own decision in this regard. My view, of course, is I'm a pro-life individual. That's the position I support. But, I'd let states have this choice rather than let the federal government have it."
You can view the video of Romney's interview with Ralston by clicking here.
In his interview with Ralston, Romney was not asked about his support for a Human Life Amendment or federal legislation which would bring unborn children under the protections of the 14th Amendment.
The former Massachusetts governor endorsed both positions -- which would effectively ban abortion nationwide -- during an Aug. 6 interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
Asked by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos whether he supports the Republican Party's 2004 platform on abortion rights, which states, "We support a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children," Romney said, "You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I'm pro-life."
You can view Romney's full GMA interview by clicking here.
Romney Campaign Pushes Back
When ABCNEWS.com reported Wednesday that states like Nevada would be unable to keep abortion legal if Romney's ultimate vision were implemented, a Romney spokesman sought to explain the discrepancy by saying that while Romney supports the Human Life Amendment and 14th Amendment legislation contained in the Republican Party's 2004 platform, he does not view either measure as "achievable" at this time.
By contrast, he views overturning Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case which legalized abortion throughout the United States, as a goal which can be achieved more quickly.
If Romney succeeds in overturning Roe v. Wade through his Supreme Court appointments, states would once again be empowered to make their own decisions about abortion rights.
States would retain this power, under Romney's vision, until it is possible to outlaw abortion at the federal level. At that point, they would lose this power.
Romney's camp, however, does not see this day coming any time soon.
"We should aspire to passing a Human Life Amendment when the country as a whole is prepared for it," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told ABC News. "The American people just aren't there yet."
ABC News' Leigh Hartman contributed to this report.