Romney Shifts on Abortion Again

GOP presidential hopeful says he backs party platform on sanctity of life.

ByABC News
August 6, 2007, 8:11 PM

Aug. 8, 2007 — -- Throughout his bid for the GOP's 2008 presidential nod, Mitt Romney has called for overturning Roe v. Wade so that states can go their own way on abortion rights. Rejecting a "one-size-fits all" approach to abortion, Romney has described his position as reflecting a "federalist approach."

"My view is not to impose a single federal rule on the entire nation -- a one-size-fits all approach -- but instead allow states to make their own decisions in this regard," Romney told the National Journal in its Feb. 9 issue.

It now appears, however, that if the former Massachusetts governor succeeds in getting Roe v. Wade overturned, he would ultimately like to see two federal measures whose cumulative effect would be to curtail the ability of states from granting their residents abortion rights.

Appearing Monday on "Good Morning America," Romney was asked by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos if 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 replied, "You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I'm pro-life."

Asked to reconcile the seeming discrepancy between Romney's GMA interview and his National Journal interview, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden provided ABC News with a description of Romney's position, which says that overturning Roe v. Wade and "putting the decision back in the states" is what Romney supports "in the meantime."

His ultimate goal, however, appears to be for "the people and their elected representatives," rather than unelected federal judges, to protect the "sanctity of life" through the federal mechanisms contained in the GOP's 2004 abortion rights platform.

"Gov. Romney supports the Republican Party's platform protecting the sanctity of life," Madden told ABC News. "He believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned so that the life issue can be returned to the Democratic process through the people and their elected representatives. Gov. Romney's support for the Republican Party's pro-life platform and overturning Roe v. Wade are complementary goals and beliefs."