Ben Smith gets this quote from Mitt Romney spokesperson Gail Gitcho on the candidate’s stance on abortion: Romney supports “a Human Life Amendment that overturns Roe vs. Wade and sends the issue back to the states.” “Mitt Romney is pro-life, and as he has said previously, he is supportive of efforts to ensure recognition that life begins at conception. He believes these matters should be left up to states to decide,” she said.
That answer’s “states’ rights” emphasis sounds good for a candidate who’s hoping to sway independent voters in a general election, but it still doesn’t answer whether or not Romney supported Mississippi’s personhood amendment before it went down in flames — a question he skillfully avoided last month and his campaign refused to answer — and actually undermines his promises to more conservative audiences.
For instance, during an Oct. 3 appearance on Fox News’ Huckabee, Romney hinted that he would support additional federal abortion restrictions: “I would encourage legislation which provided to individuals the information they needed to make a choice, an informed choice about whether or not to have an abortion,” he said, referring to mandated counseling or waiting periods. Similarly, during the Palmetto Freedom Forum on Sept. 5 in South Carolina, Romney promised to “absolutely” strengthen federal conscience protections for health care workers who refuse to perform abortions. “We have to allow people to practice their faith and when they have a matter of conscience that they can’t participate in some form of activity which violates their faith, then they should be able to abide by their faith, particularly when there are plenty of opportunities for people to have a service provided,” Romney said.