Mitt Romney. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
Mitt Romney has created a stir with his latest comments about abortion.
The GOP presidential nominee told the Des Moines Register Tuesday that he doesn't intend to pursue legislation to restrict abortion if he is elected president. "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney told the Register's editorial board.
He did say he would use an executive order to reinstate a ban on using U.S. dollars to pay for abortions overseas. The so-called Mexico City policy was rescinded by President Obama.
Romney's position on abortion has changed over the years, and has been at the heart of charges that he flip-flops on issues. When he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, Romney said he would "preserve and protect" a woman's right to choose an abortion. He now calls himself "pro-life" and supports abortion only in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Romney is "proudly pro-life and will be a pro-life president." She also said Romney would "support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life."
The Obama campaign noted that Romney has said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would "hopefully" overturn Roe v. Wade. "It's troubling that Mitt Romney is so willing to play politics with such important issues," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights, told USA TODAY that the organization is "confident" Romney will keep promises made to conservatives on this issue.
"We have full confidence that as president, Gov. Romney will stand by the pro-life commitments he laid out in National Review in June 2011," Dannenfelser said in a statement. She said these promises include "his pledge to prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform and promote abortion, as well as advocate for a bill to promote unborn children capable of feeling pain."